Moderator for today’s luncheon is Wendy Pastrick, and the luncheon is spoonsored by SQLSentry, Inc.
Panelist Bios are available from http://www.sqlpass.org/summit/2012/Connect/Luncheons/WomeninTechnologyLuncheon.aspx
- Stefanie Higgins
- Denise McInerney
- Kevin Kline
- Jen Stirrup
- Kendra Little
Ballroom 6AB is filled with 720 people attending WIT luncheon for Q&A sessions with the panelists on “Where have been and where are we going?”
WIT envolvement in education changes throughout time. Number of PASS Events
In 2011 we have 24 HOP organised specificlaly for female speakers. This has encouraged more women to participate and to speak at various PASS events. Wome in all computing application has declined to 25% in US. Women leave the Technology industry twice than men.
Companies like Microsoft, Google, Twitter have been investing in WIT, such as in form of training and process.
DigiGirls at Microsoft is a great example of initiative for WIT.
Let’s start thinking “what can inspire or have inspired women to contribute more in the Computing / Technology field?”
At PASS, funding / sponsoring is not like those in IBM or larger companies. But we at PASS have great attitude, community. As a community, we need to say “Come in, sit next to me, let me introduce you to my friend”. At PASS we want to be the organisation that says more than just “Welcome”.
Based on experience, younger women needs nurturing and encouragement to see why IT is awesome, and not succumbed to peer pressure.
International speaker, Jen Stirrup, brings her views and findings of WIT. It seems that not only Women are more disengaged in IT but more so in data.
SQL Saturdays in Europe have managed to attract female attendants. It became apparent that both men and women are interested in WIT and diversity issues.
Kendra Little shared her experience from working as just an employee to an enterprenuer, via PASS. Speaking at various events, helps growing mentoring skills and evetually develops consulting / consultancy sense essential in becoming an enterpreneur.
Focus groups with women who dropped out classes, help in understanding why it happens and how we can counteract that. Money may not be the only incentive for IT career. Most women are interested in the work/life balance.
PASS WIT website (http://wit.sqlpass.org/) contains resources for you to start up WIT community near you!
Work life balance is quite important to women. Track how you spend your time – get some data – analyse it and make some proposal to do things more effectively. Web cams and time tracking are ways to show that you are working hard and effectively. Retaining employees by offereing work/life blanace is important.
A great way of proposing more flexibility is “Why don’t we try it for a month, if I don’t work more effectively, we’ll revert back to how it was before”.
There are organisations that can help you get started in participating in WIT in your area. http://www.girlswhocode.com/ and http://www.microsoft.com/about/diversity/en/us/programs/digigirlz/hightechcamp.aspx some examples in US.
A comment from an attendee “Women who are in IT seem to be more analytical and less emotional than those who aren’t”. Not eveyone is in IT, it’s best to give opportunities / facilitates opportunities for women to try it out first.
Culture greatlly affects Women involvement in IT, and people in some countries are being funellled into specific areas of study or work. PASS Global Growth and WIT can help in reaching out those women in other countries with small participation of Women in IT.
“You can be what you want to be and great at what you do” is a great encouragement for young women to get into IT.
Closing note: send a tweet, blog about it and mention it to some one to start conversation on “Where have been and where are we going?”