Microsoft TechEd will start next week and I’m pretty excited because I’ll be a community facilitator at the WomenBuild event on May 14th. Only registered attendees can take part in the event, but the event is open both to women and men, who want to grow the number and visibility of women in IT.
As a facilitator I will lead a table (up to 10 attendees) through a series of building / sharing activities around the issue of Women in Technology that have been pre-determined by Robert Rasmusen from Lego SeriousPlay in Denmark.
The WomenBuild program is specifically designed to address the decline of female talent and leadership in the computer science industry. Microsoft partnered with LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY (LSP) through Robert Rasmussen & Associates to create a unique interactive workshop, using LEGO® Bricks to model solutions for growing strong female leaders in the software industry. WomenBuild’s principal goals are to drive awareness that diversity is important in the field of technology and to build a community to help attract, retain and empower women in technology. Reading through the WomenBuild information, I couldn’t help myself and note down some points for future reference:
The importance of diverse opinions and respect in achieving common goals.
Having your voice heard as a woman and discussing differences in communication style.
Diversity isn’t about celebrating what’s different about us, but celebrating what we have in common.
Diversity is about celebrating differences in opinion. You can’t have a solid solution based on only 1 type of opinion.
Up till now, there have been WomenBuild events in the following cities: Los Angeles, Houston, Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis, New York, Boston, Washington DC, Orlando, Dallas, San Francisco and Seattle. Yet the WomenBuild event next week at TechEd 2009 will be the largest event to date!
WomenBuild in DC was featured in the Washington Times on Inauguration Day – January 20, 2009. The line –an event to find and develop female software “stars” for the future– in the article meant a lot to me! Who doesn’t want to be a genius with star quality? I’m not sure why, but I think we need constant reminders that being a genius (girl) geek is something highly desirable and extremely enjoyable.
Here is a series of mixed links:
Lego Serious Play: http://www.seriousplay.com/
Video about previous WomenBuild events:
Video about WomenBuild at MSDN Developer Conferences (with Asli Bilgin and Stephen Forte): http://channel9.msdn.com/posts/LauraFoy/WomenBuild-with-LEGOS-at-MSDN-Developer-Conferences/
You can also join the WomenBuild Facebook group, if you want to promote WomenBuild events!