Pace Student Julie Gauthier attended last month’s Women in Technology event and was kind enough to write about it for our blog. Read about her experience at the event and meeting all the wonderful female technologists:
What makes hosting events focusing on women in technology a challenge, is that there are so few women in computer science, the audience for the panel is typically as large as the panel of accomplished women. The Women in Technology event held by Pace University’s Career Services and the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems last month was not one of those events! The panel of brilliant tech-ladies drew in a large crowd of not only women in computer science, but also gentlemen and other ladies from outside of the strictly computer science focused Seidenberg community. The panel included Maria Naggaga, Liz Young (my fabulous graphic design professor), Vanessa Hurst, and Izzy Johnston. These remarkable women came from different backgrounds in the technology, and each had their niche. Vanessa worked with databases, Izzy was an extremely motivated, multi-talented developer, Maria is a technology evangelist for Microsoft, and Liz owns her own web development and marketing strategy company, as well as teaches at Pace. Instead of focusing on bringing more women into the technology industry, these ladies focused on why going into the technology industry is amazing!
The technology industry has infiltrated every other field. Technologists are able to work in whatever field interests them at the time. With constant developments, jobs in technology are never stagnant. We’ll never stop learning! It was inspiring to hear these women talking about how excited they are about their jobs and what they do. I share that same passion.
Many of them also talked about the sense of community that they have within their development groups and in their respective universities. Maria talked about her mentor from her school in Canada, and how he pushed her to do well. I could relate to the sense of having a community and support within that community. I feel that way about the Seidenberg School. Often it is assumed that there is a lot of sexism in computer science communities, but that is very much untrue of the Seidenberg School. True, I’m the only girl in a few of my classes, but I’d never know it, and I don’t think any of my friends realize it either.
It is my firm belief that women should be able to pursue whatever career they choose. While this may not be programming or web development, that doesn’t mean that women should not be exposed to technology at an early age! Technology is revolutionizing every sphere of our lives and early exposure will be key to future success. I am a mentor for the Lego robotics team at the Chapin School on the Upper East Side. It’s my goal to demonstrate to the girls that programming is not that difficult. It doesn’t take a special type of brain, that supposedly only men have, to understand it. In fact, if they like making things and problem solving, they might like programming too!
This event was also a great opportunity to network; even if only with a few other women in technology. In fact, I’m off to meet up with Liz Young and hear about her company’s projects right now!
Pace University is dedicated to promoting women in technology and making sure that all our students have an opportunity to achieve greatness. Do you have a personal story of overcoming adversity in the workforce? Be sure to follow the Seidenberg School on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ to get the latest updates about what opportunities are available to students and upcoming eventsAll photo credits to Chidimma Chuke