Where’s the IT women at?

This isn’t a post I thought I’d make, but it really came from my experience attending the “vCloud Director: Install, Configure, Manage” last week at Arrow ECS (more to follow on the course itself and what’s next, in a later post)

At the Arrow ECS training centre in the Royal Exchange, a stone’s throw from the Bank of England, there are many rooms for different courses. I saw a course for Websphere development and another for database management. All solid IT-related courses.

But not a single woman in any of them.

Now I’m not given to much of what is called postmodern feminism, but I am a believer in equal rights and equal opportunities for women especially in IT, because frankly I don’t see any physical or mental differences in women that would prevent them from being a full and useful member of any IT team nor of being an effective IT Manager (and I’ve known several very effective female IT managers).

And in Cloud Computing, where many disparate components are functioning together to produce a valuable service, and with a need for accuracy and concentration to resources and the needs of customers, women’s innate strengths in those areas would make them natural candidates.

So where are they? Has the IT industry changed so fast that women have been left behind? Are there barriers to entry in Cloud Computing or IT in general which filter them out? Or do a lot of women not consider entering such a career because it is seen to be the sole domain of (male) geeks? Is it the discontinuity caused by motherhood that leaves women far behind?

I asked the instructor on my course about this and he responded that in all the time he’d been there, he estimated that only 1% of the attendees were female. I think this might be representative of the general state of affairs and not specific to this particular provider.

I wonder if my own daughter would even consider a career in IT and cloud computing – she’d certainly have my full support if she did.

There are plenty women who work for VMware (and I seem to remember the first ever VCP was female) and in cloud computing related companies. I would be curious to know what they think.

I’d be intrigued if there was a “Women in Cloud Computing” group somewhere.


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