Women In Comms

BTE 2015: Innovation Thrives on Diversity

We don't live in a homogenous world. Operators haven't even operated homogenous networks for some time now, even before the rise of the HetNet. As such, the employees in the technology industry, from the most entry-level to senior-level position, shouldn't be homogenous either.

Getting more women in the technology field is important not just from a personnel point of view, but also because diversity breeds innovation, according to Brenna Berman, commissioner and CIO of the Chicago Department of Innovation and Technology, and innovation is -- of course -- the name of the game for technology.

"I think the most important reason to make sure we find all kinds of ways to increase the representation of women and minorities in technology is because innovation thrives from diversity -- diversity of ideas, voices, perspectives -- and without that our innovation marketplace in Chicago would be slower than it should be," Berman says. (See Women in Tech: People Skills Trump Tech Skills .)

Women and minorities need a voice in the industry, she adds, but it shouldn't be just one voice -- as women in startups, women coders or women in top-level positions, as examples. Rather, it has to be all of those things. Why? Berman says, "because all of those jobs are stronger and more resilient and grow faster when it's more diverse, and women bring that diversity."

Want to hear more from Berman and other female leaders in the tech industry? Register to attend next week's free Women in Tech breakfast at the Big Telecom Event in Chicago. We look forward to seeing you there!

Berman, who has been a strong advocate for women both in her role in the Chicago government, as well as through her work with the city's startups, will be speaking at Light Reading's fourth Women in Tech breakfast on Wednesday, June 10, ahead of day two of the Big Telecom Event. This breakfast will be our biggest and best yet, thanks to the addition of our sponsor Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) and partners 1871, Ms. Tech and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), which will be co-locating a women's coding event.

We are also thrilled to have a powerhouse panel of speakers lined up, including:

  • Brenda Berman, CIO, Chicago
  • Karen Freitag, President, Sprint Enterprise Solutions
  • Jennifer Perron-Micek, Senior Director of Product & Innovation, U.S. Cellular Corp.
  • Megan Doberneck, General Counsel & Company Secretary, Vodafone Americas
  • Heather Kirksey, Executive Director, Open Platform for NFV Project Inc.
  • Monique Hayward, Director, Outbound Marketing, Network Platforms Group, Intel
  • Sandra Rivera, VP, Data Center Group, General Manager, Network Platforms Group, Intel

These women have diverse backgrounds, both professional and personally, but they all share the common goal of promoting women's roles in the technology industry. I am looking forward to an honest discussion of the current state of the industry for women and some insight on what women can and should be doing to thrive in the technology field.

Doing so is good for women, good for their companies, and frankly, good for innovation and the bottom line. (See Women in Tech Coming Into Focus.)

I'll hope you join us next Wednesday! You can find more details and register here.

— Sarah Thomas, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editorial Operations Director, Light Reading

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