I have attended quite a few of the women in technology sessions across the last few years at various SQL Server events. I think the effort to promote technology careers to women and support them in the challenges they face is a worthwhile effort. I hope the groups continue and I look forward to more local chapters forming, like the Denver WIT group that is starting this year.
However not everyone agrees. I heard from someone not to long ago that thought these groups were divisive and might end up fragmenting the community. This person asked me if I thought WIT was a good idea, then should we also have a black men in technology group?
I was asked if I thought there should be a Hispanics in technology as well?
I do think that any minority group that feels they want to support others in their group should consider setting up an organization to help their members. Different groups of people face different challenges in being part of a minority. Finding support from others in similar situations can help you overcome the obstacles that are in your way. It can help you realize the possibilities and opportunities that exist. Lots of groups do this, why not technology? The WIT and other minority organizations I’ve seen aren’t advocating against white males or any other majority. They’re just trying to help their own members have better careers.
If we can encourage others to consider technology careers, become better professionals, and support people as they go through their lives, I think that’s something worth doing.
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How about MIT? Minorities in Technology… that could be a blanket group that covers multiple classes of professionals that feel they need a voice to help them in their careers.
Not a bad idea, though I do think that women have different issues than most other minorities. There’s also the idea of support and bonding, which sometimes needs a smaller group than a larger one.