"The matter of fact is" - she continued - "that there are too few women in Computer Science, but the question is: is that such a big problem? Should we care? And if so, why?"
To be honest I have been asking myself the same thing! Why should we make such a fuss about it; why is it so important to have more women in IT?
Well it turns out it is important, for several different reasons.
- Research shows that IT project groups in school or at work, do best when there is both guys and girls in the group.
- Other studies show that when developing a product the final outcome is strongly influenced by the mindset of the developers. That would mean, having only male participants in the development = a 'manly' type of product! (Don't believe me! Check out how conventional seat belts do not fit pregnant women properly )
Iris' talk was generally very exciting, but the real WOW in the audience came when she told us "The Cake Story"!
The Cake Story (by Iris Classon)
"Imagine IT as a giant cake. It keeps getting bigger and bigger, faster and faster than you could eat it. And you are given a tiny tiny spoon, for massive massive cake. Say there are two people, with a tiny spoon each. The first person takes a bit of the knowledge cake. This person is giddy, excited, about what has just been learned.He or she shares this with everybody, ‘wow- look at what I can ,- I can all this of this bite, and I will know all that when I take all those bites’. The second person takes bite. Looks at the hole after the bite, then looks at the rest of the cake. Another layer is slapped on. The hole seems even smaller. The cake even bigger. The person thinks: ‘I know so little, and there is so much to learn. It’s impossible."
Many of us recognized ourselves as the second type of person. We never seem to be able to admit we know something until we have "eaten the whole cake" and that's - impossible!
The other inspiring talk came from Monica Skagne - main IT Manager for IKEA
she is also known as Sweden's most powerful IT women