Browsing articles in "Generations"

Women in Data Management: Interview with Karen Lopez

Sep 11, 2012   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Generations, Professional Development, WIT  //  No Comments

I’m happy they can be ignorant of what goes on, but they should understand that this was not something that the workforce just gave them because they worked hard.  Their lives are more equal in the office because people, men and women, stood up and said that all those prior approaches were wrong – for the employees and for the company.I was interviewed by Shannon Kempe of Dataversity.net about my career and my experiences being a woman in technology.  I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the diversity issues in technology and all STEM sectors.  Unlike some, I don’t think we need to see the diversity of the general population reflected in the technology world, but it does bother me that we see so many classes of people underrepresented.  I tend to focus on the gender classification, but that’s not the only group of people missing from our team.

I also talked about people who think that there is no issue, or that continuing to work to ensure that obstacles are removed is wasted effort — either because there is no problem or that working harder at your job is a better solution.

My interview is part of series about women in Data Management.  Check out the interview and let me know what you think.  Are we wasting our time working towards a more diverse IT workforce?

 

 


Pass it on…

Jul 24, 2012   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Generations, Space  //  No Comments

If you think about it, each of your role models had role models to guide them. I know many men and women for whom Sally Ride showed them the way. Each of us carries with us the insight and inspiration that we saw in others. We are sharing what we saw in her with those that come after us.

Nichelle Nichols (@RealNichelle) shares her story of meeting Sally Ride after NASA engaged Nichelle to help recruit more minority candidates:

“She once thanked me for my recruitment efforts while under contract to NASA, saying “If it hadn't been for you I might not be here.”

Nichelle inspired Sally and Sally inspired me (they both did, actually). Now I want to pass that along. That's why I spend time working to ensure that girls know that there are great jobs, rewarding careers, and fabulous opportunities in the STEM world.

What have you done, today, to inspire someone else?

 

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The Job of the Future

Feb 8, 2012   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Generations, Professional Development  //  2 Comments

I agree with this:

The intellectual equipment needed for the job of the future is an ability to define problems, quickly assimilate relevant data, conceptualize and reorganize the information, make deductive and inductive leaps with it, ask hard questions about it, discuss findings with colleagues, work collaboratively to find solutions and then convince others.

Robert Reich

Do you think this we are educating our future generations for this sort of job of the future?  Are we creating the type of learning and living environments that encourage our kids to tackle these kinds of tasks?

I’m Hiring This Girl One Day…#WIT

Dec 25, 2011   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Generations, Professional Development, Snark  //  2 Comments

I’m so blown away by how well this girl rants against the onslaught of PINK on girls and females.  For us grown-up girls, the concept of "shrink it and pink" as a marketing approach makes me want to run screaming out of the store.  I had an exhibitor take a nice 16GB USB drive I was picking up out out of my hand and replace it with a blinged out pink 2GB one, saying "Oh, you want this one instead".  No, I didn’t.  And the fact that this vendor thought I did spoke volumes for how they felt about their female customers.

Sure, I cart around Barbies and have my fair share of girlie toys, but my Barbies are working girls – Technical Barbies that have job.  Astronauts, School teachers, FBI agents, Computer Engineers.  Action figures, I call them, because they do something other than look pretty. Most Barbies look like some type of working girl that involves being pretty, but I’ll keep that discussion for later.

Anyway, this video of Riley on Marketing gives me new hope that someday we’ll raise girls to have good analytical thinking.

 

Riley, You Go Girl!

 

In fairness to retailers, they stock and display merchandise in a manner that sells best.  Parents (and Aunties and Uncles), they do this because you like it.  Stop liking it.  Don’t just buy for your little girl from an aisle with big sign that says "Girls" over it.  Think about where you want your darling girl to be at age 18 – still trying to find a Prince to make her a Princess…or readying to enter post-secondary education so that she never has to rely on anyone but herself.  Sure, buy her a Laundry Barbie and a all that princess stuff.  Tell her that she is your princess.  Let her have her truly silly girlie moments. But please don’t let that be her only professional development plan from age 5-25. 

All I know is that when I hire people, I want a hell of lot more Rileys than I do princesses.

Are We Too Unfair to Gen Y Team Mates?

Nov 24, 2010   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Generations, Professional Development  //  10 Comments

Brent Green, author of Marketing to Boomers, has a blog entry that analyzes (or is it attacks) a 60 Minutes segment on Generation Y in the workplace.  His entry, Boomer Bosses, Generation Y Employees, is scathing in its response:

A representative Safer observation:

“Faced with new employees who want to roll into work with their iPods and flip flops around noon, but still be CEO by Friday, companies are realizing that the era of the buttoned down exec happy to have a job is as dead as the three-Martini lunch.”

This flip of a journalistic middle finger at a young generation is not new. Boomers were often criticized during their ascendance into adulthood, when the young, determined and idealistic were hell-bent on changing the nation’s social realities. (As well documented by Professor Leonard Steinhorn, that determination eventually helped the nation become far more socially and economically inclusive for women, for racial minorities and for people thought as odd when compared to the narrow strictures of 1950’s value consensus.)

I have actually seen the “roll into work with their iPods and flip flops around noon, but still be CEO by Friday” attitude with my team members.  My perception on this attitude is that if there is anyone slammed by this it is the Boomer society that raised these workers.  So while Green believes that expressing such fatigue at a generation that has different social norms than the previous generation is a commentary on that generation, I believe it is a commentary on the previous generation.

Flip flops?  I hate them at work — not because they are casual, but because they are annoyingly noisy.  They remind me of dorm days, listening to other students make their way to the communal showers.  Now dorm rooms have private ensuites, so I’m betting flip flops are worn everywhere other than the shower.  I’m showing my Boomer age by saying that I will always feel these items of apparel belong at home, at the beach, and never anywhere else.   I’m just a crusty old Boomer, I guess.

Rolling in around noon?  Did that Gen Y worker spend 4 hours on a phone call to India starting at midnight?  Did he stay up until 11 PM working on a new set of code?  Or was he in the World of Warcraft form the time he left work until 15 minutes before his noon arrival?  We don’t know and it could be any or all of those options.  What I do know is that manager who want to judge productivity solely by a 9 to 5 clock will stop getting all that extra work time out of Gen Yers (and Boomers) if they stick to such a poor measure of effort and accomplishment.

However, that Gen Yer may have had a 9:30 AM meeting with a Boomer business user who waited until 9:45 before giving up and vowing to never agree to meet the Gen Yer again.  The Boomer did this because the Gen Y worker expected to be forgiven for not showing up because she had a good reason.  She didn’t think to call to let the Boomer know that he wasn’t going to make it because she sent a text message to the Boomer instead.  But the Boomer had (politely) turned off his cell phone for the meeting.  A mis-match of communication methods led by a generational difference in expectations.

Wanting to be CEO by Friday?  Maybe a week from Friday.  This is the one thing that I’m going peg on the Boomer society.  Not Mr. Rogers.  If Mr. Rogers was able to skew the outlook of an entire generation, world wide, then it is a sad commentary on the parents that allowed a TV character to form the entire foundation of their kids outlook on work, life, and getting ahead.  Yes, Fred Rogers said that “you are special”, but parents should have been saying that, too, with the proper context of how the world actually works.  If millions of kids had only Fred and Mr. Speedy Delivery to form their tiny minds, why is that the kids’ fault?  Or a Boomer Boss’s fault to judge the appropriateness of this generation’s workplace behaviours?

It’s not wrong for Boomer Bosses to observe this generation’s differing approaches to work or even to personally be annoyed by it.  What is wrong is for us to try to force our outdated view of the world onto people living and inheriting the world we made for them.  That’s where the outrage ought to be focused.

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