When my daughter started first grade, her school held a parent meeting where the specialty teachers spoke about what to expect from their classes.  Being in technology, I couldn’t help but smile at the genuine enthusiasm that came from the Technology teacher, Carrie Jo Snyder.  She animatedly spoke about her class and about an after school club where the kids would use technology to develop Claymation shorts.  Her excitement was infectious.  This was further made obvious a few months later when I was struggling with an issue on the computer at home, and my daughter was quick to say, “Just ask Ms. Snyder – she knows everything.”

Ms. Snyder’s inspiration came through her father’s encouragement.  As a child, she showed an interest in science and technology that led to working on projects together – a trend they continue today.  Currently, they have been building a programmed train set that controls 8 train engines separately.  She lives a life passionate about technology and passes this enthusiasm to the next generation.

Similarly, Marian Croak of AT&T showed early interest in science and technology and was also encouraged by her father.  Education and hard work were also keys to her success in technology where she feels she helps change the world.

Why cloud provides opportunity to women

While not all women have the same early aged experiences with technology as Ms. Snyder and Ms. Croak, I believe cloud promotes an opportunity to see more women in technology roles.  Here are my top 3 ways cloud can bridge the technology gender gap:

1. Cloud has reach

In my job, I am surrounded by so many tech-savvy women that until I go to a tradeshow or event, I often forget that the industry needs to catch up.   Like Carrie Jo Snyder has commented, “Boys will be around and involved in everything we do in life.”  Cloud is a hot topic affecting IT departments as well as line of business managers in businesses large and small.  It’s not colored blue or made of mutant ninja turtles — it’s a “technology thing” not a “boy or girl thing.”

2. More talk, more attention

One day a few weeks back, I noticed announcements where several companies signed up for the cloud based Microsoft Office 365 all within a short time period.  As more recognizable names sign up, more companies will follow this pattern.  Similarly, as more women show interest in technology, ask more questions, share more answers, the discussion and engagement will expand.

3. Existing knowledge, new area

Cloud is about solutions and solving problems as well as articulating value.  This can come from a variety of other disciplines enabling women who did not share the early tech enthusiasm with Ms. Snyder and Ms. Croak to do more than just wish the next generation well.  Women can apply their existing problem solving skills to the technology industry.

Ms. Snyder once remarked on tech’s limitless reach, noting, “Technology integrates math, science, art, and many other areas.” I couldn’t agree more; technology transcends gender just as cloud users go beyond the IT department.

Do you think cloud will provide a turning point for women in technology?  Who is a woman in technology that inspires you?  Comment with a link to share the inspiration!