Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Xenia von Wedel, Scott Allen, Sanjay Zalavadia

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
Basho Technologies has announced the latest release of Basho Riak TS, version 1.3. Riak TS is an enterprise-grade NoSQL database optimized for Internet of Things (IoT). The open source version enables developers to download the software for free and use it in production as well as make contributions to the code and develop applications around Riak TS. Enhancements to Riak TS make it quick, easy and cost-effective to spin up an instance to test new ideas and build IoT applications. In addition to...
When people aren’t talking about VMs and containers, they’re talking about serverless architecture. Serverless is about no maintenance. It means you are not worried about low-level infrastructural and operational details. An event-driven serverless platform is a great use case for IoT. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Animesh Singh, an STSM and Lead for IBM Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, will detail how to build a distributed serverless, polyglot, microservices framework using open source tec...
IoT offers a value of almost $4 trillion to the manufacturing industry through platforms that can improve margins, optimize operations & drive high performance work teams. By using IoT technologies as a foundation, manufacturing customers are integrating worker safety with manufacturing systems, driving deep collaboration and utilizing analytics to exponentially increased per-unit margins. However, as Benoit Lheureux, the VP for Research at Gartner points out, “IoT project implementers often ...
Presidio has received the 2015 EMC Partner Services Quality Award from EMC Corporation for achieving outstanding service excellence and customer satisfaction as measured by the EMC Partner Services Quality (PSQ) program. Presidio was also honored as the 2015 EMC Americas Marketing Excellence Partner of the Year and 2015 Mid-Market East Partner of the Year. The EMC PSQ program is a project-specific survey program designed for partners with Service Partner designations to solicit customer feedbac...
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his Day 2 Keynote at @ThingsExpo, Henrik Kenani Dahlgren, Portfolio Marketing Manager at Ericsson, discussed how to plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change t...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
Connected devices and the industrial internet are growing exponentially every year with Cisco expecting 50 billion devices to be in operation by 2020. In this period of growth, location-based insights are becoming invaluable to many businesses as they adopt new connected technologies. Knowing when and where these devices connect from is critical for a number of scenarios in supply chain management, disaster management, emergency response, M2M, location marketing and more. In his session at @Th...
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Big Data at Cloud Expo - to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...