RT @VanessaAlvarez1: RT @neilweinberg :The proud. The few. The brave. Women in IT. http://bit.ly/yHlMn
This article on Women in IT really hit home for me. I often come back to work and look at my tweets and feedreader and think, “When do these people have time to think about this stuff after the end of the work day?”. Now I know.
When I’m at home cooking for my husband (I love you honey), he’s spending time being productive for work. So if I could convince him to do all the cooking maybe I could keep up too (yeah…like that’s going to happen (still love you honey)…he always pulls out the I make more money card).
I guess my one saving grace is I’m in academia where the demands aren’t as ridiculous as the business world.
Today I’m going to CloudCamp and it’s nerve wracking. Why? Well I’m a female and if you look at the list of attendees…there aren’t too many of us.
I’ve been to conferences before. At ALA though there are TONS of women. At Code4Lib I had friends there (both male and female), so that eased the lack of females (but only slightly…I still had the nerves). But at CloudCamp Boston, I’ll know no one and I’m not going to lie, I thought about not going. In fact this idea isn’t something new to me. Being a female in technology has stopped me from going to other things too. That’s right, I’ve chickened out and not gone to things I really wanted to attend because I’m too nervous.
Seems strange right? But it makes sense when you think about it, I mean how comfortable would you be at a bridal shower, or a baby shower, or in the lingerie department if you were a male. Not so comfortable. Well that’s what its like for me going to a technology conference. And I could throw numbers at you on the lack of women in technology, but most likely you’ll think about it for two seconds and know that its the truth.
So what are my issues about going to these conference? Well I’m sure some are the same that men have. Do I know enough to hold my own at this thing? Who am I going to sit with? Blah blah blah. But here is the difference; in the back of my head I always hear one of my old coworkers who tried to explain to me why a guy in an IT department was so rude to me:
None of us were particularly popular. And I’m sure when he looks at you he sees that girl that rejected him in high school
I know he was trying to tell me to brush him off…afterall, the guy he spoke of was a jerk that ended up in a server farm in order to stop his interactions with the public. But that comment has resonated with me throughout most of my jobs. It has made me feel like I HAVE to know enough to hold my own because if I don’t, they will just dismiss me as nothing but a girl.
So there it is, my fear laid bare for all of you to read. But now that I’ve written it I feel a bit better about going tonight. I’m sure I’ll know just as much as everyone else there. And I’m sure I’ll find some really nice people to sit with. And I’m sure no one will be mean to me (assuming the jerk from the server farm isn’t there….).