Okay Alan! Your blog this morning has cracked me up, I’ve definitely had a good giggle from it. I have to say though, I’m surprised, amused and embarrassed all at the same time. Blonde- yes, Blogger- yes… not sure about the other parts!
I may disagree on the photo comment. First of all, it’s really bad. Secondly, I’ve emailed responses to several of my readers’ comments and (much to my surprise) found they didn’t realize I was ‘a girl’. Shocking right? When they saw ‘Jennifer’ in my email signature they figured it out. So, I don’t know that the photo has any impact on readership, but I could be wrong. However, if you do read my blog because I’m female and you like the photo- I’m okay with that- you’ll still learn something ;)
Note to self: I definitely have to do something about that horrible photo! I’ve been procrastinating for a while and searching for a photographer and stylist to get some new ‘real’ head shots taken. I hate having my photo taken, so I’ll keep you posted on that.
Women in IT…
The timing of your post is amazing as well. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve received several emails from fellow women in IT who wanted to make a connection, swap stories and find a commerad-ess, or two, in the world. I’ve even received postcards and written notes from thoughtful ladies who found my information online. I guess I never realized what a struggle some women have in the ‘man’s world’ of IT. I’m starting to realize it more, as I meet new friends and hear their war stories of moving up and gaining respect in the industry.
I’ve been lucky- I grew up in the IT industry and somehow managed to circumvent a lot of the ‘gender issues’. When I was about 16, I developed and taught computer and Internet-related courseware, and had to teach it to adults (and yes, they’re actually worse than the 2nd graders!) Around that same time, I was sitting on a state agency board as a SME on web usage and development.
I was young and a female (and blonde), so I most certainly had to prove myself and establish a repertoire to gain the respect of my peers; mostly middle-aged and older men who had been in the industry longer than I’d been alive.
Knowing what you don’t know…
Getting thrown in early certainly taught me valuable lessons. I made sure I knew my stuff inside and out, and conversely, I made sure I was comfortable asking questions on topics I didn’t know about. Part of the respect comes from ‘knowing what you don’t know’ and being able to admit it. I think I’m pretty good at that and it’s carried me far. :) Plus, I had two great role models to learn from.
However it happened- through some combination of luck and hard work- I’m happy to be where I am. Our customers, partners and colleagues look to me for answers and insight. I know they trust me and and that’s an amazing feeling. It’s also what drives me to be the best at what I do, and to keep learning, studying and working at it.
They’ve given me their trust, and I try really hard to give them something back that’s equally as important.
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