I continue to be amazed and inspired by the women I get to meet working in IT. I am fortunate enough to get to interview some of them for the GeekGirlBlogs podcast – which often leads to gaining a deeper insight into the amazing life they lead – as well as an ongoing appreciation of how down to earth, friendly & welcoming nature they all have.
I am also fortunate enough to meet many women working in IT via the fantastic concept of Sydney GirlGeekDinners – and the participants here range from University Students to Entrepreneurs', CEO’s and company directors.
I am a strong believer in the power of community and am proud to be involved in & support these communities for Women in IT.
So I thought I would share the links to some of the women we are fortunate enough to have here in Australia doing amazing things in IT, that I aspire to (there are so many – these are just a sample), all of which I have had the privilege to meet and call friends. I think each of them are awesome examples of what I hope to be one day and thought I’d give a quick explanation as to why they are so important to me!
Bronwen Zande: My First female buddy in IT, Live services MVP, Builder of the GeekGirlBlogs.com site, organiser of the Brisbane Girl Geek Dinners, fellow Gallbladder removal candidate (all the cool chicks are getting it done), awesome Volley ball champion and a continuing inspiration to me on a daily basis!
Bronwen Clune: Not only a great friend, but kindly agreed to be the first woman I got to interview for the GeekGirlBlogs podcasting series (while I still had absolutely no idea what I was doing)! She manages to balance her family with running a very successful startup, Norg Media that challenges the beliefs of “control media” through the ability to give people a voice. She also is often a key speaker at events educating participants to the changing role of “old media” vs “new Media” and is also a key component of the Silicon beach Podcast. Must be something to do with being called Bronwen – these 2 women are just amazing!
Damana Madden: Continues to show the absolute power that building a community for women in IT can have – especially inspiring coming from someone who was not a Sydney Local. She runs the Sydney GirlGeekDinners events. I am find it truly awesome the far reaching affects the work Damana has had in the Women In IT community in Sydney and throughout Australia and I am so excited about the ideas she has for it for next year…
Laurel Papworth: is a true example of the power & significance of social networking. She works tirelessly to educate corporations, educational institutions and people alike as to the power & significance of Social Networking as part of our daily lives. She runs university courses, appears on TV, travels all over the world and still manages to somehow fit in time to call me every now and then just to make sure I am doing OK! She also started the Wild Wicked Wanton Women of the Web Facebook group to help raise awareness of the number of women working in IT – as well as to create a safe environment to help us start to practice public speaking to peers in order to get more women speaking at key industry events.
Kate Carruthers: Kate continues to surprise, inspire, entertain & challenge me. For someone who claims to be non-technical there are often blog posts she writes that are beyond my understanding and often make me rethink the way I have considered the topic prior! She has successfully made the jump from the corporate world to working for herself educating enterprises on the importance of staying current with your marketing messages & tools of choice. I mentioned to Kate on Tuesday that I wanted to get more experience in public speaking – especially on a panel, by Thursday she had rung me inviting me to participate on the eLearning08 panel in December.
Pia Waugh: An amazing advocate for the One Laptop Per Child campaigns as well as promoter of the value of Open Source applications. Although I have only met Pia a couple of times, she has always made me rethink the things we have talked about and the ongoing impact that these things can have. I am really excited to be interviewing her on Friday as the next guest for the GirlGeekBlogs Podcast, where we will talk about her involvement with the Linux Chix group, her interest in OLPC and her support of Open Source applications.
Jodie Miners: I first met Jodie at a Wild Wicked Women of the Web function organised by Laurel Papworth (see above) & we have been great friends ever since. For someone coming from the Construction industry, I guess Jodie was used to being in an environment where it was unusual to be female... but I am continuously in awe of her ability to put herself outside her comfort zone (especially for something she is passionate about) and her selflessness in the way she will share her lessons learnt. A perfect example is her changing her career midlife because she was so inspired by a conference she attended for the technology industry. She is an absolute Gadget Guru & contributes so much to the communities she is involved with. Personally, she also tends to be a great voice of reason for me when I am completely confused and have no idea what to do next!
Alison Young: I find Alison a great example the value of how sticking to what is important to you can achieve – especially for those coming out of Uni and finding it challenging to find their place in the IT world. After completing her Honours studies in IT recently, she knew what she wanted and vigorously pursued a role that met her requirements. She now has her own consulting business and travels regularly. She has been asked to present in conferences & unconferences on the benefits of social media applications and is a continuous reminder to me that you should never lose sight of your dreams!
Linda Gehard: And last but certainly not least is Linda. Linda is also not a Sydney local but heralded from the US. You wouldn’t be able to tell by all the Sydney & NSW communities she is involved with & supports. She was a key member of the DIA Student Council supporting young designer students, heavily involved in the Oz-IA community and most importantly for me has reminded me how important UX design really is – as its something I have always struggled with. Having always been a Sydneysider, I find it inspiring that someone can up & move to a completely different country & become a key member in the community then have such an impact on the city they move to. The good news is that Linda has also agreed to be a guest on the GeekGirlBlogs Podcasting series so expect to hear more from her soon.
So, barely a handful – but some examples of the amazing women working in IT that I consider myself lucky enough to know.