Women in IT at Tech ED Australia 2011

Lynn LangitThis year we once again celebrated the Women in IT at Tech ED. Turns out it was the BIGGEST Women in IT event we have ever held in Tech Ed Australia with almost 100 people attending!

We were fortunate enough to have as our Keynote speaker, Lynn Langit from Microsoft US share the amazing work she has been doing with Teaching Kids Programming. She brought a pile of USB keys filled with the contents for her course which were snapped up by the attendees – each promising to use the content to teach other children programming. Raina Mason

We then moved onto the Awards component of the lunch. Last year we introduced the Communityy Contributor of the Year award which has the winners announced at the Tech Ed Women in IT lunch. The awards recognises the great work that men & women are doing in the community to help, support & encourage Women working and Studying IT. The attendees heard from last years winner Raina Mason who shared the amazing experiences that have happened since winning last year – including receiving additional funding to support her program that teaches programming robotics to children in remote areas.

316360_242684385777058_163326670379497_763604_2242627_nMicrosoft Managing Director Pip Marlow joined me on stage to announce this years finalists which are (in no particular order):

Carol Wapshere who is One of the leading bloggers around Forefront Identity Manager

Miriam Hochwald   who received an unprecedented 3 nominations. Miriam has and continues to, work tirelessly to get more women into IT, from all walks of life, from schools to industry, through her Geek Girl Coffees and other initiatives.

Simone Bennett Simone is actively engaged in promoting women in IT in Brisbane and in the online community in general. She is highly technical and maintains a high profile within the Australian IT Pro community.

Kate Carruthers who has brought the community together through Social Innovation Sydney and her work with the Girls Develop It program.

Simone Bennett & Miriam HochwaldWe then announced the winners- First Place went to Miriam Hochwald and runner up to Simone Bennett. Both were admirably humble in their acceptance of the awards and it is an encouragement to all who attended that by trying to help & support women in IT you really do make a difference. Miriam won an xBox 360 Kinect bundle, HTC HD7 and Sony Vaio S. Simone was awarded a HTC HD7. Thanks to everyone who donated the prizes.297293_242683152443848_163326670379497_763496_7176183_n

The attendees spent the last portion of the time networking eagerly – being forced out of the area only when the room needed to be reset for the next session. It was great to hear so much energy and excitement and see people connecting – I hope they all stay in contact afterwards!

I love running this event and it always inspires me to see so many women and men attending. Congratulations again to our finalists and winners. I hope too see you all nominated again next year!