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Tech Ed: Women in It

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Microsoft Tech Ed IT Forum attendee

Of the roughly 2,500 IT professionals who attended the Microsoft Tech Ed IT Forum this year, only about 200 were women.

Credit: Computerworld

Microsoft developer Catherine Eibner recently hosted a Women in IT workshop at the annual Microsoft Tech Ed IT Forum in Queensland, Australia. It was the first all-women workshop that Tech Ed offered and was primarily concerned with promoting more strong female leaders in the IT sector. Its topic was particularly relevant considering the number of female attendants of the Tech Ed Forum — a mere 200 out of more than 2,500 IT professionals.

"I'd like to see more support from the guys at the top — it's not all about them, it's about us too," says Tech Ed delegate Jennifer Chan. A much-discussed topic at the workshop was ways to contribute to a male-dominated industry. Successful female IT professionals had several suggestions for being heard, including preparing well in advance of meetings, anticipating how male co-workers may interpret their remarks, and projecting an air of confidence. "You have to prove that you're worth listening to," says IT leader Helen Benge.

Many women see positive steps being taken in the IT industry; the number of female of attendants at Tech Ed has increased by 50 percent from the previous year, and some female professionals have said that they feel free to find their own solutions rather than conform their work methods to the status quo.

From Computerworld Australia
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Abstracts Copyright © 2009 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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