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Making a Dent in the 21st Century: Women and Technology

by: Monique Jeanne Morrow, Cisco, Distinguished Consulting Engineer

October 22, 2012

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"WISENET (Women in ICTs Shared Excellence Network) is the International Bureau’s convening platform that aims to leverage the experience, resources and connections of the international ICT community to better the situation of women, their communities and their countries. As part of this work, the FCC has invited prominent women in technology from around the world  to post blogs sharing their experiences."

Monique Morrow holds the title of Distinguished Consulting Engineer within the Office of the CTO at Cisco.

I love technology, and I am passionate about getting people, particularly women, excited about choosing a career in technology. 

That is why I attended the Women@theFrontier event, “Design the Future 2012” which was hosted at NASA Research Park in Moffett Field, CA. At the event, I met the most amazing women from a variety of backgrounds who are each exponentially making a difference in this world using technology.

With NASA Research Park as the backdrop, I could not help but remember scientist and astronaut Dr. Sally Ride who passed away this summer. Dr. Ride was passionate about science and stimulating that passion in grade school.  She knew that inspirational teachers make a difference in shaping the path of a potential technologist.

Ping Fu, CEO of Geomagic, a leading provider of 3D software (yes, she wore platform shoes and a necklace that she had designed with her 3D software during her presentation) stated that instead of women moving upward to an artificial glass ceiling, we should move forward, just move forward!

Coke CEO, Muhtar Kent also spoke at the event.  He explained that the 21st century is for women. Kent began a program called 2020, designed to promote gender equality within the company.  In three-and-a-half years, Coca-Cola’s management went from 22 percent women to 40 percent. But to that impressive figure, Kent said, “I’m still not satisfied.”

My own career path in technology began with a focus on computer networking, and now I am looking at how Machine-to-Machine communications and eHealth can contribute to assisted living cases. The latter example is more poignant to me as my mother, my hero, has been struggling with Stage IV breast cancer, and continues to follow my numerous achievements whilst asserting, “Nothing is impossible Monique.” 

“Nothing is impossible” has been my modus operandi in everything I do; especially in technology and pursuing technical paths I was told I could not take.

Be curious; ask questions and invent!

To learn more about women in ICT see: WISENET: the Women in ICTs Shared Excellence Network

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