Sunday, November 20, 2011
I usually blog about the makers of electronic things, but today I would like to celebrate the makers of yummy foods! The picture shows my sister presenting a Boston Cream Pie that she made for my twin brother and me when we celebrated our birthday a few years ago with another sister at her lovely home in Nashville, TN. (Yes, I had a relative who lived in Tennessee. She's a musician. She has since moved to a blue state (Vermont)).
I'm not much of a cook myself. If I had lived in New Testament times, I would have been a Mary, not a Martha. I would have sat at the wise one's feet and listened to every word while my sisters toiled in the kitchen with the loaves and the fishes, the hummus and the grape leaves and the olives and the pomegranates, preparing food for the holy one, his disciples, and possibly 5,000 unexpected guests. But I would have been glad to do the dishes, even though that might have involved many trips to the well, soap made of camel oil, and tripping over guests who got into the water (wine).
Bringing this back to our millennium, I am amazed at the ability of many cooks. They make complicated desserts like Boston Cream Pie and delicious family meals every day, despite our fast-paced, multitasked world. For many years I have been the beneficiary of loving cooks in my family, including sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews, and my husband, and I would like to say, THANK YOU. I love you! I'll do the dishes.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Being a weekend in Fall, when football is on many people's minds, I got to thinking about "byes". A bye, in sports and other competitive activities, is the practice of allowing a player or team to advance to the next level without playing. In my career (though rarely at my current company where diversity is valued as a business advantage), I've seen numerous men get jobs because of who they know, not what they know. They're given a bye. They are allowed to advance despite marginal skills, education, or experience simply because they are on the right team, the mostly male team. I call for an end to this practice, and I'm not alone!
Last week I joined approximately 3,000 people (mostly women) from 34 countries in Portland, OR for the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. It was a wonderful celebration with terrific speeches, panel discussions, and opportunities to hobnob with women of all ages. I was especially impressed by the college students and recent graduates. The young women I met are brilliant, poised, easy to talk to, and interesting. Their knowledge of hard-core computer science astounded me. Their college studies result in skills that are very much in demand: computer programming, software engineering, data mining, statistics, hardware design, bioinformatics, medical informatics, computer networking, etc.
Every major company was at this conference interviewing for new talent (Facebook, Google, Amazon, Adobe, Apple, Pixar, Cisco, Intuit, Symantec, State Farm, Bloomburg). Numerous universities were also interviewing for professors and for PhD students. These organizations aren't waiting for privileged men to waltz into a position after getting a bye. By the time men schmooze the old boys club, the jobs will be gone, taken by brilliant young women who earned their way into the interview. Good bye to the bye for men in technology. It's time for technology to be a meritocracy and for men and women to compete on equal footing. OK, back to your regularly scheduled program. (Go 49ers!)