I'm a bad "Woman in Technology". I know this.
There's been a lot of chatter lately about Women in Technology, Women in Business... particularly with the responses to the whole "Dell" thing and what not. But on many levels, I just don't care.
Yes, there, I said it. I've got too many other things to concentrate on than to get stressed out about some sideways glace or inappropriate comment. That being said, no one needs to be harrassed at work, or their ideas discounted because of a difference in their sex. And some people are just crude and insensitive.
Sure it can be rough breaking into a male-dominated field. It can be hard working in a male-dominated company. It would be great if women were equally represented in every area. But most days I'd rather just concentrate on doing my job as well as I can.
But I do know that I'm "bad" at actively supporting women in technology and I like work to improve on that. So I make sure that I spend time recognizing and appreciating what women can and have accomplished.
One of the ways I do this is by attending conferences geared toward women. They open me up to the accomplishments of other women, expose me to great female speakers and give me a chance to learn about the challenges and successes faced by many in their professional lives.
Last week, I attended the conference put on by the Professional BusinessWomen of California, at the Moscone center in San Francisco. This was my first time attending this event and I was impressed with the number of women in attendance and the quality of the content and speakers.
While not technology focused, the sessions were inspiring and informational to women in any field. Using Gender Intelligence to Build Credibilty, Balancing Your Life in Your "War Zones" and Negotiating With Confidence were just some of the topics covered.
Another annual conference that I've attended and mentioned before is She's Geeky. Usually held over a weekend, this event brings to together women who have interests in STEM fields to network and talk about the things that interest them. It's a great opportunity to learn something novel or try your hand at running a session of your own.
Check out their websites and watch for upcoming events. You'll probably be impressed - I always am.
Also, if you'll be at TechEd in Orlando this year, reach out to Jessica DeVita of UberGeekGirl. She has some great ideas around bring women together to mentor other women. Check out her recent blog post about what she'd like to accomplish.