If you were in India, “they’d pay you $30,000 for cold calling and tell you to go home.”
My former boss’s sentiments in response to my request for a salary increase.
I suppose that response would have been justified if I were not the only sales person in his small organization.
It is true that cold calling was an integral part of each work day. I surmised that the profits from the outcome of my efforts in which he reveled had caused a memory lapse.
I had more than doubled our clientele.
That was eight years ago.
I was good.
I still am.
Now I cold call for my own business.
But I prefer ‘prospecting’ better.
So why do women in Information Technology rock?
- We are a rare breed
Women in technology is akin to Lupita Nyongo’s Oscar win–except we are still waiting for our ‘Oscar.’ According to the March 2014 issue of Essence magazine, Kenyan’s president, Uhuru Kenyatta calls Lupita Nyongo’s the “Pride of Africa.”
Have you been able to sniff out the sadness that lurks among the fanfare, bright lights and shiny objects that are the staples of Hollywood?
One woman is the pride of an entire continent?
But this a technology blog.
I don’t foresee any trophies in the Technology woman’s future but the need for computer scientists may necessitate some consideration.
U.S. businesses will need 1.4 million computer scientists by 2020.
Yet, at today’s graduation rate, only 30 percent of those will be filled by American trained computer scientists.
Deductive reasoning gives some insight into what percentage of that 30 percent are women.
For women in IT, gender bias dominates. Lecia Barker, associate professor in the School of Information, said, ” People tell boys that if they’re good at math, they can be an engineer. But, “for girls it just doesn’t come up as much. People encourage girls to pursue happiness, and men to be breadwinners.”
Happiness is defined as getting married and having children.
The uncommon woman, has and will continue to juggle home, family and if it is her choice, a technology career. She dictates and defines happiness for her life. Not a third party.
2. We are Change Agents
“We need a nation that looks at the fact that only 17.6 percent of computer science degrees go to women and meets that challenge as if half the country weren’t being taught to read or to write a meaningful sentence,” according eCampus News, which is Technology News For Today’s Higher Ed Leader in its March 2014 edition.
The impact of computer literacy cannot be over-stated.
If intrinsically, women are nurturers, and biologically we are ‘birthers,’ then logically we are the best conduit for change. It’s women like Marissa Mayer and Cheryl Sandburg who help the world dissociate technology from gender and encourage the next generation.
So then, once more women harness the power that has been bestowed upon them by nature, the doors to more women in IT will open and consequently the doors to a brighter economic future will be unlocked.
In essence all women possess the Oprah effect.
The difference is that we only know it to the extent that we act like we do.
The percentage of women in tech is severely under-represented. Our representation hovers at around 7 to 8 percent.
It is time for women to Lean In.Five Great Resources for Women in Technology
1. Internet Society Community Grants Program: Provides funding annually to projects around the world that will bring technological resources to under-served populations. Applications for 2014 will be accepted from March 3-31, and winners will be announced in June.
2. The Internet Society Fellows to IETF Program: This award enables technologists from developing countries to participate in meetings of the IETF, the premier Internet standards-making body. First-time fellows are paired with an experienced mentor and are given the opportunity to make a positive contribution to IETF work.
3. ABI LeanIn Circles: The Anita Borg Institute and LeanIn.org have partnered to offer support for women pursuing or considering careers as technologists. Circles meet regularly to learn and share together.
4. Systers-IETF: A list for Systers involved in IETF topics — both technical and specific to women. Open to any woman interested in the IETF, whether she participates only by mail or also in person.
5. Girls in Tech: Girls in Tech (GIT) is a global organization focused on the engagement, education and empowerment of influential women in technology. Sources: http://www.forbes.com/sites/womensmedia/2014/03/09/to-get-young-women-into-tech-focus-on-successes/ http://www.thewire.com/technology/2014/03/google-backed-incubator-looks-increase-women-tech-25-percent/359061/ http://www.ncwit.org/-National Center For Women In Technology