Wednesday, March 8, 2017

International Women's Day

In honor of International Women's Day, I would like to thank some of the allies that have helped me live a life doing something I love and getting paid for it.

First and most of all is my Dad.

  • A man who taught me to make pancakes and made my school lunches. 
  • A man that sat with me (and cleaned up) when I was sick at 2am. 
  • An engineer who taught me to love logic puzzles. 
  • A business man who showed by example how to manage people. All kinds of people. In the realm of manufacturing and quality control.
  • A man who encouraged me and supported me when I was told directly by my teenage boy classmates and even indirectly by one of my teachers that "girls can't pay drums". 
My Mom also supported me and told me I could do anything, be anything that I wanted to be. She was a biology, pre-med major so there was no shortage of science knowledge in our home.

I was lucky to have some great role models in high school as well. A biology and life science teacher was a favorite. Also strong female role models teaching Calculus and Physics. Oh, and a band director that encouraged me to audition for several regional and state honor bands (several of which picked me).

My first full time job had its struggles but I can think of a couple of people that stood up for me, eventually.

As I moved into technical training I found most resistance came from students at the beginning of class.  There is a specific look on their faces as they walk into the classroom on day one and wonder what this chick can teach them about Linux. After 20 years I don't see that very often anymore.  I like to think that it is a good sign for the world in general. I never had a problem proving myself before the end of class - at least for the class in general - and for those few students that just didn't like me for no clear reason, the managers handling those complaints always backed me up.

Since I have been an independent consultant I have had the privilege of working with a few really great companies.  Red Hat, Cloudera, and /training/etc stand out with supportive environments for diversity, including "Women in Tech".  My thanks to several curriculum team members, several fellow instructors, and most of the scheduling and quality managers for their support over the years.

If I name names, I will miss somebody really important. But here are a few that stand out for specific events. Mom and Dad, Amy, Jay, Steve, Joe, Henry, Randy, George, Will,  Susan, Tom, Mike, Nate, Mark, Paul, Wade, Marc, Chris, Matt, and a bunch of others too: Thank You!  And all the other just all around good people that I have had the opportunity to work with or chat with or learn from or follow: Thank You!  And anyone else who has been a good citizen of a diverse community: Thank You!