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November 26, 2008

SEO ladies, fancy being a Syster?

I'm always trying to build a little bridge between the SEO and the Science communities, I think they both have a lot to learn from each other.  Once in a while I like to try and bring them both together because both communities share some commonalities.

In the SEO world the girls over at Seo Chicks keep the Girly flag nice and high, and over in computing the Anita Borg institute does much of the same but in a different way (they trademarked the word Syster).  I'm one of 3 girls doing a PhD in a computer science discipline at my University.  At conferences, there are always more men than girls.  The SEO conferences on the other hand are far more girl friendly, and the women in SEO such as Jill Whalen and Donna Fontenot for example are strong characters.  

In computing the girl zone is in trouble, as women represent under 20% of professionals.  It was nearly 40% in the 80's (ACM report).  

Let us not forget that Ada Lovelace was the 1st ever computer programmer, 6 women were the original programmers of ENIAC, and Susan Kare designed most of your Mac interface and icons.  Karen Sparck-Jones was one the the pioneers in information retrieval...and Karen said "Computing is far too important to be left to the men" when she won the BCS Lovelace medal.  

Here is my list of top 10 computing chicks (alive today) in no particular order:
Go through this wikipedia list of computer scientists and have a vodka for every woman you come across.  Don't worry you won't be getting very drunk.

Is SEO too important to be left to the men?  There are a lot more women in SEO than in computing, there's quite a comprehensive list on the blogroll of "Women of SEO".  Don't try the vodka game here, you will be in a bad way :s

Is there a way to attract more girls over to computing?  How many of the SEO ladies out there would make excellent computer scientists?  Can computing poach a few? You know, seeing we're in trouble and all...


Julie said...

I love that nothing in English rhymes with orange.

Nice post!

Jill said...

Thanks for the mention! SEO girls rule!

deCabbit said...

Not that long ago I was part of a presentation to a group of high school girls to try and promote computing as a good place for women/girls to get involved in. While the panel tried their best, I just didn't get the vibe off the audience that we were making a difference though if even just one of those girls changed their mind and went to computing in some form, I'd be happy. I feel like it is so difficult to change perceptions.

Thanks for the SEO Chicks mention and I hope that you inspire many more to follow!!

CJ said...

Thank you girls!

deCabbit, it's really cool that you were involved in that, we have to keep trying to get the girls in to computing. The cool thing is that computing is one of those professions where you really can actually change the world. That's why it's so important that we are also part of that, or we'll be living in a man's world!

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Science for SEO by Marie-Claire Jenkins is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.
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