The Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner has reached a true rockstar status in the community of women in the technology field. When the registration opened for the dinner it was instantly jammed like popular concert tickets. There were 250 geek girls registered for the event and 1200 on the waitlist. That goes to show the demand for organizations such as this to provide networking opportunities for females in the technology industry. GGD was excited to be back Google because their first dinner was sponsored by Google in 2008.
In getting to the event, I offered carpool on GGD‘s Google shared document. This made it efficient to coordinate and eco-friendly too. I drove with 2 young girl geeks, freshmen from UC Berkeley. They were Computer Science and Electrical Engineering majors helping on a research project. They are finding results of their study show that anyone of any gender has the ability and capacity to learn computer science. They say other studies have proven the same thing. This was great to hear because it all comes down to personal interest and motivation to actually learn that subject. So I guess there is hope I will slinging some code one day huh?
The speakers were inspirational female Googlers. There are a good representation of an ethnic diversity as well as years of experience. Each spoke of their journey and why they enjoy what they do. Each gave some personal and career advice to the girl geeks who were all eager to hear and meet these women in the industry. Here were some morsels I took away:
- Practice persistence and never give up
- There’s no such thing as a Glass Ceiling – there’s always answers to any problem
- User experience is very important – always pay attention to how a user experiences your website
- Think about the size the company you want to work for and the contribution you want to make
- It’s very important to continue to network, especially with women in this industry
- Find space where it’s not crowded. It might not be the sexiest but there’s a niche
- Women’s important because that adds value and insight to what’s a very dry technology product
- Always keep your portfolio up to date. For programmers, remember to take screenshots of your progress
- Admit this is hard, it’s hard to be a woman in the industry.
- Ask for help – people want to help
Angie & Sukrutha you are doing a great job reaching out to the geek girls in the community and providing us with an opportunity to network, learn, grow and form genuine friendships. You are definitely helping to create more of a gender balance in the tech world as well as empowering women to enter an industry dominated by men. Thanks and keep up the great work! For more info on the event click here.