Lindy Grady is one of our female leaders from Indianapolis. She attended VMworld in Las Vegas and participated in the annual Leader Lunch, a time where leaders get to recognize peers, spend time with VMware executives and talk about progressing VMUG.
Lindy took this opportunity to address the lack of women involved in VMUG. This discussion got me thinking. This is something we can all work on to improve; diversifying VMUG. If we put a bit of effort throughout the year to encourage our female co-workers to participate with us, I bet we could see a noticeable change at next year’s VMworld.
It starts at a local level. Ask your attendees to invite females to a meeting. Encourage females to get involved in the leader team. Incorporate diversity as a part of your succession planning. These things will add up and continue to build month over month and year over year.
I have been to conferences where they have a “Women in Technology” panel. While I appreciate women-in-tech focused programming, I’d like to see a move towards women participating at all levels, not because of their gender, but because they are part of this community. We have many female Rockstar VMUG members. Their resumes stand on their own.
As a father of two daughters, I am interested in introducing them to STEM programs. I want them exposed to technology at an early age. Ultimately it will be up to them to pursue or not, but early on is a fun time to get girls exposed to technology. We as VMUG members and leaders are part of the STEM community. It’s our responsibility to share our experience in technology with the younger generation. Speak at school events and talk to kids about your job and the exciting things you do at your work. Talk about the projects you are working on and how it helps your company and customers. I promise you will peak the interest or plant a seed that may grow into the next technology idea.
If you are interested in helping add to the women who participate in VMUG, please let me know. I’ll be happy to get you connected to others who can continue to bring diversity to VMUG. This is not something that is reserved for females. We all can play a part in making VMUG the best – and diverse as it can be.