|By Lori MacVittie||
|November 1, 2011 09:00 AM EDT||
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.”
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.
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.
 Boston.com, Work all your networks
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Nov. 21, 2014 09:15 PM EST Reads: 998
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
Nov. 21, 2014 08:00 PM EST Reads: 1,133
Technology is enabling a new approach to collecting and using data. This approach, commonly referred to as the "Internet of Things" (IoT), enables businesses to use real-time data from all sorts of things including machines, devices and sensors to make better decisions, improve customer service, and lower the risk in the creation of new revenue opportunities. In his General Session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Dave Wagstaff, Vice President and Chief Architect at BSQUARE Corporation, discuss the real benefits to focus on, how to understand the requirements of a successful solution, the flow of ...
Nov. 21, 2014 08:00 PM EST Reads: 1,171
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
Nov. 21, 2014 08:00 PM EST Reads: 1,043
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 21, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,047
ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...
Nov. 20, 2014 11:00 PM EST Reads: 1,232
Focused on this fast-growing market’s needs, Vitesse Semiconductor Corporation (Nasdaq: VTSS), a leading provider of IC solutions to advance "Ethernet Everywhere" in Carrier, Enterprise and Internet of Things (IoT) networks, introduced its IStaX™ software (VSC6815SDK), a robust protocol stack to simplify deployment and management of Industrial-IoT network applications such as Industrial Ethernet switching, surveillance, video distribution, LCD signage, intelligent sensors, and metering equipment. Leveraging technologies proven in the Carrier and Enterprise markets, IStaX is designed to work ac...
Nov. 20, 2014 09:15 PM EST Reads: 1,259
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 20, 2014 07:30 PM EST Reads: 1,429
C-Labs LLC, a leading provider of remote and mobile access for the Internet of Things (IoT), announced the appointment of John Traynor to the position of chief operating officer. Previously a strategic advisor to the firm, Mr. Traynor will now oversee sales, marketing, finance, and operations. Mr. Traynor is based out of the C-Labs office in Redmond, Washington. He reports to Chris Muench, Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Traynor brings valuable business leadership and technology industry expertise to C-Labs. With over 30 years' experience in the high-tech sector, John Traynor has held numerous...
Nov. 20, 2014 06:00 PM EST Reads: 1,215
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
Nov. 20, 2014 04:45 PM EST Reads: 969
The 3rd International @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. 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 - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.
Nov. 20, 2014 01:00 PM EST Reads: 1,462
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
Nov. 20, 2014 12:30 PM EST Reads: 1,695
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
Nov. 18, 2014 09:00 PM EST Reads: 1,956
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
Nov. 18, 2014 08:15 PM EST Reads: 1,502
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada. Our partner network encompasses some 300 of the world's leading systems integrators and security s...
Nov. 18, 2014 08:15 PM EST Reads: 1,431
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. He also discussed how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics discussed were barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what the future may hold. Mike Kavis is Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Pa...
Nov. 18, 2014 01:30 PM EST Reads: 1,965
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world. The next @ThingsExpo will take place November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, in Santa Clara, California. Since its launch in 2008, Cloud Expo TV commercials have been aired and CNBC, Fox News Network, and Bloomberg TV. Please enjoy our 2014 commercial.
Nov. 13, 2014 05:00 AM EST Reads: 3,509
From a software development perspective IoT is about programming "things," about connecting them with each other or integrating them with existing applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Yakov Fain, co-founder of Farata Systems and SuranceBay, will show you how small IoT-enabled devices from multiple manufacturers can be integrated into the workflow of an enterprise application. This is a practical demo of building a framework and components in HTML/Java/Mobile technologies to serve as a platform that can integrate new devices as they become available on the market.
Nov. 10, 2014 12:30 PM EST Reads: 2,619
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Nov. 10, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 5,916
Located in booth #314, the Bsquare team will present DataV demos and discuss how DataV will help customers put their data to work to improve business outcomes. DataV is unlocking new initiatives across a wide landscape of customers in industries such as industrial manufacturing, transportation, retail and mobile. The solution is designed to complement a new project start or help to enrich an existing machine investment.
Nov. 6, 2014 03:15 PM EST Reads: 2,344