Friday, August 04, 2006

Social Brew with Amber MacArthur

That's me and Amber at Social Brew last night. She was showing me her webcam on her brand spanking new 13" MacBook when she took this snapshot of the 2 of us gawking at her wares (the laptop, I mean). I was so enamoured by the Mac (yes, I'm still talking about the laptop) I almost missed out on mingling with the group that had gathered that night.

The event? Social Brew was holding a panel discussion called Women in IT: Challenges and Opportunities. I was on the panel along with 3 other women and Amber was the MC.

Of course, I chatted too much. Panels are miserable for me because I tend to dominate the conversation. I always have something to say (that's why I podcast, silly) and it gets to the point where the moderator has to ask me to hold my thoughts to let the others speak.

Thankfully, that didn't happen last night as we only had a short time to have Q&A. Mama would've been proud :)

Do women need these types of events? Heck ya. They're wonderful to have simply because women need to see who else in her gender is actually working in IT.

However, these types of sessions shouldn't become a bitch sessions. To my delight, most of the women who attended last night were in up beat moods, desiring to focus on solutions rather than problems.

There's always going to be problems for women who work in male dominated industries. We'll always face barriers. However, I'm not interested in lamenting about them at length. I just don't find value in that.

Amber made a great point by saying it doesn't just stop at these events. Women in IT should be exchanging cards and sending business to each other. That's where the empowerment begins.

Hear hear! And now I've got to pull out those business cards.

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