My Experience as a Woman in Technology


This post is basically a reaction to I completely agree with the statements made in this post, but the comment got so long that I decided to write a post about it myself.


Ok, so I guess the SharePoint community is a very lively thing where people feel the need to separate themselves into sub groups and very actively promote these groups. I don't really want to get involved in discussions like that. I just like my job a lot and I love interacting in the community and organizing community stuff. I don't care about any label, I just want to be able to do what I love. Unfortunately though mother nature kind of put me in a difficult position in the latest uproar.


I'm a woman from the Netherlands and I became very active in the Dutch SharePoint community in the last few years. I worked very hard to get where I am today and almost everyone encouraged me to do so. I don't think I've ever felt that I was pushed back by peers. I must admit that as far as speaking and writing articles is concerned it might even make it a tiny bit easier if you are a woman, because you stand out from the crowd. Of course that won't get you anywhere if you don't know what you're talking about, but occasionally it can be a little easier to get noticed.

When visiting customers they sometimes look at me in disbelief when I come in as the "SharePoint Architect", but I always manage to win them over by staying calm and showing them that I know what I'm talking about.


One of the community things I do in the community is organizing the IW/SharePoint track for SDN. The last magazine we did was a "Women in Technology" edition. But it wasn't about women. It was about the content. That just happened to be written by women. I'm very proud of the end result, the quality of the articles in there is very high.


Guess what I'm trying to say is that I like to interact with other "Women in Technology", whether that would be in a pub, at a conference, online or in a magazine. But I don't see the need to separate ourselves from the men in the business. The large majority of the men I've met professionally have been respectful and kind and I like hanging out with men just as much as I like hanging out with women. Let's just all give each other some room to live and breath and do our jobs to the best of our abilities and I think there is room enough for all of us.