This "comment" started out as one but I've decided to make it a post as I hope that a few people that may follow me but not Stacia – will check out her post on WIT.
The post to read is here: http://blog.datainspirations.com/2010/07/29/maybe-its-just-me-a-perspective-from-one-woman-in-it
First – Great post.
Second – Fantastic comments from folks in the SQL community (once again reminding me of why I like it so much)!
I do love the SQL community for so many reasons and this is DEFINITELY one of them. To be honest, I've never really felt singled out as a "WOMAN" in tech. I've always felt like just another person struggling to do the tech and to do it well. I've found that you must do things well to get ahead but I (luckily) haven't been in a situation where nothing but my gender stopped me from getting ahead or getting something done. To take that even further since I'm sometimes the only woman in the room where I'm teaching (big smiles) the thing I love the most is the willingness and interest for everyone to listen, contribute and grow – regardless of the fact that their instructor is a woman. I suspect that maybe I don't meet the people that don't want to hear tech from a woman as they go to someone else's sessions instead of mine but the good news is that I've often had very well attended sessions (so it truly can't be the majority of men that can't listen to a woman OR work with a woman OR deal with women in tech). And, this week my class was the norm – in terms of men/women ratios (maybe even a bit higher than normal). We had 31 students + 2 instructors – 6 students were women (Paul Randal and I were the instructors). That's only 20% and still fairly low (overall – but again, a bit higher than some) but I didn't feel like there were any issues with men/women in the class – everyone was happy to be there and sharing information (regardless of gender, ethnicity, etc.).
Having said all of that – I do think that there have been sterotypes over the years. I remember (*VERY* clearly) something that was said to me when I was in high school (I wish I didn't have to say that it was over 20 years ago but it was roughly 25 years ago when this occurred). My favorite math teacher (I was also his TA) introduced me to a mathematician that was a woman… She was definitely an inspiration and talked to me about different fields and directions in which to go – in Math. It was a nice dinner. I remember thinking that I might want to continue my studies in Math (which I did as a Math/CompSci major in college). But, what I remember clearly is her telling me that she didn't wear makeup or paint her nails because she wouldn't be respected in the field. I've never forgotten that but I've also never lived by that. And, unless it's me (and my bad memory ;-), I really don't think it has hurt me. Maybe it's SQL. Maybe I've been sheltered – but I guess I have to say that I'm happy it's been this way as well.
Thanks for (another!) great post Stacia and some really great comments.
Once again – I'm reminded of how much I love our community!
PS – Check out a past post about Women in Technology and some of the resources that are out there: http://www.sqlskills.com/blogs/kimberly/post/Resources-A-panel-on-HA-and-a-second-on-Women-In-Tech.aspx. Also, if you're interested in helping your daughters get more involved in technology check out:
- DigiGirlz: http://www.microsoft.com/about/diversity/programs/digigirlz/hightechcamp.aspx
- Teaching Kids Programming: www.TeachingKidsProgramming.com