Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Larry Alton, Astadia CloudGPS

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog

@CloudExpo: Article

Who's Mentoring the Mentors?

Focus on getting women into technology is good and focusing on keeping women in technology is even better.

Every few years the industry, as if waking from a fugue, notices that the number of women in technical fields is lower than the number of men. A mad rush of studies and subsequent articles analyzing the situation is almost universally followed by a call to arms: we need to do better at mentoring girls and young women to get them interested in technology. And yet the fact that we rush to this conclusion every few years points to a failure in this strategy. After all, if a focus on earlier education was addressing the issue, we wouldn’t need to re-focus on education and encouragement every few years.

The latest calls for mentoring the next-generation have come in just the past two months, lead by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her initiative, TechWomen.

“Being a woman in the field of technology is not always easy,” Clinton said at the State Department during a July 6 gathering for the TechWomen initiative. “But there are so many opportunities in technology that we just have to forge ahead, and we’re doing so around the world because we want to make sure that all the tools that technology has made available are just as open to women as they are to men.”

Read more: http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/st/english/article/2011/07/20110706165830eiznekcam0.4459803.html#ixzz1alnuQF6x

While Clinton is certainly amongst the more high-profile women to speak out on the subject, she is not alone. Bloomberg also recently picked up on the disparity, noting efforts by the well-respected UC Berkley to increase its efforts to improve the ratio:

While women hold about half the jobs in the broader U.S. economy, they account for less than 25 percent of science, technology, engineering and math positions, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Companies need to make sure female mentors are accessible to younger employees, she said. That allows women to more easily see themselves in top positions, Dai said.

Just 12 percent of the students majoring in electrical engineering and computer science at the University of California, Berkeley, are women, said Claire Tomlin, a professor who oversees those majors at the school.

The college is working with middle-school girls to spark interest in engineering at a young age, and it invites females from other schools to the campus for summer programs to cultivate more interest in the field, she said.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-09-17/technology-companies-gender-disparity-seen-hampering-u-s-competitiveness.html

And yet these numbers are hardly troubling when compared to a much more disturbing set of statistics, that of the rate at which drop out of the field mid-career. A 2008 study found that nearly 52% of women simply drop out in the 30s and 40s, most often citing overly hostile environments and extreme work pressure as their reason. (ComputerWorld, Why Women Quit Technology)

It is this statistic that speaks to a troubling trend, and which is rarely addressed by those concerned with the overall state of women in technology. Too often the call to arms focuses on young women, on girls, and more recently on the widening gap globally. Secretary of State Clinton’s initiative, TechWomen, for example, specifically focuses on mentoring of women and girls from a global point of view, requiring that mentors not only focus on technical issues, but cultural. Too, its restriction on location (all mentors must be in the greater Silicon Valley area) seem to contradict the power of technology to connect women across locations and, in a global environment, time. A veritable cornucopia of other initiatives also exist to encourage young girls to enter into the fields, including the somewhat controversial introduction of an “engineer Barbie” just over a year ago.

What you rarely see, despite the growing importance of networking in general to career development, are initiatives focused on women already in technology. Mentors for the mentors.

Cloud Network of Women

While not the impetus for the foundation of Cloud Network of Women (CloudNOW), the benefits of promoting successful women in technology who have survived the self-imposed culling of the female population in technology to potentially curbing the exodus should not be overlooked. CloudNOW fills an overlooked need of mentors for the mentors that addresses the gap in existing “women in technology” strategies. By addressing the gap with a real foundation for women already in technology it is hoped that we can break the cycle.

It also serves as a reminder that despite all the negative statistics and dire predictions of women becoming irrelevant in technology, many women have highly successful careers in technology and are more often than not found amongst the upper-echelons of the technology industry. Members of CloudNOW are heavyweight hitters in the emerging cloud computing market, comprising women executives from some of the most recognizable and successful technology companies in the business including IBM, VMware, Oracle, EMC, and Salesforce.com. Many are entrepreneurs, others are high-level executives, still others are analysts and thought leaders within cloud computing – a technology focus-area which many would agree remains the “next big thing” – ignoring, of course, any new i-Named product coming from Apple.

CloudNOW was founded by Jocelyn DeGance Graham primarily because of a lack of any similar initiative. There are no groups that focus primarily on technology and promoting its women leaders. “There are many organizations today promoting women and technology, but too often those organizations focus more on social issues like work-life balance and less on the contributions of women in technology. We want to promote the extraordinary contributions of women to cloud computing and provide a mentoring environment that encourages more women to contribute. Promoting and building a platform to recognize women’s accomplishments within technology is a positive way to encourage women of all ages to not only enter technical fields but to stay in them,” Jocelyn explains. “These are real women with real and significant contributions, not just examples of career paths that might be taken once you have a degree in a technology field.”

The ability to explore technology and its myriad real career paths as well as the opportunity to work with and learn from some of the industry’s leading women like CloudNOW board member Lauren States (VP IBM) is invaluable in its ability to encourage women to remain in technology, especially as they gain insight into the diverse roles in which women are employed in technology. It offers a chance to promote, seriously, the contributions of women to and in technology and provides a path for other women to do the same at a time in their career’s when they are generally overlooked.

The media and industry is already taking notice. Cloud Expo and Cloud Connect have scheduled CloudNOW moderated sessions, a tech first in which an all female panel takes center stage to discuss and debate the most relevant topics and challenges in cloud computing today. "This is our differentiator and why CloudNOW is working', says Jocelyn. 'We are not separating women in tech into our own conversation, but forming a collective. Together we are the voice of authority for women in cloud moving the technology conversation forward in partnership with the industry."

The initiatives that encourage young women to get into technology are important. But so, too, is continuing to support and encourage women already in their careers to stay and become active in technology. CloudNOW, like all women-focused technology initiatives, promotes women in technology by creating the opportunities to contribute to the conversation, to network with active members of the greater IT community to become the voice of authority for women in cloud computing and, the organization hopes, technology in general. Unlike other initiatives, however, CloudNOW seeks a more collaborative, community-focused approach that encourages participation and not segregation of women from the technology community in which they are grounded. Technology is, as we’ve seen, heavily dominated by the male side of the gender spectrum, so that means not only including men, but encouraging them to participate in and contribute to the conversation as well. Bernard Golden, acknowledged cloud guru, brings his expertise in cloud computing to CloudNOW as a member of the advisory board, lending his expert perspective on the technology and acting as a guide to help nascent thought leading women navigate the myriad avenues to bring their thought-leading ideas on cloud computing to the market. Whether male or female, this kind of guidance and encouragement – mentoring - is necessary to promote the technical contributions of women and encourage both those in and considering a career in technology-related fields.

By promoting the contributions of women and providing a platform for them to share their technical and thought-leadership across the technology market, CloudNOW hopes to encourage others to do the same and avoid becoming just another statistic.

[1] Boston.com, Work all your networks

More Stories By Lori MacVittie

Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5’s entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she conducted product research and evaluation focused on integration with application and network architectures, and authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. Her most recent area of focus included SOA-related products and architectures. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that MIRAI Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MIRAI Inc. are IT consultants from the public sector whose mission is to solve social issues by technology and innovation and to create a meaningful future for people.
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dasher Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dasher Technologies, Inc. ® is a premier IT solution provider that delivers expert technical resources along with trusted account executives to architect and deliver complete IT solutions and services to help our clients execute their goals, plans and objectives. Since 1999, we'v...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale, a leading provider of systems and services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale has been involved in shaping the computing landscape. They've designed, developed and deployed some of the most important and successful systems and services in the history of the computing industry - internet, Ethernet, operating s...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
Infoblox delivers Actionable Network Intelligence to enterprise, government, and service provider customers around the world. They are the industry leader in DNS, DHCP, and IP address management, the category known as DDI. We empower thousands of organizations to control and secure their networks from the core-enabling them to increase efficiency and visibility, improve customer service, and meet compliance requirements.
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale is the leading provider of Software-Defined Servers that bring flexibility to modern data centers by right-sizing servers on the fly to fit any data set or workload. TidalScale’s award-winning inverse hypervisor technology combines multiple commodity servers (including their ass...
As hybrid cloud becomes the de-facto standard mode of operation for most enterprises, new challenges arise on how to efficiently and economically share data across environments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Dr. Allon Cohen, VP of Product at Elastifile, will explore new techniques and best practices that help enterprise IT benefit from the advantages of hybrid cloud environments by enabling data availability for both legacy enterprise and cloud-native mission critical applications. By rev...
As popularity of the smart home is growing and continues to go mainstream, technological factors play a greater role. The IoT protocol houses the interoperability battery consumption, security, and configuration of a smart home device, and it can be difficult for companies to choose the right kind for their product. For both DIY and professionally installed smart homes, developers need to consider each of these elements for their product to be successful in the market and current smart homes.
Join IBM November 1 at 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and learn how IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Cognitive analysis impacts today’s systems with unparalleled ability that were previously available only to manned, back-end operations. Thanks to cloud processing, IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Imagine a robot vacuum that becomes your personal assistant tha...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, will lead you through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He'll look at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that N3N will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. N3N’s solutions increase the effectiveness of operations and control centers, increase the value of IoT investments, and facilitate real-time operational decision making. N3N enables operations teams with a four dimensional digital “big board” that consolidates real-time live video feeds alongside IoT sensor data a...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn't require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbui...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that mruby Forum will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. mruby is the lightweight implementation of the Ruby language. We introduce mruby and the mruby IoT framework that enhances development productivity. For more information, visit http://forum.mruby.org/.
Digital transformation is changing the face of business. The IDC predicts that enterprises will commit to a massive new scale of digital transformation, to stake out leadership positions in the "digital transformation economy." Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, Oct 31-Nov 2, will find fresh new content in a new track called Enterprise Cloud & Digital Transformation.
Amazon is pursuing new markets and disrupting industries at an incredible pace. Almost every industry seems to be in its crosshairs. Companies and industries that once thought they were safe are now worried about being “Amazoned.”. The new watch word should be “Be afraid. Be very afraid.” In his session 21st Cloud Expo, Chris Kocher, a co-founder of Grey Heron, will address questions such as: What new areas is Amazon disrupting? How are they doing this? Where are they likely to go? What are th...
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software. They hope to capture value from emerging technologies such as IoT, SDN, and AI. Ultimately, irrespective of the vertical, it is about deriving value from independent software applications participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kausik Sridhar, founder and CTO of Pulzze Systems, will discuss how given the magnitude of today's applicati...