I was recently interviewed about being a woman in the technology sector, namely challenges I faced getting to where I am and continue to face. This isn’t the first time I’ve had the question; people are fascinated that I’m the director of IT for an advertising and technology company. It wasn’t an easy road, but it wasn’t as hard as people think. I studied hard, worked harder, and continued to move up in positions throughout my career because I proved myself.
My biggest disappointment with the technology sector these days is that there aren’t enough of us in it. By us, I mean women. Many times over the years I was the only female at the table in a room with 10 or more men. It took a while to learn I was there because I earned it and my contributions are important. I was intimidated at first, painfully quiet during discussions. The more meetings I went to, however, the more I realized some things were missing from the conversation and that was my cue.
These days I’m more than comfortable being the only woman at the table, leaning in, learning, and sharing my knowledge. I am grateful I have been in more than one position to pay it forward and hire equally qualified and smart women in the field. The one question I always get asked is what advice would I give girls considering technology as a career. My answer is, “Don’t give up. Stick with it, even when you are singled out or made to feel inferior. It is a predominantly male field, but it won’t always be like that with our brains and determination. Girls, the time is now to start taking over the tech industry!”
This week has been positively amazing. The energy, creativity, and ambition of the people I’ve been around has left me completely in awe of them and – my favorite word to wear out – INSPIRED. I realize that I use that word a lot, for a multitude of things, but it’s the perfect word to describe those events, people, organizations, music, that get me so pumped up..about Birmingham (Emily from Magic City Post – who was also a panelist at last night’s SJW event), writing (Javacia from See Jane Write), fitness (Daniel and Tanya), volunteering (Scott), fashion (Jennifer) and a million other kindred spirits in this city. Let’s recap the week for those of you playing at home:
- Started volunteering with a theatre that I adore – Theatre Downtown
- The WOD (workout of the day) from hell at Iron Tribe Fitness. My legs were shredded for 3 days, but I did those 150 squats!
- Goal Setting Workshop at ITF – can be applied to ANY goal(s) and it was life-changing. I can’t wait to share the notes with you in separate blog post.
- Lost 1/2 pound. I’ll take it!
- My first Paint the Town Red meeting (PTTR) – it’s a digital arts festival benefiting the Jefferson Shelby Chapter of the American Red Cross. The art and events in the works for this year’s event are going to blow you away!
- See Jane Write event – “Blogging and the Future of Community Journalism” One word – AMAZING!
- Interview of PTTR folks for a Magic City Post article I’m working on
- Tonight we are going to a loft warming party
- Tomorrow (Saturday) is my fiance’s birthday! I will let him have “game time” with our new XBox while I rearrange my bedroom to create a very private, very “me” writing nook. It will be full of inspiration, perspiration, and hopefully good words. I’ll be sure to post pics when done. I am uber excited about this change of scenery and the timing works out well because he loves to game. 🙂
- Tomorrow evening we are going to have dinner with friends to celebrate his birthday and then off for drinks and shuffleboard. (Do you know where we’re going?)
- Sunday I am going to the Southern Bridal Show with a fellow bride-to-be (Jennifer mentioned above) and then off to a music jam at Das Haus.
This week and weekend couldn’t get any better. I will be sure to fill you in on all the details of the weekend. Be sure to wish @socialmediabham a very “Happy Birthday” tomorrow if you know him. Tip: If you don’t know him already, meet him. He’s amazing. Also, don’t forget the next Birmingham Dance Walk is coming up on Feb 2nd – you can get details and RSVP here. Can’t wait to dance down 2nd Avenue with all you lovely people! And lastly, be sure to tell your friends and family you love them. Today is an especially amazing day…don’t let it go by without telling them you care!
Find peace inside.
I had a wonderful, very girl-fueled day yesterday that filled me with such love, inspiration, and awesomeness. Whoa, I didn’t think ‘awesomeness’ was really a word, but just looked it up and yes, WE HAVE A WINNER, FOLKS! Look at me getting all wordy and creative in my blog. 😉
Yesterday was a great day at work divided by a delicious lunch at one of my favorite local spots – Nabeel’s Cafe & Market. They have the best Greek food this side of Greece. I was fortunate enough to enjoy it with some of my favorite lady friends: Cynthia, Amber, Jessica, Rachel, and her two gorgeous children. We got to know each other a little better, shared some female FAQs, and decided to take the rest of the day off to go shopping. That didn’t happen, but we had fun fantasizing for a few moments. I couldn’t have asked for a better bunch of ladies to dine with and you should check out their blogs, tweets, and words of wisdom. And if you need your butt looked at, be sure to give Rachel a call. Tell her I sent you. 😉
After work it was off to my first See Jane Write event. If you aren’t familiar with this group, you are doing yourself a disservice. It’s a wonderfully diverse group of very talented women in Birmingham who share stories, help, meals, and a serious love for writing..all started by the lovely Javacia Harris Bowser. You can check it out at seejanewritebham.com. Last night’s event was a ghostwriting/co-writing/freelancing seminar led by Nancy Dorman-Hickson. Ms. Dickson helped author the book about the real-life socialite behind the movie Charlie Wilson’s War. She gave us great tips on how to be a better author, market ourselves, as well as expertise on co-writing a book. The knowledge was endless, but my favorite thing was how down to earth she was. She spoke on a beginner’s level for those of us new to branching out and answered all of our questions with easy-to-understand guidelines. I’m thankful I was able to attend and take away a lot of action items that I am starting TODAY.
How is YOUR Wednesday going? That’s the real question here. A little while back, I attended a See Jane Write “meet and greet” of sorts. During our dinner, one Jane told us that she begins each day thinking about at least one thing she is thankful for and one thing she’s excited about. We all delved into that for a bit and it has really stuck with me. I need to put it into practice more, but tell me (in the Comments section) one thing you are thankful for and one thing you are excited about. I will be sending something special to a random winner drawn this weekend – just in time for VBS here in the South (Vacation Bible School a.k.a. Football Season).
I’m going to leave you with a wonderful thought that I borrowed from the Chopra Center: “I am loved, lovable and loving.”
Find peace inside.