NOTE: This post was originally published on Simple-Talk. NASA recently named a facility in honor of Katherine Johnson, the mathematician who performed the calculations for space flights in the 50s and 60s. She was one of the “human computers” whose stories were made famous by the movie Hidden Figures just a few years ago. Until […]
Growing up, I spent hours and hours reading. During any given week, I would read three or four different books. Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, and Laura Ingalls were my literary companions. I inhaled books, I was the one who read under the covers by flashlight, long after my bedtime. To say reading was my hobby […]
http://ift.tt/2z5YGld Finally, progress. Well, sort of. In June, a new website voiced a frustration I share — that there are no women candidates in the Illinois gubernatorial race. A group of Democratic women activists launched arethereanywomenrunningforilgovernor.com. “Zero women are running for governor,” the site declared. They asked Democratic Party leaders: “What’s your plan to support women leaders in […]
Cornell Athlete Ally hosted ESPN personalities Sarah Spain and Kate Fagan on Wednesday in Statler Auditorium. According to Cornell Athlete Ally president Megan LeDuc, Spain and Fagan were selected to speak at the event because they have both worked towards diversity and inclusion in the sports field. A 2002 graduate of Cornell’s College of Arts […]
We’re slowing down for the summer! Instead of our usual roundup of “This Day in Geographic History” (TDIGH) events, here’s a closer look at one historic event that connects to something in the news today. We’ve also matched it with a map or visual, background information, and additional resources. Friday, June 23 TDIGH: Title IX […]
March is National Women’s History month and I would like to share a blog I found that discusses some of the firsts for women in the technology field.
If you haven’t already seen the PASS Women in Technology March Webinar on Unconscious Bias and Gender Inequality, then you’re really missing out. You can find it here: PASS WIT Unconscious Bias and Gender InequalityI hesitate to use phrases like “life changing” but I think that’s what happened. To say the evidence presented really rocked me…
Overall, it is proven that gender diversity causes businesses perform better financially, enjoy exceptional team dynamics, and attain greater productivity. The real challenge is actively taking these steps within your organisation and getting it done.
As I was looking through some blogs this morning I found one in the Wall Street Journal that suggested that professional women use their initials instead of their full name for a better first impression online. This really hit me hard and stirred up a lot of emotion. My first question was ‘Why’. Why should I have to change my identity so that people online will respect me.
Would you really not contact a person named Elizabeth Smith but you would if it was E. Smith? Elizabeth Smith might be an expert in her field and an excellent resource. Not contacting her based on her first name…is that really the criteria to use?
Changing a name to just initials would not be difficult. And it would not change who I am…but it would. The blog made me think of young women who are told not to dress in a certain way so that men will not be attracted to them and be tempted to rape them. Why should women be asked to change so others will give them respect. Shouldn’t others be the ones who change their behavior?
Let’s ask people to not judge someone by their name, their gender, their hair color, their sexuality, their age. Get to know people, then you can form an opinion about them, an educated opinion. There are many good people out there that you might not get to know because you judged them on superficial criteria.
This month’s T-SQL Tuesday is being hosted by Andy Yun (t | b). T-SQL Tuesday (#TSQL2SDAY) is a blog party founded by Adam Machanic (t | b). Each month a member of the community hosts the party and selects the topic for us to write about.
This month’s topic is growing new speakers. It is an opportunity for experienced speakers to pass down some lessons learned or advice to the #sqlnewspeakers. It is also an opportunity for those who have not spoken to begin walking down that path by writing about their plans.
Approaching the Door
Today is an important day in the history of the United States. It is the first time this country has the chance to elect the first female president. Why in 2016, 96 years since women have had the right to vote, are we just talking about this? And why are women still considered inferior in the workplace? We are on the doorsteps of change.
Women make up over half of the workforce yet there are still discrepancies in pay and discrepancies in the number of women in certain industries with technology as one of those industries. Did you know that over 55% of occupations in the workforce are held by women but they only hold around one-fourth of the jobs in technology.
It is no wonder that the number of women in technology is not proportionate to the women in the workforce. All you have to do is look at college degrees given out. In 2010, 57% of college graduates were female but only 14% of computer science degrees were received by women. This number has declined over the last 30 years…in 1985 37% of undergraduate degrees were earned by women.
Luckily for me, I have had some great role models in my life that have encouraged me throughout my career. It started with teachers and professors and has continued with co-workers and bosses, both men and women. But sometimes my role models have been silent role models. Not people that I have contact with but women who have excelled in their industry and who have shown me, by example, what it takes to be a successful person.
Knocking on the Door
I see that within SQL PASS, an organization created to support data professionals. I have been a member of PASS for a several years, but just started getting involved over the past four years. It first started with attending SQL Saturday events. During my first SQL Saturday event I attended a WIT open discussion session where women discussed issues they were having at their workplace. It helped me see that I am not alone. None of us are alone. Some of us have the same struggles at work.
And like everyone else, we get busy. I still attended SQL Saturday events and my first SQL Summit, but I was still a member on the outside, watching and observing others. What I saw inspired me and got me motivated to step up my game. Last spring I attended Mickey Stuewe’s presentation on being a role model for women in tech through blogging. Her presentation inspired me. I started a blog – with not many posts so far. It is that busy thing. I also volunteered to work with the WIT virtual chapter. They needed help managing the SQL Saturday calendar which seems like a simple thing, but this has helped me in so many ways.
First, I chat periodically with Kathi Kellenberger and Rie Irish, two great women in our community. This is a simple thing but I respect these two women and the things they do and represent within our community. I have started to watch how they are leaders in our community. They are leading by example.
And second, because of the data geek that I am, I stated collecting statistics on women presenters at SQL Saturday events. As the year went on and I gathered more information, I was continued to be inspired by the number of women who present at SQL Saturday. Some present just locally while others travel (some even internationally) and present at several different SQL Saturday events. Women have been SQL Saturday presenters 217 times in 25 different states since April 2016.
Kathi Kellenberger helped me get national data about SQL PASS attendees and I have started developing my SQL Saturday presentation about women presenters at SQL PASS events. I am nervous about presenting but I will have to get over that. My plan is to start submitting my outline to SQL Saturday events starting in 2017 and hopefully I will see you at a SQL Saturday event next year at one of my presentations.
Pushing Open the Door
Maybe, someday, I will be the person that inspires a woman to get involved, to be more. If we all get out there and set the bar high for future generations, they will rise up and meet that challenge. Maybe, someday, we won’t have to have conversations anymore on how to get more women into the tech industry. This is my first ‘real’ blog, my first T-SQL Tuesday, and the first steps through the door.