Women In Technology: Not Anomalies, Token Hires Or Tomboys


By Kaliya Hamlin (Founder, She’s Geeky)

From the beginning of human civilization women have been engaged in understanding the science of the natural world. Ada Lovelace was the first programmer ever and women programmed the first vacuum tube computer the ENIAC. The stories of their pioneering and innovation in geeky fields like engineering, chemistry, physics and mathematicians are amazing.

Are there enough? Definitely not. We need to encourage girls and young women to pursue their passion for STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). We need to support women working day to day in these fields feeling comfortable enough in a room full of men working on a project. Woman can’t do this alone. We need the support and comradeship of other women.

That’s why we created She’s Geeky: to connect women in tech. We want women from all geeky fields and persuasions to meet each other face to face and find support, inspiration and new skills. The unconference method is so effective because women can discuss whatever is on their plate at that exact moment and the conversations can evolve over the three days.

One of the comments we hear from attendees is that the format allowed them to really delve into topics they find fascinating – from learning new programming languages to discussing relationships to finding a solution to an engineering problem.

One attendee from last year said “I had no idea I would be coding today!”

We want all women in the STEM fields to find their allies, get support and be inspired enough to continue to work on amazing projects. It’s not just important for the diversity of a specific company, but it’s important for the world in general.

I personally work in the field of digital identity online. I know that my perspective as a women brings up different angles on the issues involved in developing the technologies, ones that the men in my field often don’t consider. I feel strongly that the more women who come to work in technology the more the technology will reflect the needs and interests of our half of the population.

ALL women are invited to She’s Geeky – we want to bring women from all walks of life together to shared their geekiness – from Biotech Engineers to Gamers, from Social Media Mavens to Coders – all the women interested in technology are welcome.

Please use the discount code “women2.0” to get a 15% discount on registration!

All three days will be run the same, beginning with group/interactive agenda setting in the morning. Feel free to choose which day(s) you’ll come based on your schedule. Choose how many days you attend based on how much community exposure and opportunity you want and need. Each day will have new things to offer!

You can bring your daughters! We even created a special ticket price for them.  Girls as young as 9 years old have attended She’s Geeky with their mothers, aunts, sisters and/or mentors. We hope you will join us and bring your geeky ideas, projects, skills, problems and dreams to She’s Geeky!

Editor’s note: Got a question or answer for our guest blogger? Leave a message in the comments below.

About the guest blogger: Kaliya Hamlin is Founder of She’s Geeky. She is well known by her professional handle “Identity Woman” for her work on user-centric digital identity, founding She’s Geeky in 2007. In 2010, she founded the Personal Data Ecosystem Consortium of companies working to help people collect, manage and get value from the data they generate as they live their lives. Follow her on Twitter at @identitywoman.

  • Liz K

    Ouch, no “Tomboys”?

    Women in Technology: not anomalies, token hires or…tomboys? What is wrong with being a tomboy? This title comes off as transphobic and homophobic, and absolutely suggests that you are only reaching out to specific types of women. This divisive title saddens me.

  • Fatemeh

    I’m so glad you wrote this post, Kaliya. I was just listening to a segment on “All Things Considered” today which suggests that women entrepreneurs should start business to “solve their daily challenges,” which seem to amount to parenting and time management.

    My head nearly exploded before I managed to post an angry rebuttal!

  • http://www.theathenanetwork.com Zsa Zsa

    Love, love the concept of She’s Geeky! I totally support women in tech, and this year, I’d love to see/hear/learn more about women in tech who are making waves!

  • Sal

    What no one wants to talk about:
    1. Top tech companies refuse to release data on the gender and minority mix of their employees. Other companies have to – tech companies get a pass from the federal government.

    2. The way interviews are conducted for tech jobs, especially beyond entry level, just reinforces bias. If you have peer interviews, and that “peer” doesn’t want to work with a woman, then he’ll just say anything about your interview and you’re not hired. No one checks up on him. Of course, if the team is biased, they will not allow a hire of someone outside the circle. And again, no one checks up on the peer interviews. And data of gender mix is considered a business secret…only for tech companies..General Mills has to publish that data.

    So, I call BS on all the efforts that merely say to get girls involved. We need to get the women employed beyond entry level and hired in the cool jobs.