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15% discount code for She's Geeky on January 27-29th in Mountain View

From: Van R.
Sent on: Friday, January 20, 2012 6:22 PM
First, the pertinent details:

   She's Geeky
   January 27-29th, 2012
   Computer History Museum, Mountain View
   Note: This is a Women Only Event
   15% discount code: VanConnect

For the women members of the Silicon Valley Web JUG, I highly recommend you consider attending She's Geeky next weekend. For the men in the group, please consider sharing this with your female colleagues. For those of you that are wondering why have a women only event like this, here is an excellent explanation by the lead organizer of the event, Kaliya.

It is a space that is really good to gain confidence to speak and talk about their area of expertise.  It also helps them connect to other women - to network and find friendships and allies to increase the chance they have to stay in the industry for longer. 

What is the issue? In some open source communities as low as 2% of the population - and a "high" percentage of technical women is 25% in a company and many technology conferences have on average 10% women. Numbers are low and there are many reasons but she's geeky is working on making a space to connect women across disciplines and fields - to peer-to-peer learn and teach. 

The event is for women only not because I am or the women who work in this event are "gender segregationists" or "man hating feminists" it is because having "a" space that is women only means it is very very safe for women who might be shy and reserved in the regular default tech-world to step out and do and try new things and because of the opportunity to do that in this environment - they then step up and are braver to put themselves forward in the regular,  mixed environments. 

I first went to OSCON in 2004 and really loved it, it was the first year according to the women I ran to in the ladies room of the hotel it was hosted in at the time say that at least this year the women's bathroom on the main floor wasn't turned into a men's bathroom.  I have been to everyone since then except the last one and really love/enjoy tech culture. 

After working in tech for 3-4 years I really noticed and started to wonder why there wasn't that many women around. At the same time the women I did meet where in many different niches I was participating in - nonprofit tech, open source tech, Web 2.0, enterprise security, digital identity enterprise and user-centric, collaboration software, dialogue and deliberation tools.  Theres was also a lot of different groups focused on women in different technology niches or cultures like Women 2.0, Women Who Tech, Linux Chix, DevChix, WikiChix, Debian Women, WITI, Anita-Borg Institute, Digital Sista's, WebGrrls.  There wasn't a place to connect women across cultures and disciplines.  I knew how to put on good unconferneces and so decided to bring She's Geeky into the world as a neutral place where women could connect and share and really be both geeky and women all together and really learn from each other. 

It turns out the event changed women's lives they met more women in their particular niches and verticals. They learned new things and perhaps most importantly - many got up and shared in front of a group of strangers their expertise and "spoke" for the first time. Others also voiced entrepreneurial ideas often for the first time and got help and encouragement to actually peruse their ideas. 

It is with this spirit and intention that I share this with you and hope you will share it with your colleagues if you are not a woman.

I have known Kaliya for a long time. For the past three years, she has provided her awesome professional facilitation services at no cost to the West Coast Community Leadership Summit. I don't give personal recommendations for many events, but, I have no qualms recommending She's Geeky to anyone that will listen to me. Do the geeky women in your life a favor and encourage them to attend this event.

That's All Folks, Van

Michael "Van" Riper

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