When I was in university I couldn’t possibly have imagined the career I have today. I’d never heard of the Web, had no idea how to operate a computer, and certainly had no idea that it might be possible to build a career in Internet strategy and development. Computers weren’t part of my education and no-one suggested they should be.
Instead, like many women of my generation, I was encouraged to pursue a traditional and better-understood career path. My girlfriends and I went to school imagining we’d become teachers, lawyers, engineers, or scientists. And some of us did. But thousands of us have instead jumped headfirst into technology careers and are now Web designers, Internet Strategists, Programmers, Video Game Developers, and Network Administrators.
The women who have found themselves, as I have, immersed in the uncharted waters of technology are ambitious, hard-working, and out to change the world. They’re surviving life at dotcoms, launching their own start-ups, and navigating today’s technology corporations. Often working without a precedent, these women have staff photos that look more like frat photos or sometimes have no staff at all. And they’re all taking advantage of the opportunities created in an industry that cites a lack of knowledge workers as its greatest obstacle to growth.
Today the Information Technology sector is growing faster than any other industry. Talented people are in high demand and salaries are high, as a visit to the Career Opportunities section of any technology company’s Web site will undoubtedly demonstrate. For many of us, though, the careers we see listed on Web sites are ones we don’t understand.
In this section of Technology with Curves we’ll share stories from women who are out there exploring these workplaces of the future. Their stories of work in the hi-tech sector will shed light on the laundry list of job opportunities you see listed at technology company sites. They remind us that here, like everywhere, the most important skills you can bring to the table include project management, communication, and the ability to work in a fast-paced, team-oriented environment.
The women you’ll read about here should, if they don’t already, have their own speaking tours. Hearing them talk about starting companies, raising capital, funding companies, writing code and leading teams is what inspired Technology with Curves. These women, who have all at times felt isolated by technology, have now embraced it. More importantly, their careers have benefited from technology and technology has benefited from them.
Looking forward it seems once again impossible to imagine what the job descriptions of the future will be. New technologies will be invented, each one creating career paths for us to explore and presenting unique opportunities for women to play a central role in the industries these groundbreaking women already call home.