One of the big problems in high tech is that there are a lot of idiots who chase out women without realising it. I’ve done my best over the years to make sure I’m not one of those people, but it’s hard to tell if I’m actually living up to my expectations for myself or if I’m deluding myself into thinking I am when really I’m a big jerk.
So today I’m at lunch with some of the men from my family, and one of my cousins is a recruiter / contract manager for a large consulting firm. We’re talking for a while, and he says, “Oh hey, do you know someone named Jane Doe*?” I recognise her instantly because she was one of the students I taught back in 2001 when I was teaching basic development at one of the career colleges in town, and she was probably my favourite student of the lot. I’d lost touch with her but I’ve wondered periodically where she is and what she’s doing.
Turns out, she’s actually in high tech, doing quite well, and really enjoying it. She started a new contract six months ago, and the recruiter who placed her there was my cousin. At one point she asked him if we were related, he of course said yes, and she told him that my teaching and encouragement are the biggest reason she made it into high tech and stayed there all these years.
So… yeah! I’d say that’s a sign that I’m probably doing well in terms of not being a jerk who chases women out of high tech. :-)
*name changed. Duh.