This Wednesday (April 27) during the OpenStack Summit, Carla Crull (of Rackspace) and I will be hosting the inaugural Austin Women in Tech’s Wine and Whine event. This isn’t an OpensStack event, this is an event for women who work in tech in Austin (and who come here for work). Oh and yes guys y’all are welcome too.
You may be surprised that we chose this name.
Or, maybe if you know me you’re not surprised at all. After all I did found the Cloudbunnies v0dgeball team (obligatory shout out to the OCB @c_weil and CB godfather @reillyusa). We took an insult and made it into something for technical women to rally around, to make sure we were included in a fundraising event at a huge technical conference.
So wine is pretty straightforward. But whine…isn’t this just reinforcing negative stereotypes of women in tech? Well, no. The name was suggested by a lady CTO (who holds a few handfuls of patents). The name was shared with our orgs, and with our lady friends who work in the industry. We all love it because we are taking back that negative attitude that some folks attribute to us (whiny, bossy, etc, etc, etc). We’ve all heard it before, but I say we can’t let that keep us down!
Last year at VMworld we held an invite-only, technical ladies dinner that we dubbed #vLadiesNite. The conversations were so normal…and all over the place. Storage, cloud, virtualization, issues dealing with marketing, issues dealing with kids, issues dealing with co-workers, Microsoft, flash storage, NVMe, shoes. We just talked over wonderful dinner and incredible wine. We dished. And yes, we whined. We shared insights, strategies, technical information. It was epic, and bond-building.
I’m dying to replicate that night here in Austin. Right now, Austin women don’t have a technical enterprise women’s meetup. We need one desperately, the amount of talent in this city is staggering. Let’s bring everyone together!
And let me just put this to bed right now: this will not be a typical “women in tech event” where there is a rah-rah speech given by an exec guest speaker encouraging you to lean-in. This will be a place where you can be real. If you need to whine a little, so be it. But this will be the place where you can get encouragement, a pointer be it technical or political, or maybe if you need it a swift kick in the bootie.
So if you’re in Austin (even if its just for the OpenStack Summit), please consider coming to say hi, and helping us figure out how to make this meetup a monthly reality. We still have a few spots open! Register here.
What do y’all think about this? What do you think about reclaiming words?