It began with a casual remark about Mattel Inc.’s plans to release a limited edition Computer Engineer doll as part of its “Barbie® I Can Be” series.
Julia Fallon, Technology Integration Program Manager for the Office of the Superintendent of Public Education for the state of Washington, and Kiki Prottsman, Chair of the Women in Computer Science program at the University of Oregon met for the first time at the recent NCWIT (National Center for Women in IT) conference in Portland, OR. Both are strong advocates of the belief that technology fields need more women working as scientists, engineers, programmers, software designers and similar positions. They were intrigued with the idea of how the doll could be used to promote this interest.
Before the conference had ended, the idea was hatched for Picture Me in Computing—a way to get women who work in IT to stand up and say, “Join us!” In almost no time, Picture Me in Computing went from concept to actual planned event.
On Wednesday, November 10, 2010, hundreds of people working in technology-based professions will participate in a virtual flash mob by uploading on-the-job pictures that illustrate to women and girls all over the world how it is possible for them to realize a highly rewarding career in computing. The virtual flash mob will use social networking sites including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Picasa to spread the word and share images. IT specialists who work in educational institutions are encouraged to participate by sharing photos, blog or other posts, even short videos all tagged #picmecomp.
But the main point of the event is to reach out to girls and women who might not have considered a career in the field of technology. Educators who want to share these resources with students can search social networking sites using the #picmecomp tag; however, first they need to know that Picture Me in Computing is happening. Please tell your staff members about this event. Encourage them to participate, either as contributors or as consumers of the information posted. To learn more, visit Picture Me in Computing.