Blogging from the PASS Summit : WIT Luncheon

SQLSentry is very proud to sponsor the 10th annual Women in Technology Luncheon at the PASS Summit.

Probably 700 people in here – pretty crowded house. This luncheon is growing year over year and is always a refreshing and interesting event to attend.

Bill Graziano kicks things off and introduces our moderator, Wendy Pastrick. The panel is made up of Stefanie Higgins (actually the founder of the WIT Luncheon event), Denise McInerney, Kevin Kline, Jen Stirrup and Kendra Little.

Stefanie talked about her experience in college when a CS professor essentially shunned her in class until he realized that she knew what she was doing. He later admitted that was exactly the reason – "he didn't think girls could be good at this."

Denise talked about how far PASS has come in terms of female attendees and speakers and how the industry is changing (but perhaps not fast enough).

Kevin talked about technical conferences in the past and how, when he was a large part of PASS, conferences seemed cold and unwelcoming. He also talks about how in a lot of cases females are challenged by peer pressure as much as, or even more than, workplace or institutional restrictions. 

Jen brought a European flavor (and great accent!) to talk about the low percentage of female IT workers in her part of the world, and her focus on encouraging other women in the community to pursue their careers in IT.

Kendra talked about her desire to learn, how she long felt that she was just showing up at work, and how speaking at SQLSaturday changed her outlook on her own career and her ability to inspire others.

Lots of great questions and discussion. At one point Wendy said she was overwhelmed by the love in the room (I think Buck Woody might have brought a few to tears with his quick story about Christina).

Aaron Bertrand

I am a passionate technologist with industry experience dating back to Classic ASP and SQL Server 6.5. I am a long-time Microsoft MVP, write at Simple Talk, SQLPerformance, and MSSQLTips, and have had the honor of speaking at more conferences than I can remember. In non-tech life, I am a father of two, a huge hockey and football fan, and my pronouns are he/him. If I've helped you out, consider thanking me with a coffee. :-)