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Heroes Of The Cloud – Part 7, Ladies Edition

Heroes Of The Cloud – Part 7, Ladies Edition

When we think of the stereotypical IT worker, for better or worse, a certain image comes to mind. Fairly or not, we tend to think of some one who takes up IT as a profession as a grown up computer geek, either a very skinny or slightly over weight guy, in either case the result of too many hours in front of the screen resulting in not enough physical activity. This has also resulted in a need for corrective lenses, if your image of the IT worker included tape on the frame of his glasses, we will not argue.

A Man’s WorldJJ-DiGeronimo

The point is, although he may not be seen as the most masculine fellow, he will be in most cases a fellow, a guy, one of the male persuasion. There is a glaring gender gap in the IT world. The Department of Labor predicts that there will nearly 1.4 million computing and IT jobs available by 2020, so there is certainly an opportunity for women to join and advance in the IT world.

Whether they will or not remains to be seen. Since 1991, when women made up 36% of the IT workforce, the numbers have been declining. In 2011, less than 20% of the PhD graduates in computer science, computer engineering, and information science were female. Things were slightly more acceptable at the masteral level, with 30% of the graduates in those disciplines being women, but at the bachelor level only 13% of degrees were handed out to women.

Two Women To Listen To

Many observers feel that Cloud Computing will could make a huge difference in closing the IT gender gap. JJ DiGeronimo, director of Global Cloud Solutions at VMware writes “Cloud computing presents an opportunity for women who are not as heavily focused on the architectural design, and how bits and bytes move through the organization.” DiGeronimo is a 20 year veteran of IT, often in entrepreneurial leadership positions. “We’ll still need women who are technical, but cloud provides the chance to also champion ideas and work cross-functionally to define how IT is delivered to business.”

Lauren Savage, senior vice president for IT Strategy and Governance at State Street Corp., sees the cloud as an opportunity for women to “take the reins.” “Women are definitely becoming more attracted to IT because they see IT becoming a critical function to business performance,” Savage says.

The IT World and the Cloud Community is ready for even more contributions from these innovative women, and others like them.

By Peter Knight