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Go Pam Maynard! July 9, 2012

Posted by The Raise Project in Award Winners, Featured Prize, Women in Science.
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If blueprints aren’t your thing, it doesn’t mean you should rule out a career in Tech. There are such a wide variety of jobs in the field. Thanks for your insight, Ms. Maynard. And congrats on winning your First Women Award!

Read the Original Here. 

By Pam Maynard

At the very end of last month Real Business announced the winners of the 2012 First Women Awards. Designed to recognize pioneering women whose achievements open opportunities for others, the awards showcase the wealth of career opportunities available for women in the science and technology sectors, aiming to inspire more women into the profession by highlighting the success of leading women in the field.

This year I was one of the lucky ones to be honored with a win in the First Women of Science & Technology category.

I have been in the technology industry for over 15 years and can truly say that I enjoy my work and always look to push myself beyond the boundaries – both real and perceived – of being a female in the sector. The sad fact however is that despite ongoing efforts, technology remains a less-thought of career path for female graduates.

The key misconception out there is that women simply can’t have a successful career in technology. This is absolutely not true and is something that we should all be working to change. We need to get more women into technology at an early age but to do so we need to be able to highlight powerful examples of women who are excelling in their careers. If you look at organizations in the UK like Capgemini, Accenture and Microsoft, and other FTSE 100 companies you can find very successful females with technology-focused careers – the challenge now is to make sure we are raising their profiles as high as they can go.

Another misconception about technology as a career is that it is very narrow in scope. In fact, a career in technology is so much broader – it is not just about developing technology solutions and technology companies do not have to be full of technologists. There is a huge set of different roles that sit around the delivery of a technology solution and require different skillsets. Whether it is project management or business analysis, these types of roles often come with an increased requirement for collaboration – one of the softer skills found more in women than men. If companies want to start bringing in more female talent, they need to get better at recognizing and defining the skillset they require from employees and reflecting this back in their recruitment efforts.

If I were going to use my recent win as a platform to speak to girls considering a career in technology my first piece of advice above all else would be for them to have confidence in their value. Today’s young women need to have more self-belief and recognize the value in the unique skills and experience that they can bring to the sector. Males and females bring different skillsets to any work place and a balanced gender mix is optimal for the success of any business.

What happens when that Highschool senior you look up to is a Techno-geek June 11, 2012

Posted by The Raise Project in Career, Women in Science.
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It used to be that, quantitatively, the top reasons women cited for staying away from technology fields were:

*it’s not interesting;

*they think they wouldn’t be good at it;

*they think they will be working with a number of people that they just wouldn’t feel comfortable or happy working alongside.

But now that tech is so much more integrated into our daily lives, being technologically illiterate no longer flies. The article finds that the new reasons include:

*not being aware of the economic benefits and impact tech careers can have;

*female students not taking computer science classes, which might spark their interest;

*not having “mentors” who are only a few years older that are into tech. (Remember that Senior in highschool, when you were a freshman, and they were the epitome of cool and the pinnacle of human evolution, with their school savvy and CAR KEYS? Article suggests the more girls get into computers and technology, the more young devotees will follow, and the cycle will continue.)

Read the original here. 

Here’s the Real Reason There Are Not More Women in Technology

Thomas Hawk

Ask someone to tell you the reasons that there are not more women in technology positions and chances are they will point to one of the numerous articles written lately. They usually start with “top 10 reasons why women…” or “break the glass ceiling by…”.  But instead of doing the hard research, they produce the literary equivalent of ‘all flash and no substance’.

To understand the reasons and circumstances of the issue, we must go beyond the pretexts to an examination of the occupational conditions for women throughout their life. And I chose to discuss it with 10 successful women that have all made it to the top of their professions in technical related fields.

Such a view of women’s lives are of course limited by the size of the study, but these successful women each put forth sound, actionable advice for women of all ages. Critical advice during a time where technology has begun and increasingly will permeate every facet of every profession on earth. A career without a technology background is a fatal one.

(more…)

The Girl in Computer Science: a Google Success Story April 2, 2012

Posted by The Raise Project in Career, Women in Science.
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–Steve Rosenbaum The Huffington Post

There’s plenty of talk about the need to support women in tech, and in particular math and science education for girls as they move from middle school into junior high.

But for at least one high profile woman in technology — there’s a reasonable argument to be made that education should be ‘blind’ to gender.

To understand where this comes from, you have to hear her story.

Last week at the 92nd Street Y, Marissa Mayer kept a packed house glued to the story of how a young girl growing up in Wisconsin could be essentially a ‘geek’ while at the same time being on the dance squad.

Mayer grew up in Wausau Wisconsin, a city of 40,000 about 3 1/2 hours northwest of Milwaukee. She was one of the top debaters at Wausau West High School. But she joined the dance squad as well — a geeky teenager who wanted to show that cheerleaders could be smart.

But Mayer is quick to point out that all through high school, her achievements were never characterized as ‘good for a girl.’ In fact, she is quite sure that being treated as a student, even a very smart student, rather than as the unusual girl who’s good at math and science, was critical in her success.

She went from Wausau to Stanford University, thinking that her future was in medicine. But after returning home for a break, she compared her chem and bio class work with her peers, and realized she wasn’t getting anything different than they were in various pre-med programs. She went back to Stanford looking for something unique, where she could excel and get an extraordinary education. She found herself drawn to Symbolic Systems — and ended up getting both her B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science from Stanford University, specializing in artificial intelligence.

If being a girl in CS at Stanford was hard, Mayer says she didn’t really remember. In fact, it wasn’t until she read the student newspaper one day, that it became clear that others DID notice her for more than her brains.

“There was this columnist at The Stanford Daily that I really liked. One day she wrote this column about campus icons, meaning people you recognize but you don’t know their name, like the crazy guy in the plaza who yells at you when you bike past him. So she had this list, and I was reading through her column and kind of chuckling to myself about these people, and then there was someone on the list that was ‘the blond woman in the upper-level division computer science classes.’ And I was like, ‘Who is that?’ And then I’m like, “Oh, it’s me!” so I guess I realized at that point that I was somewhat unusual.”

So, for Mayer — looking at the world without the filter of gender was an important part of her excelling on her own terms. She says it may be better not to ask the question: is this student a girl or a boy.

“Asking the question, I worry, sometimes can handicap progress,” she said. “I lived in a bubble. I was really good at chemistry and biology [growing up]. No one ever said, ‘Wow, you’re really good at this for a girl.”

“If I felt more self-conscious about being a woman it would have stifled me more.”

That said, Mayer is clearly proud of the fact that Google has more female engineers than many of the companies in the Valley. More than 20% at this point. But she’s clearly not hiring based on a quota or a goal. At Google, she just wants the very smartest people who are will to work very very hard.

Read original post at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steve-rosenbaum/the-girl-in-computer-scie_b_1395408.html

Tech Jobs Up, Women Down April 28, 2011

Posted by The Raise Project in Career.
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Tech Jobs Up, Women Down 

Despite U.S. unemployment rates hovering around 9 percent, jobs in the technology sector are booming, according to a recent USA Today report. Additionally, 83 percent of startup companies in the technology sector plan to hire this year, up from 73 percent a year ago, according to a survey from Silicon Valley Bank.

The news is especially timely for soon-to-be college graduates, as now is the time of year when they hope to get their first real career job offers. Companies swoop in on these budding professionals, hoping to grab the brightest before the competition makes a better offer.

But there’s one catch: Women remain painfully underrepresented in technology-based jobs.