My mother always knew that the most effective way to get me to do something was not to force me. Commands like, "Clean your room," were never spoken. Instead, she made a challenge or a game out of any timeless chore. I had forgotten all about this indirect tactic until I participated in the recent NCWIT Practices Workshop in Redmond, Washington. Two things occurred to me as I listened to panelists and speakers throughout the day:
Thomas Friedman had an interesting piece in last week's NY Times about "Generation Q" – the generation of young people today whom he calls The Quiet Americans – and why they both impress and baffle him. Friedman explains that this is a generation imbued with an improbable sense of optimism and idealism, and yet it doesn't seem compelled by a commensurate level of activism.
I spent Tuesday and Wednesday last week at EmTech '07 -- the Emerging Technologies Conference at MIT -- a conference produced by Technology Review. The conference included an extraordinary number of interesting women, including the CTO of Xerox, and I was pleased to be a presenter at the event.
I am an experimental multimedia artist, student, and teacher living in Denver, CO. My latest artistic pursuits are a combination of various mediums including still image, video, sound, sculpture, light, and performance. Most recently I have been collaborating with another female artist, Heidi Higginbottom, to choreograph audio/visual performances using found objects, homemade instruments, contact microphones, and film loops.
Last week Ben Worthen, who writes the Wall Street Journal's Business Technology blog, posted a provocatively titled piece called, "Do Women Hate IT?" NCWIT provided some statistics and a few quotes for his post, which he ended with the question, "Why do you think women aren't pursuing IT careers?"
Earlier this month my husband and I packed up ourselves and our sons and headed off to Texas: first to Dallas, and then a long drive over to east Texas, where my folks live. We know what is in store for us -- aside from seeing family, eating, playing cards, and shooting off fireworks -- when we arrive: tech support.