Archive for December, 2009

Seeking technical inspiration

I am on the advisory board for Indiana University’s Women in Informatics and Computing, whose mission is “to provide support and information to further enhance the education of women in computing and information technology at Indiana University.”

For my take on why this organization is important, see my previous blog post, Why WIC?

My role is  “IT Professional Liaison”.  It’s a position that was recently created.  The goal is to engage more IT professionals with this student organization.  As I stated in the Why WIC post, there is a shortage of women in IT, and one way to overcome that shortage is to provide role models to women who are thinking of entering, or who have recently entered, the IT field.  Currently most role models associated with WIC are in the academic arena of technology.

So, my goal is to find some role models in the professional technology fields.  I would like to put together a panel of IT professionals this spring.  The people on the panel would be current IT professionals who would be willing to talk about things like why they chose their career, what challenges they’ve faced and how they’ve overcome them, who their role models were and why, why they believe women are important in IT, any advice they can offer to current IU students who are studying technology…and whatever else we think of between now and then 😉

I’d like to cover as many areas of IT as possible…government, entrepreneurs, software, programming, design, gaming, etc. etc.

The only requirement for the speakers would be that they support increasing the number of women in the IT field.  The panelist do NOT have to be women. We would, of course, want women on the panel.  But, I want to be very clear that we also want men on the panel!  It’s important that this conversation take place between both genders.  (Likewise, we hope that both men and women will attend the panel.)

I do not have a date set, and will try to be flexible.  The panel will take place on the IU Bloomington campus.  The panelist will be volunteering their time, but it will be a great opportunity to network with future IT professionals!

So, now I come to the point of this post.  I need ideas for people to contact about this panel.  If you are someone who thinks they would be able to contribute to this panel, or if you know someone who you think would be a good panelist, please send me an email with a name and contact information.

Also, I am soliciting ideas for questions we can ask the panelist.  I mentioned some topics a few paragraphs above.  Are there others that you recommend?  Feel free to email me at the above link, or leave a comment on this post.

Thanks in advance for any and all help!