Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Women in IT

Even though I haven't blogged in it yet, the topic of women in IT is dear to my heart. I've been working in IT in one form or another for almost 15 years, and have worked for all sorts of companies and all sorts of people. But with only one exception[1] every exceptional IT or project manager for whom I have worked has been female. I've also worked with many incredible women in highly technical roles - my good friend Lynn Langit leaps to mind here, but she's certainly not alone.

Anyone who knows me knows how important context is to me. If you don't know the context of a question, you'll never find the right answer. As Dr. Ivan Brady is so fond of saying, "context is practically everything when it comes to determining meaning." And in business intelligence projects, always focusing on the business context (as opposed to the technical context that most geeks love so much) is vital for the project's success.

I mention all this because different individual viewpoints are necessary to expand a business' cultural viewpoint - its context, if you will. If you only hire skinny men who love hip-hop, your company will think and act like an underweight male hip-hop fan as well. More viewpoints are a good thing.

But the female viewpoint is woefully underrepresented in the IT world today, much to our collective detriment.

Why do I mention this? The Configuresoft training session I'm attending this week[2] has over 50% female attendees. (And they're the ones asking the tough questions - I'm glad the trainer knows what he's talking about!) In all of my years of delivering IT training, I don't think I have ever seen a majority of female students.

No, I don't have any conclusion to reach, but I wanted to make the observation anyway. I hope that this is part of an overall trend and not just an anomaly, because an expanded context is good for everyone...

[1] Hi Jeff!
[2] Configuresoft is my employer, and I need to get up to speed on the inner workings of our flagship ECM product to me more effective on the amazing, new CIA product that is my primary responsibility.

1 comment:

CFRandall said...

"In all of my years of delivering IT training, I don't think I have ever seen a majority of female students."

Take or teach an SSRS class, and you will. It's a refreshing change!