Pat Ryan has been a lifelong champion for girls’ education in science, and created the charity Cyber Girls First in 2014 to boost girls’ involvement in STEM, especially in computer science, maths and physics. In recognition of this, she has been named a Point of Light by the Prime Minister.
Points of Light are outstanding individuals who are making a change in their community and whose actions have changed lives.
Pat’s charity, Cyber Girls First, was awarded a grant by the WCIT Charity in 2021.
Pat decided to launch Cyber Girls First after volunteering as a fundraiser for the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley, where she noticed during a computing demonstration for schools how there was far greater participation from boys. She decided to address the barriers that prevent many girls from engaging in computer science and now organises events nationwide to introduce the career opportunities for women in IT.
Pat received her award from 10 Downing Street rather fittingly on International Women’s Day, a celebration of the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women around the globe.
“This is a great, and unexpected, honour which is appreciated by me and all our volunteers. We have great support from The Worshipful Company of Information Technologists, JPMorgan and Cyber First (part of GCHQ/NCSC) among others. This will give such a boost to our live event programme, which is starting again in Blackpool this month after two years of lockdown.”