I recently attended the Women High Performance Computing (HPC) event held by the British Computing Society (BCS) in London. It was an interesting afternoon full of inspiring women and good food. I must say I attended this meeting a little bit apprehensive and unsure, as I felt that my computer skills did not match up to the experts I was about to meet, boy was I wrong. Continue to read and just like me you will realise that in our own field of work we are experts indeed.
The event started off a little bit late, but that was due to late attendance by delegates. We were given an overview of the two different groups (HPC and BCS) and how working together made this event possible. The guest speakers introduced themselves, and gave us an insight on how they got involved with computing. Most of the women did not have computing as a degree, some majored in History and English. I can even say for myself that my degree was is in Nursing and computing was far from my mind. I know find myself being involved in designing a software program to store biological samples for the future and also a system to integrate research with health care practice.
Thanks to the many social media we used now a days like Facebook and twitter women just as much as men, now use laptops, tablets and smartphones confidently, without even batting an eyelash of how different it was say 20 years ago. However, one of the things that intrigued me is that technology on a whole is still looked upon as a “mans only” club? I had heard the argument being said so many times before, and continue to hear it even today. The argument is that we do our women a disservice if we don’t give them the opportunity to develop themselves within this field. I write this blog truly believing that all women should be encouraged to develop computing skills to take us through to the next generation.
If we fail as a society to encourage more women to get involved in computing, we are not only limiting their possibilities for a rewarding computer career but also their freedom to choose.