Betsy Speare, Principal Program Manager Lead, Windows Server Microsoft, Happy Family member, new Green Lake, Seattle Resident, 15 years at Microsoft, EWU CIS grad and chicken farmer!
The best part of managing this blog is that I get to post whenever I want – and believe me I am getting some great articles – we might even increase to 2x week – we’ll see! So far the feedback has been fantastic – everyone is so excited and the guest bloggers have been inspiring! It’s so amazing what people come up with when they get a little bit of encouragement and a small stage…
So, week 1, we discussed why we wanted a Women in Technology blog – and the answer: build a sense of community amongst a dispersed group of technical women. Top question: is this an internal Microsoft blog? The answer is no. Here comes the disclaimer… This is in no way a Microsoft endorsed blog or represent Microsoft. We just happen to have several women who work at Microsoft participating… but the cool thing is that technical women from all over the world are joining in our discussions (check out the Wandering Scientist – she’s taking this conversation an entirely different way). So, I thought I’d kick off this weeks post with the following observations:
TOP 5 REASONS WOMEN IN TECH BENEFIT FROM CONNECTING (apparently people love lists) :
1. We are usually isolated. The only woman in the meeting, hallway or building doing a technical job. This breaks the feeling of isolation.
2. We trust transparency and honesty – Women in tech sharing honest experiences is valuable to us.
3. Technical women want data – qualitative and quantitative – we’ve all heard the stats – less than 10% in core technical roles, less than 1% in leadership roles – combine that with the qualitative experience and we know have a lay of the land that we can strategize around. Catalyst does a great job presenting this data by the way!
4. We want to see success stories – and use those ideas to make our experience and contribution to our jobs better.
5. Before we are technologists, we are mothers, sisters, daughters and partners. We want contribute to both ends – just like the women in medicine, law, sales and marketing. We know that if we leave technology it will make it harder for the next woman, so we are looking for ways we can rationalize staying.
What’s your top reason? Comment on this post and I’ll pull together an even BETTER list!
So, in the spirit of transparency – I thought I would also share our BLOG CHARTER (wow!) that Jennifer Marsman, Helene Love Snell and I came up with to guide us in this blog… so you can see exactly what we are trying to accomplish and why. We’d also love to hear from you on the charter – how should it change or evolve?
Note: I give credit on the format and the importance of “chartering” to my fabulous friend CJ Corbett. He would be a great contributor to this blog as he is constantly trying to find his feminine brain (really). But I digress. So first I thought I might get lucky and be able to cut and paste this blog…
Not so much. Cut and paste into a table, slow but worked – could only have 1 column…
Title: Charter: Women in Technology Blog
|Business Case:Providing opportunities for women in technology to connect through common experiences and unique technical and personal insights therefore increasing a sense of community and support for women in the technology industry.|
|Goals: Provide women in technology with opportunities to connect professionally & personally in a structured manner which is reusable and connected to modern career tools.
Last – given this charter – here’s some of the topics we have coming up from our guest (and local) bloggers
- Kicking off a discussion with a new group of women.
- Jennifer: Why you are doing/reading/writing this?
- My Favorite Resources for Women in Technology (it’ll be about GHC, Girls in Tech, Digigirlz, Systers, etc.)
- Personal story: Identifying your Next Career Step
- Following Your Passion
- Indistinguishable from Magic (Cool Tech Summary)
- Why I love HTML5Getting funding for scholarships for women in CS
And the list goes on… so you can see why we have been excited to kick this off – stay tuned and send your comments, suggestions and blog posts for inclusion!
Bets, Jennifer and Helene