Do you know one? Are you one?
I am a geek. And proud of it. So today, when I was attending an event to celebrate Women in Computing, I was surprised to hear the question ‘should we embrace the label or try to remove it’?
Of course, there is no right answer. These are my thoughts – that I shared with the 220 young women attending:
I love being a geek. When I am called a geek, I feel happy. And when I am called a geek by another visible geek, I am honoured. This does not mean everyone who says it means it as a compliment. But being called a geek is no different than any other label a person puts on me. If they say it rudely and meaning to offend – “hey, you are a geek” said with venom or disgust, I simply reply ” thank you”. Because hey, what they say does not change who I am.
Another message I shared with the group was things to keep in mind while job searching:
– be qualified
– be active in your search
– be professional
– be positive
The conference, Ontario Celebration of Women in Computing (ONCWIC) hosted by the University of Waterloo for 2013 was a success. A shout out to Kate Larson of the University of Waterloo and Wendy Powley, Queen’s University for their tremendous leadership and their passion for the geeks.
I was touched by all the participants, the speakers, and the questions asked. I feel privileged to have been asked to speak at this event. Being in a room full of technical geeks is fun, and having that room full of women is AWESOME.
I met so many talented and positive women. I know they are ready to change the world.
I also have to thank my team members Sharon, Bharathy, and Mariangela who gave up their Saturday to attend and support me when I spoke.