National WebMistress Day in the United States Date in the current year: August 26, 2024

National WebMistress Day in the United States National WebMistress Day is celebrated on August 26 to recognize women in web development and encourage girls to seek careers in STEM. It has been observed annually since 2016.

The job title “webmaster” refers to a person responsible for designing, developing, marketing, or maintaining websites. It is a kind of an umbrella term for a number of professions in web development, including web architect, web developer, web designer, website administrator, website tester, website moderator, etc. The term “webmaster” was first used in 1986, five years before the World Wide Web went public.

More often than not, webmasters are required to have knowledge of multiple markup and programming languages, as well as solid IT skills because they are tasked with maintaining all or most website features. Webmasters ensure that websites run smoothly and efficiently by identifying and solving any problems that might come up, updating website software, editing and publishing content, managing SEO features, running website analytics, redesigning websites, etc.

Women have doing programming for as long as it has existed. In fact, the first computer programmer was English mathematician Ada Lovelace, who wrote an algorithm for Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine. The Ada programming language was named after her. The first programmers of the ENIAC were also women, although some of them were not recognized for their work during their lifetimes.

Despite the long history of women’s involvement in STEM, it is still very much a male-dominated field. Because of this, there is a common misconception that most, if not all, webmasters are men. However, it couldn’t be father from the truth. There are thousands of women who design, develop and maintain websites, making sure they function smoothly. Sadly, their contributions are often overlooked because the word “webmaster” is typically perceived as masculine. That is why we need National WebMistress Day.

National WebMistress Day was launched by Kat Valentine, a web developer who was the first to use the term “webmistress (feminine form of webmaster) as a job title after obtaining the domain name in 1995. She founded National WebMistress Day in 2016 to recognize women in web development and legitimize the use of the word “webmistress” as a job title.

How can you observe National WebMistress Day? Give a shot out to all webmistresses you know on social media using the hashtag #nationalWEBMISTRESSday to help increase the visibility of women in web development and fight the stigma associated with the job title webmistress.

If you yourself are a webmistress, share your story to encourage girls and young women to take up studies and careers in STEM. You can also donate to an organization that supports STEM education for women. If you’ve wanted to start a career in web development for quite some time, this is your cue to take the first step! Remember that it is never too late to learn and make a career change if you have enough motivation and a good support system.

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National WebMistress Day in the United States, professional observances, women in web development, women in STEM