Where are all the women in technology?

As a woman in technology in Canada I ask myself “Where are all the women in technology”? On a regular occasion, I am often the only woman in a room full of men.  I always make special time to speak to all women in technology that I meet at an event or when I host an event across Canada.

When I started my career in 1987 it was unusual to be a women in technology, and since then, there is still a huge gap in the number of women in IT.  This is a fact well documented by our government and by industry itself when we naval-gaze long enough.

 Why am I the only woman in the room?

I hear this a lot from my peer group, and we all ponder this same question.   As I visit executives and leaders in technology across Canada it never comes up in conversation unless I raise it. Gender is never an issue, but usually, the ratio is often 20:1. It is so common in fact; that my male colleagues have said that it is my personal tenacity that has kept me in the game for so long.

I have had a few wonderful colleagues and mentors in my career, and I believe in mentoring and supporting people as a whole!  But as the Chapter Chair for Calgary for Women in Technology I support women and the CANWIT association who are focused on their careers in technology.

Fact:  Women officially drop out of technology after 10 years, and never return.  You have to ask why?  We all know that it is not due to a lack of jobs available. We have to begin to attract women into the profession and encourage them to stay in the profession, the few of us that remain.

I want to give back.

Here are a few thoughts on being a mentor;

1)  You suddenly get a different perspective of your own career and the decisions you have made,

2)  Sharing is a natural human instinct, and mentoring fulfills a deep desire in most people to give back to the community,

3)  Having a mentoring relationship is not one-sided, and a life-long relationship is often built because of the sharing experience!

So how does this tie back to the Canadian Women in Technology Calgary Chapter?Canadian Women in Technology CanWIT Calgary Chapter Meeting

Our event in December is focused on professional mentoring and we have planned a fun-filled evening complete with presents and holiday cheer!  The ongoing need for strong mentors for women in technology has never been more important (male and female welcome!) Mentoring is a major focus of CanWIT (the national organization) and of particular interest to many members on the Board for the Calgary Chapter.

Join the Calgary Chapter of CanWIT on Wednesday December 4th for a fun event and perhaps the start of a lifelong connection.
Register here: 
http://canwitcalgarydec4.eventbrite.ca/

Thanks to the three mentors in my career that gave me the support that I needed along the way, Judy Shaw from IBM Education, Larry DeBoever from METAGroup and Paul Sullivan from Noteable! Thanks for all your support in my lifetime, and my career, your friendship and advice have been invaluable to me along my professional journey.

Michele Taylor

Calgary Chapter Chair

CANADIAN WOMEN IN TECHNOLOGY

www.canwit.ca

Follow CANWIT @CanWITYYC on TWITTER

About Michele Taylor

Michele Taylor is the founder of IQ Management Corporation (IQM) (IQD). Read her full bio under Leadership.

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