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SQLPASS Summit Wednesday – Women in Technology

November 5, 2009 Uncategorized 1 Comment

I wanted to clean this up and make it pretty, but I'm running out of time. Gotta pack before I go blog the last keynote (3 keynotes, PASS? Really?). 

I was double booked yesterday for lunch.  Early in the summit I'd promised Paul Nielsen I'd be the unofficial official photographer for the MVP Deep Dives book launch (which I'll blog more about another time, with pix and vid).  And I'd already wanted to go to the Women in Technology (WIT) lunch when Allison ?lastname asked me to come and blog it.  So I did a lot of running back and forth.  On the book though, a quick retweet and pic: 

http://twitpic.com/o9wnq The Deep Dive book they are signing for Bill Gates just passed me in line. #SQLPASS

I did see the introductory video at the luncheon.  It was this great montage of women saying I'm a woman in technology, and women and men saying "I support women in technology". 

It was near the end of the session when I was finally able to sit down and listen, and I was quickly blown away.  They were talking about teaching young girls technology – not just programming or SQL admin but Facebook and Twitter, things that are (surprisingly) becoming a huge part of doing business.  I think it was panelist Jessica Moss who suggested finding a women in technology chapter and bringing your daughter.  I was stunned by what a good idea this is, and I intend to follow it with my 10 year old girl.

From here, I'm just going to use my notes wholesale:

Tweeted: The Women in Tech lunch touched me, and I didn't expect that. I'll have a really good blog about that soon, I think. #sqlpass #sqlwit

Kathi Kellenberger: too afraid to talk to their children about race, so they wind up saying embarassing things.  You havae to talk about these things specifically.  Story: pharmacist, had to go to another town to get the rx. daughter said "I didn't know men could be pharmacists".

One of the big things that shaped my life was my image of my mother (this is me, Jen, talking here), from a very young age. She was a pilot, and she flew us in a little 4 seater.  I remember specifically watching her put on her uniform, how cool that was. I still has one of those shirts. 

Someone asked me yesterday what the big deal was with women in technology, why do we need our own cause?  And we can talk about how prevalent sexism is, or injustice, or what have you, but at a base level it's largely about this lingering underlying assumption that certain things are men's jobs, not women's.  A woman executive is still the exception. A female techie is still the exception.  My kids saw me as a stay at home mom for years, until I went back to the workforce this year, and I'm glad I stayed home. But I'm also glad I get to show them by example that being a geek is something I do well, enjoy well, and I'm paid well for it.

To say that slightly more efficiently, we have to understand at a very deep level – from childhood – that some things just aren't an option for girls, not really.

I couldn't have a better partner in all this than Sean.  When it comes to me, "supportive" isn't even the word, because that implies
 he feels that I'm lesser in some way. He's always treated me like he treats anyone else: when I get something right, he knows it. When I screw up, he understands.  When I'm being dumb, he'll say so.

And he's brilliant with our kids, because again, he doesn't see the gender difference as an impediment to ability.  We bought our daughter a computer when she was 5. Sean started computer lessons, including web, email, typing, and HTML, with her when she was 7 or 8.  My 4 year old son just got his sister's hand-me-down computer, and I fully expect he'll have the same at-home computer regimen his sister did. 

@BenchmarkIT got big laughs with his question




benchmarkIT: Wow @jessicammoss = another great ambassador for WIT #sqlpass

sqlfool: Cathi Rodgveller shares how she started IGNITE (http://bit.ly/YzRrI); goal is to excite young women about technology #sqlpass #sqlwit
 Rodgveller: "You can have an impact in your community." "One [positive technology] event can change a young girl's life." #sqlpass #sqlwit
 Rodgveller: Ignite also targets young women & men, minority races, & low-income youth to stimulate interest in technology #sqlpass #sqlwit

benchmarkIT; Cathi Rodgveller has done some amazing things for WIT and the community in general #sqlpass
 I'm a technical woman (ok not really) but I support WIT #sqlpass

sqldba: Listening to @llangit talk at the WIT luncheon at #sqlpass … she's an engaging speaker!

[blog] Women in Technology Luncheon – http://twurl.nl/4imr01 (via @way0utwest)

-Jen McCown, MidnightDBA.com

Blogging for SQLServerPedia.com

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. [...] in Technology group first caught my attention at the PASS Summit in 2009 when I was asked to live blog the WIT Luncheon. As it turns out, I had a lot to think about, and a lot to say.  Since then, I’ve blogged, [...]

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November 3-7: PASS Summit, Seattle, WA

PASS Summit: Jen is presenting How to Interview a DBA: A Panel Debate on Thursday 11/6 1:30pm, room 401 (along with Adam Machanic, Sean McCown, Bob Pusateri, and Michelle Ufford).

PASS Summit: Sean is presenting Performance Tuning Your Backups on Wednesday 11/5 3:00pm, room 602-604.

December 11: Presenting "Powershell Cmdlets.." at Alaska SQL Server User Group

January 30: "Become an Enterprise DBA" precon at Austin SQL Saturday

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