This weekâ€™s first Cloud Foundry Foundation led Summit has delivered on all fronts but maybe none more so than at the Diversity Lunch & Program for Women. Many open source organizations such as the OpenStack Foundation and Apache have done a great job of nurturing and growing support for women in their organizations, so it was a welcome addition to see Cloud Foundry Foundation come right out of the gate with several sessions specifically targeted to support Women in this new and exciting open source community. If you werenâ€™t able to attend the luncheon yesterday here at the Summit, we missed you! Itâ€™s hard to capture the excitement in the room but I wanted to give you a small sampling of the program so that you could join us from afar and hopefully join us next time!
As the hosting sponsor, Abby Kearns of Pivotal kicked off the event with a heartfelt welcome before turning the stage over to the guest speaker, Robin Hauser Reynolds, the filmmaker behind the new documentary, â€śCODE: Debugging the Gender Gapâ€ť. Sharing data points, film clips and ultimately the movie trailer (available on the previous link), Robin presented the compelling case for the imperative of more women in technology. I think the opening sound bite of the trailer says it all, â€śThere will be 1.4 milion jobs by 2020 in the computing related fields. Less 29% of them are going to be filled by Americans and less than 3% of that 29% are going to be women.â€ś Clearly we have some work to do but the women attending this event are ready to roll up their sleeves and do their part to support the movement to increase the numbers of women in technology as was evidenced in the panel discussion. I donâ€™t know about you but I canâ€™t wait to see this film!
Following Robinâ€™s presentation we were treated to a panel discussion moderated by Abby Kearns of Pivotal and including some of the most influential and accomplished women in our Cloud Foundry ecosystem – IBMâ€™s own Rachel Reinitz, Malini Bhandaru (Intel), Sheryl Chamberlain (Capgemini), Cornelia Davis (Pivotal), Eileen Evans (HP) and of course Robin Hauser Reynolds. Our panelists had many poignant comments and sage advice to share and while I canâ€™t possibly capture the entirety of the panel, I did jot down some notes to share with you all:
â€˘ How can we turn women in technology into a movement? Make gender diversity a goal, designate hiring managers who embody the diversity you are trying to hire, create directed programs to drive women into leadership roles, be a sponsor of women seeking leadership roles
â€˘ Consider matching women in other companies (your clients for example) with women in your own company to mentor, support, nurture growth
â€˘ Develop women in leadership awards at key events to incent leadership growth
â€˘ Seek involvement with organizations that promote women in tech and leadership. For example Galvinizeâ€™s G-school where typically 50% are women
â€˘ Get involved in local meetups or even start a meetup targeted for growing womenâ€™s tech skills in a particular field
â€˘ And finally, a call to action to all in the room to get involved in all levels of education from elementary to universities to promote and support women in technology
These are just of a few of the comments, suggestions and calls to actions that were covered during the program by both panelists and audience. The excitement was palpable and all left the room nurtured by the talk and empowered to support the women in technology movement. As I said, if you werenâ€™t able to make the luncheon, we really did miss you and hope that you can make it to a future Cloud Foundry, OpenStack or any other women in tech event.
Before I close, here are a couple more resources I think you will find valuable if you are a women in tech. The first is a recent blog by my colleague Eli Cleary, â€śWomen in OPENTech: the Why, Where and How of Getting Startedâ€ť – great read whether you are already involved in open technology or just getting started.
And finally, if you are a woman in technology looking for a new opportunity, you need to check us out because IBM is hiring in a BIG way. Go to IBM’s new career portal to learn about current openings and apply today. Find out what IBM can help you make with your future.