Women in technology; @Pluralsight walks the walk and talks the talk

A few months ago, while at the Pluralsight Author Summit, they hosted an open Q&A with the founders.  The room was full of authors from around the world and many many Pluralsight staff.  Aaron, Fritz and Keith are great guys, always have been.  And they took all kinds of questions.  Then I had my turn.  It went something like…  Look around this room.  We’re surrounded by middle-aged white men.  What’s your plan for changing that?  (followed by: Could one of the middle-age white men on the stage please address this?).

They candidly acknowledged the issue and were very open in saying they wanted to make a difference and were still struggling with how to do that.  They asked for any insight or advice we could offer, women in the room and men in the room.

We are all guilty of going with what we know, it’s the easy path.  It’s finding that new path, it’s in the expanding the net for more coverage when looking for new talent, it’s those things that make a difference, those things that make a change.  It’s those things that good companies, like Pluralsight, are doing. 

It’s the subtle things.  It’s giving your women authors great shirts that are cut for women instead of the boxy “uni-sex” (that are actually just men’s shirts, c’mon).  It’s staffing your booth at Ignite with a good mix of men and women (I didn’t count, but it was obvious there were plenty of women there). 

It’s the bigger things.  Releasing a series of women in technology videos.  Things that cover the good, the bad and the sometimes odd story of women in tech.  I am rather honored to be included in these videos. 

No woman wants to be hired simply because she’s a woman.  She wants to be hired because she is qualified for the task at hand. 

I heard a scary statistic the other day, and I wish I had a good source to back it up, but cannot find it.  It stated that men are promoted based on their potential and women are promoted based on their accomplishments.  That’s a big scary problem.

What’s your part?  It can be as easy as sending your business to companies like Pluralsight.  You can become one of the women authors at Pluralsight.  You can become an activist.  You can simply continue working hard and rewarding equally based on merit, keeping an eye out for incidental sexism and stomping it out.

INETA Business Announcement

In February of 2002 the .NET framework was released.  The same month, INETA was born.  The International .NET Association has served user groups and the developers they serve all around the globe.  In the beginning, funding was plentiful. But there has been a steady decline in funding the last several years.  It has been years since there has been funding of significance.  We have always had a steady group of sponsors that have jumped in to help when asked for our annual birthday celebrations or other specific asks.  But donations to our general fund have dried up.  This is the fund that primarily supports our speaker program and our evangelism of user groups and the communities they represent.

It is with this in mind that we share this message.  The Board of Directors for INETA (North America) voted and INETA (North America) will be closing its doors at the end of 2015.

We can choose to be sad or we can choose to be proud.

Proud of the work of all those that have worked so hard for this volunteer organization.  Proud of watching over user groups as they become self-sufficient.  We have worked ourselves out of a job.  How can that be an awful thing?

So, what’s the plan?  We plan to spend the remainder of 2015 with as much business as usual as possible.  After years of careful investments and spending cuts, we have a few extra dollars sitting around waiting to help our groups.  How can we help you?  How can we solidify the legacy of INETA?  Tell us?  (link: http://bit.ly/1Nsbzer )

Any funds leftover at the end of the year will be donated to a charity that the board has yet to select.  But it will most certainly be an organization that will continue to further the mission of giving back to the professional community and educating its members.

There will be some housekeeping things to deal with as the year comes to a close, so keep an eye out.  If it applies to you directly, we will be in touch with you directly.

We will never be able to aptly thank those that built this community and those that have given hours and hours of time to get us here.  It is our hope that they understand and respect the difficult course of action we've now had to take.

We are proud of our legacy.  Proud of our 736 user groups.  Proud of our 727 speakers.