The Next Web has an interesting set of posts regarding women in technology. The first post by Boris makes the accusation that women are holding themselves back. He even includes this inflammatory idea:
The longer I work in our industry the more I’m starting to think that most women never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.
Thankfully, the next day we see a counterpoint from Sarah Stokely. Disappointingly, she admits that it is tremendously difficult to keep women in tech for various reasons. In many cases, I can summarize the idea as technology tends to be a “good old boys” network. If you have ever worked at a tech company or a software development organization, you would understand why women may not want to work there. Sarah does offer a piece of advice:
if we really want to change the under representation of women in tech, and make sure we attract the finest minds we can, someone needs to budge and admit ‘we need to change things around’. Pointing fingers at each other while saying “I don’t need to do anything differently” is going to achieve exactly zip.
In addition to this, I think women need more role models in technology that are women. If girls cannot look up to a woman who has been successful in a male-dominated field, they will likely not pursue it. With this in mind, I decided to come up with a list of women bloggers and technologists that we should all be listening to. I apologize in advance to any women that I missed and should be included.
- Kathy Sierra – Mostly known for her Heads First series of books, but generally a programming geek. Disappointingly, she no longer blogs, but does give us 140-character goodness on Twitter.
- Valeria Maltoni – Not entirely a technical person, but she gives you an excellent look at how the business looks at things like social media.
- Sarah Perez – Currently blogging full time, but she used to be a system administrator. You can find her on Read Write Web and Microsoft’s Channel 10.
- Leah Culver – Programming geek on various startups like Pownce and now with Six Apart.
- Corvida – Blogger, web designer, general technologist and social media maven. She blogs at SheGeeks, but you are probably more likely to find her at the current hot conference.
- Tamar Weinberg – She seems to write for everyone at some point, but her home blog is Techipedia. She is also the author of The New Community Rules and a social media consultant.
- Marissa Mayer – Obviously she needs very little introduction, but she actually is a software engineer and received her MS in Computer Science from Stanford.
- Charlene Li – Formerly an analyst at Forrester and co-author of Groundswell. Most likely everyone is already listening to her. She started her own consulting company called the Altimeter Group.
- Kara Swisher – More of a journalist than technologist, but she has been covering technology forever. She is included more for her take-no-prisoners style and the fact that she is not afraid of a fight.
Admittedly, there are probably several other bloggers and technologists that I should include, but this list should get us all moving in the right direction.