I attended or took part in a couple of WIT events at #OOW17 and here is what I learnt.
My schedule was, as always manic, so I was up first in these lightening talks by women in the dev community, which is sad because I would loved to have heard everyone's stories.
I talked about how I got into IT, which I have shared on this blog before. When I started, IT had just become mainstream, there was no education program to produce the developers of tomorrow, and there was certainly no bias.
But again, I don't think there is a bias today, we just aren't encouraging enough women to look at technology as a career. Or are we? This was just 24 hours after #JavaOne4Kids and there was certainly no lack of girls taking part in that, so I am encouraged.
Then on Monday it was Inclusive Leadership
This was hosted by OWL as part of the Executive Program at #OOW17, and again I was honoured to be invited to attend. This was sponsored by TATA and Ritu Anand who gave their insight on inclusivity.
Next Christy Haubegger talked about why she created Latina Magazine, when she realised there were no magazines for Latin American women, despite them being greater in number than most groups in the US. She more recently produced 'Spanglish'.
Simon Fanshawe OBE who was a co founder of Stonewall, was just so funny to listen to. He had a really serious message about diversity and inclusion and I could have listened to him all day. It is no wonder we as a society have moved so far forward with someone like him who so eloquently and yet entertaining speaks out.
Then Debbie Sterling who created Goldieblox, engineering toys for girls. I loved her enthusiasm and hopefully the little girls of today, will grow up believing engineering is for them if they want it.
There was also Safra Katz talking about her world in Oracle and she talked about the Design Tech High School built on the Oracle Campus which I had seen a few days before. This is great work.
There was a women of the ACE Program set of talks but unfortunately I was unable to take part but know that it too showcased and encouraged women in IT.
On my way home from #OOW17 I watched Hidden Figures and I found myself in tears (not sure what my fellow passenger thought). This was such an inspirational program. The hard thing to take was the level of discrimination, but to me the most important thing was that they were, in the end they were successful because of their outstanding ability and not because of some quota.
Perhaps this will be controversial, but it won't be the first time I have said it. My interest in WIT is not about complaining but about encouraging. At #OOW17 there was lots of encouraging and I want to change the definition of #WIT
Tim Hall and I have been talking about this and we are looking at how we can promote this more in our communities.
Let's make #WIT about encouraging everyone, and the inclusion of everyone.
Return to main #OOW17 Summary