I was shocked to read that a well-known public speaker and moderator, Mads Christensen, made a number of inappropriate and insensitive remarks about women during a Dell-hosted customer and partner summit in Copenhagen in April. Since the remarks were made, which caused something of a growing firestorm on the Internet, Dell has issued a public apology on Google+ and re-confirmed itself as an “enthusiastic and committed advocate of women in business and IT”.
I recently read an article by Deloitte and something really caught my attention: voicemail.
Apparently voicemail is antiquated. It’s out of touch. It’s not an efficient way to communicate with people.
Did you know that? I didn’t. But according to the same article, the reason I didn’t know is because I am too old.
I’m a Generation X-er. I’ve lived through the digital revolution. And whilst I, like any good Cisco employee, love the fruits of technology – the Internet, smartphones, SMS texts, blogs, IWE – I also remember a time when telephones had cords and emails were word-processed and delivered by postmen. And apparently that makes me a whole different ball-game to Generation Y-ers and “Millenials.”
I’d been looking at the issue of the lack of women in IT for a couple of years and trying to see how we could make a real impact when back in September 2011 I heard of a pilot scheme run by a colleague in our professional services division that had taken on 6 recruits aged 17 – 22, with a split of 2 male and 4 female, into an IT Apprenticeship scheme. Interest piqued, I met with scheme manager and was hugely heartened to hear that he had not purposefully gone out to get female recruits, it just happened that they were the right candidates and had interviewed well. By contrast we get around 10% -- 20% female intake from our technical graduate program and this is most likely driven by more girls having already chosen a non-technical path through university. Bingo! I thought -- this program could bring in both younger talent, and female engineering talent into Cisco in one hit.
Women in technology have unique opportunities and challenges. Only about 25% of Information Technology jobs are held by women and this can lead to feelings of isolation. Additionally, when women don’t see a lot of role models in the industry, they find it harder to believe they can succeed.
In working with the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, I’ve learned that it’s important to acknowledge these challenges and have open conversations about them. After brainstorming with my manager and getting great support from my VP, I rallied a group of women to create a day devoted to the development and advancement of women in technology.
On March 27th, we held our first Women in Technology Forum for Cisco employees. The main event in San Jose, California saw 300 attendees in-person. The nice thing about working at a worldwide leader in networking is that Read More »
I am delighted to be named the winner of the 2012 everywoman in Technology Awards Rising Star of the Year Award, which is awarded to a woman aged under 26 who is excelling in her technology career. No one was more surprised than me to hear the news and I’d like to congratulate the other 3 finalists in my category. Read More »