These women

A few of the women who've inspired me, in honour of Ada Lovelace Day.

Heather Champ

Even before I started blogging, I read Heather's blog. I did then, and still (to some extent) do, want to be her when I grow up. I've been inspired for many years by her design skills and photography, and couldn't help but be something of a dork when I finally met her in person at SXSWi 2007, and then again at the Yahoo Open Hack day.

Donna Smillie

Donna started off as my boss, but became a dear friend and mentor, and without her support and encouragement, I probably wouldn't be where I am today.

From writing data analysis programs in the 1970s she took a somewhat circuitous route on her way to RNIB, where she started the Web Accessibility Consultancy and created the See it Right standard for web accessibility, which has more than stood the test of time. See it Right remains a practical and achievable standard and has been used by many organisations across the UK and internationally to make the web better for people with disabilities. She cares deeply about the needs of people with disabilities, but has always had the ability to take the wider view and identify solutions that meet the needs of businesses too.

Bim Egan

Bim and I applied for the same job (that of Web Accessibility Consultant) and thanks to some forward thinking by my manager at the time, we both got it. She is a fantastic example of ability over disability. She has a wonderful way with words and I've learned a huge amount from her over the years.

I have no doubt that she will continue to rock the accessibility world and lead the See it Right standard on to greater heights.

Lynn Holdsworth

You probably haven't heard of Lynn, but her talent as a web developer, willingness to find a solution and determination to get the job done have been an inspiration to me. She is another fantastic example of ability over disability. I'm honestly not sure I could listen to JavaScript through a screen reader day after day after day.

Glenda Sims

Glenda is one of the most positive people I've ever met. Her enthusiasm is infectious, whatever the subject she happens to be talking about. I can't imagine anyone failing to be inspired and enthused after spending just a few minutes listening to her talk, especially about accessibility.

I've learned so much from these and many other women over the years. I could continue writing for much longer, but there's other things I have to do with my day.

In such a male dominated environment, I can't help but feel that it's a good thing that I can think of so many women who are excellent role models. I count myself very lucky to have had the opportunity to learn from them, and even luckier to count some of them as my friends.