Wednesday, 22 August 2007

London Girl Geek Dinner videos: 16 August 2007 2nd anniversary - women in technology

UPDATE: seems to be down so I've removed the embed code for now to stop my blog loading so slowly (or not at all!).
FURTHER UPDATE: well it's back up now so the code is back!

The second anniversary of the London Girl Geek Dinners (blog) took place on 16 August 2007, organised by the inimitable Sarah Blow, and kindly hosted by Skype (Paul Amery and Antoine Bertout).

The focus of the panel discussion was on "Women, technology, breaking down the barriers".

I'm not going to say much about it (except pizza pizza pizza, cake, cake, cake!) because it's already been well blogged by:

(have I missed anyone?).

Maz has also linked to some Flickr pics of the London Girl Geek Dinner.

I'd just add that the comments I heard after the event were very mixed, from "Yeah too right!" and "Very interesting", to "We've heard it all before, when is there going to be less talk and more action about getting more women into IT?"

Also, there's one more point I'd like to add. There was lots of talk about how to get girls interested in technology at a young age. But one area which didn't get discussed at all was, what about getting "mature" women into technology, given the increasingly aging population and the growing trend, indeed encouragement, for people to have second or even third careers?

I'm still in my first career, doing something completely different, but I'd love to be able to work in technology. My sense is that IT is a pretty ageist industry, and while a 14-year old coding hotshot will be inundated with offers, what technology company is going to look at an oldie amateur who's not got a technology or science or maths degree, and who hasn't even put in any time in the IT business? Even if I gave up a decent salary to go off and be a poor student doing a CS degree, what would be the point? I'd be even older and less employable by the time I'd finished it... I'm certainly one of the few women there who could honestly, truly say "I'm not a real geek"!

The videos

I managed to video the proceedings, or some of them - unfortunately I didn't think the discussion would be quite so lengthy and hadn't topped up the charge, so my camcorder battery ran out partway through the audience discussion. Despite the camcorder being not too heavy my muscle power also ran out, in case anyone is tempted to suggest that the tremors are alcohol-induced! If I'd known it was going to take so long I'd have brought a tripod. Next time perhaps... Meanwhile, you may need seasickness remedies on occasion, don't say you've not been warned.

UPDATE: the videos are all on A Consuming Experience page, if that's more convenient.

Here's the intro (10:46):

( direct page, better quality)

And some words about Skype now and next, by Paul and Antoine, for developers - with their views on women in technology at the end (9:27):

( direct page, better quality )

And finally the full panel discussion, plus part of the audience debate (41:41, no that's not a typo, it was over 40 minutes long!):

( direct page, better quality)

I've also added the Show Creator app to Facebook so all my videos can be played in a row from my Facebook profile, yes even the BBC iPlayer hoohah ones.

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