Main Course: Hot Ideas
Many interesting women I know are incredible geeks, and many interesting geeks I know are incredible women! But then, I may be biased, cuz I’m a girl, and yes, I’m a geek too!
The truth shall set you free!
What solidified the fact that I am, indeed, a geek was my first invitation to a Saskatoon Girl Geek Dinner. That was it! I had no choice but to acknowledge my long-denied nerddom. I missed SGGD’s first meetup, but I have attended every Saskatoon Girl Geek Dinner since.
Last Tuesday, Saskatoon’s Girl Geek Dinners held its 4th event since its local inception in early summer, 2008. The dinner was held at Zu’s stylin’ new digs on Pacific Avenue. They were awesome hosts!
Organized by Melanie Cey, Brittany Melnyk and Devon McGeary, the GGD agenda included dinner, a presentation, a workshop, and an impromptu tour of Zu’s new facility.
The turnout was great! Not surprisingly, the ratio of women to men was a complete reversal of what we see in the workplace. Instead of 30:1 men to women, the ratio was 1:30+ men to women.
“I love my team, but…”
After dinner and socializing, Melanie got the program started by explaining the Girl Geek Dinner concept to attendees. You can read about GGD here. Essentially, Melanie acknowledged that working in a still male-dominated field of study offers few or no female role models within the workplace. Let’s face it: sometimes men and women exist on different planes and as a result life can be frustrating. But we don’t want to give up, fellas… we love what we do! and we want to keep doing it for as long as it makes us happy.
Ginger Koolick spoke to the group on becoming a consultant. While outlining logistical processes of becoming self-employed, Ginger’s story had a notably female voice, and included not just business sense, but personal philosophy for leading a fulfilling life. It was interesting to hear that despite the sudden nature of her decision to go into business for herself, Ginger actually assembled a comprehensive business plan. I hope in the future she returns to the group to present retrospectives on her initial plan.
Flexing our Agile muscles…
Devon McGeary ended the presentation layer of our event with a hands-on exercise called “Blitz Planning”, an exercise which many of us at Point2 (if not all of us) have participated in to some degree within the past few months. In a nutshell, the session emphasized a quick and collaborative approach to building a project’s stories and tasks, illustrating and revealing sequences, dependencies, moving parts, and necessary expertise. (I know I’m omitting objectives, so if the idea sounds interesting, you should read up on it starting here.)
Just before the evening ended, Zu gals gave us tours of their newly renovated space on Pacific Avenue. It is a beautiful old building, and the decor is fresh and groovy. And truly, who wouldn’t love a fireplace in their lunchroom!!!
The story has yet to be written… GGDs are cooperatives which focus on science and technology, and of course, women working in those fields. The Saskatoon chapter is new and growing, and certainly, there are many women (and men) who have much to offer the Saskatoon Girl Geek Dinner community. Maybe you are one of them??
By: Karen Martens