I would like to say to all the young women who are computer geeks, or science geeks of any kind, that it’s more important than you can imagine to join up with other women.
I have been a feminist all my life, and yet somehow, when I was working in tech, I didn’t hook into women’s networks. I didn’t know about them, actually.
But you can join, or read:
Women-related Science/Technology email lists – resource page with a great list!
Systers (mailing list)
devchix.com (group blog)
Deeply Geeky (mailing list sparked from BlogHer
WIT & WorldWIT
WISE Women in Science and Engineering (suckily, page last updated in 2003…)
BlogHer (group blog)
She’s Such a Geek (group blog)
And so many more —
I have joined a lot of these lists and I have to say, there are many days I read them and burst into tears. (In a good way.) Why? I’m not sure. What people describe is so close to my experiences, so well articulated and analyzed — and yet often from women who are so much more of studly geeks than me — and much older. It’s hearing the wisdom of people who I wish I could have learned from years ago. There are such great ideas, wonderful advice, balanced views, and very realistic.
I had a lot of conversation one on one with other women about the issues addressed in these forums, but it’s different for it to be public, and so wide-spread, and more political-feeling instead of personal cathartic hopeless storytelling — which was valuable and validating, but didn’t always help create change.
It would have changed my life drastically to have had this kind of support, resources, validation, etc. available to me when I was 25, or 20, or 15, or 10.
If you have a daughter, or a younger friend, and she is into science and math and computer stuff, please hook her up with this sort of resource if you possibly can, and with older mentors. It’s really really important! Please do it!