was just thinking back on my conference experiences. I helped on the
first VBITS conference (now it's the VSLive conference). At that one,
about 10 years ago, there were 428 attendees. Only two women. One was
Deborah Kurata. We hired her to speak (at least in part because of my
urging). She went on to be one of our most popular speakers.
One thing, though. Deborah helped her cause out. She was active.
Very active in the community. Showed up to the local VB user group (and
eventually led a bunch of talks there too — all for free).
She also wrote a book and many magazine articles. Now she runs her own consulting business.
Again, how do you join (or beat?) the good old boys network? Join it!!! It's hard work, but Deborah shows it can be done.
Another example? Molly Holtzschlag.
She ran her own web development conference for CMP. She wrote dozens of
magazine articles. She writes big thick books on XHTML. And she is ever
present at community meetings and conferences. She shows up. She works
hard. She gets noticed. She beats the boys at their own game. She's
told me about sexism she's faced in the past. What does she do with
that? Works even harder.
She's my hero.
Another one? Dori Smith.
she's invisible, but she's not. She's the one who told me to blog. A
decision that made my life very rich. I'm permanently in her debt. Just
goes to show you that if a woman tells you to do something you better
listen to her (that belief helps me in my marriage quite a bit too).
Three women who are at the tops of their games in tech.
They inspire me. Hope they inspire you. [Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger]