CloudNOW Aims to Amplify the Contribution of Women to Cloud Computing

That’s Cloud “Network of Women” and it’s a new opportunity to collaborate on cloud and emerging technologies

Many, many years Fritz Nelson (then Vice President, Group Publisher for the Network Computing Enterprise Architecture) answered a question during an interview on the intersection of women and technology – particularly the lack of the former in the latter – essentially saying it was incumbent upon those women who were active and had a voice to use it in ways that encouraged other women to join, participate, and take up the reins of leadership when possible within the world of technology. 

The way I see it today, it’s not that women are necessarily reluctant to be in IT – we are out there  – it’s that our voice is often lost among the much larger chorus of deep tones in the technology orchestra today. If men are the brass section, women are the oboe – easily drowned out by the “big” sound of a much larger group. And that shouldn’t be read as a condemnation of IT or as anything wrong with technology or with men; it’s a mathematical equation that says if the percentage of women in technology is small, the percentage of those women who are leaders in technology will be even smaller. And when you start parsing up technology into specific concerns, like cloud computing , those numbers and thus percentages decrease even more, to the point of women being, well, an oboe amidst a much larger chorus of trumpets, cornets, and tubas.

Women are capable of contributing a great deal to the modern technologies industry and today's organizations' managements are well aware of that fact. After all, this is something that a number of notable female computer pioneers such as Ada Lovelace, Grace Hopper, and Anita Borg have proven more than once through the ages since the creation of the first mechanical computing machine by Charles Babbage in 1821.

-- Issue in Focus - Why Are There So Few Women in Computer Science?

So when an opportunity comes along that can amplify that oboe’s sound so that it can be heard as well as the brass section, I fall back on Fritz’s advice: join, participate and encourage other women to be more vocal by adding their voice as well.

With that in mind, I’m quite pleased to help spread the word about a new, women-oriented “network” focusing on Cloud computing, Cloud Network of Women  (CloudNOW). Founded recently by Jocelyn DeGance Graham, CloudNOW is a “non-profit consortium of the leading women in cloud computing, focused on using technology for the overall professional development of women from around the world by providing a forum for networking, knowledge sharing, mentoring, and economic growth.”

With membership coming from EMC, HP, Intel, IBM, Salesforce, successful startups, the tech media, and noted analysts, CloudNOW “offers members opportunities to creatively approach the technological challenges of cloud today, working in partnership with the tech industry, cloud visionaries, and global media. Forming a collective, together we are the voice of authority for women in cloud and emerging technologies.” It’s a platform of opportunity to connect with women and bring their insights and solutions regarding cloud computing and emerging technologies to the fore. Through publishing papers, speaking opportunities and research, Jocelyn hopes to build a robust community of women experts and leaders who can actively contribute to and lead conversations around these emerging technologies.

CloudNOW is currently building out its advisory board, and has already recruited some of the most respected names in cloud computing (both men and women) as well as the leadership team and special interest group liaisons to assist in covering topics such as security and convergence as well as offering deep technical forums for digging into the highly complex (and sometimes confusing) world of cloud computing.

If you’re interested in helping out in any way – including support, sponsorship, or underwriting – feel free to get in touch with Jocelyn (@JocelynDG ) and let her know. Men are welcome, too, despite the focus on women – the effort hopes to be a collaborative one with a focus on women’s ideas and solutions, not their gender and thus collaboration with all folk interested in technology is imperative for vetting and solidifying solutions.

And be sure to visit CloudNOW and register to explore the opportunities and join the conversation.

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Published Aug 24, 2011
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