I've heard the commentary that's out there.
By singling women out, it makes us more divisive.
Aren't we further exacerbating the issue by continuing to talk about it?
So, just because you're a woman, you think you deserve to get special treatment...not all women are qualified.
Let's take an example. If a local TUG asked me to present on server, I would say no...not because I'm skerred, but because I don't have that knowledge, my domain knowledge is more centered around engagement, Tableau public, color, etc. So maybe they ask Jen Vaughan, but she's not available. This doesn't mean that the TUG/meetup doesn't support women or that a woman has to present every single time. Support should be consistent, but let's recognize that this is real life and that can't always happen. Conversely, having a woman speak once or twice might signal opportunity for greater support.
Additionally, one of the things we don't see is mentoring. And I think this is a great opportunity for me to talk about how important I think men are to this initiative. When men (and women) recognize potential in another person, we should do something about it. Support and encourage them (tying back to the development prong of leadership)! Jonathan Drummey is a really great example of this. He would sit with me on a conference call at o' dark thirty to go over my questions about Tableau. Jonathan isn't the only guy out there that does this. I've heard of others too (Paul Banoub and Joe Mako for example).
Personally, here lately, I've been on a 'Women of the World, Demonstrate your skills' kick. So when I mentioned earlier that D+W is a good way to learn about yourself. I started to reflect. I feel hypocritical if I'm asking for other people to do this, but I'm not doing it myself. So, I have some big, scary goals, and one of them relates to Tableau and trying to do more talks. Scary stuff, but the thing is...while I'm not a Tableau technical guru, I have knowledge to pass on after using the tool on and off since 2009 (and more so since 2013). It makes me cringe, but I'm gonna go for it.
Another concept we can learn from d+w meetups/discussion? When hiring officials/managers (maybe some of the folks in the room), realize that we might have a unconscious bias on how we hire or rate women vs. men employees. Once we recognize that, then we can take actions to address that. My hope? That once addressed, we start decreasing the 23% pay gap (that's a national number). And if I apply that to me, what does that mean? My family gets a 23% raise and I can spend a little more, save a little more, and do some things that increase our family's quality of life (my point? it's not just me getting a pay raise...my family is impacted as well).
- Better quality vizzes in the public and private space,
- Another step towards equality, and our
- Being good role models for our future generation.