We celebrate the International Women's day on the 8th March (International women's rights day, in few countries) but it's also important to remind that women are equal of men and it's essential to protect and respect their rights every days of the year but nowadays, women make up just 24% of the tech workforce, thus more and more women are encouraged to pursue careers in the tech industry. Initiatives such as Girls who Code and conferences such as European Women in Technology support this movement passionately.
And at Joomla, the trend is not much different. Because there is no fatality, we must do things in others ways and be more inclusive. In our community, some women are really amazing and I've decided to introduce you some of them. These women are so inspiring and so motivating. Really. Read their stories, their advices, their thoughts and you'll be convinced.
Because we need really each others, I do hope that these portraits will inspire others women to embrace a career in tech sector and/or to join the Joomla Community.
Women's portrait at Joomla: Alison Meeks
What’s your name and your role at Joomla?
Alison Meeks, Social Media Team, Joomla Facebook Group Administrator (Was team lead and Social Media Team marketing liason)
What excites you about your daily work?Helping my clients get their business online, sometimes for the first time. My daily work usually involves Joomla beyond site building where I'm sharing on social for the team or helping over in the Joomla NoSpam Facebook group.
What did you study?
Business classes and art. I’ve taken various business and software courses since leaving school.
Keep learning always. Women's portrait at Joomla
When did you start to think about pursuing a career in tech?
I took a couple years of programming in high school. (Back in the punch card days lol) The first year was Basic and I loved it – it was logical and came easy to me. The next year was Fortran and it didn't.
I met up with tech at various times in my career. My first office job went from cardex inventory control to computer (dumb terminal). That was my first time with any kind of actual hands-on interface loading all the data then working with it daily.
Several years and jobs later during a layoff I retrained to this new "desktop publishing" trend. With this and the web now happening I could see the really basic (and sometimes scary) web design and wanted to be a part of making the web more beautiful and easy to navigate.
At my last job before starting my business, I was in the marketing department and got involved in a redesign of the company's website. I don't recall all the details but it ran off an Access database that I updated and uploaded. There was also a small side site the company wanted done and I worked with my boss on it in NetObjectsFusion. I was hooked.
Once I started my own business doing design and print for small business I was also able to offer brand consistent websites and used NetObjectsFusion until I found out about Joomla.
What challenges are you facing as a woman working in tech?
Being heard. Far too often I answer a question or make a comment and it isn't until a man confirms it or repeats it as their own is it heard. That gets old fast.
What would your advice to women considering pursuing a career in tech be?Trust yourself, keep learning, support each other.
Are there any specific Book/Blogs/Apps you enjoy & recommend ?
Jonathan Stark, Seth Godin, Bridget Willard I read all the time.
Software/Apps; f.lux - so much kinder on the eyes. Women's portrait at Joomla
Who or what inspires you?
Who: So many people I can't name only one or a few.
What: Beautiful design. It doesn't matter if it is web or print etc.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Because of mobility issues outside of work kind of melds with at work since I'm mostly at my desk. Outside of work I'm moderating in the Joomla FB group, visiting with friends online, if my knees are not bad I'll get out and go for a drive or visit with local friends when that is possible. I love to go and drive in the countryside around here with good music playing and enjoy the view. Building has gobbled up so much of the wild spaces - enjoy them while you can.
3 tips you would give your younger self?
The same as I would give to others; Trust yourself, keep learning, support each other. I would also add, there is lots of work to go around. Each of us has our own skill set and personality that works great with some and not for others and that is OK. Women's portrait at Joomla