What IT feels like for a girl

This year the Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) celebrated International Women’s Day on May 8 with a series of mentoring events across the country and an essay-writing contest called “”Your Future . . . Your Mission . . . Your Challenge.”” The contest asked grade 9 girls to answer the

question, “”Technology is part of everything. How do you see technology as an important part of the career you choose?”” Brianna Lidster’s essay, below, was the first-place winner. Her essay, along with the second and third-place winning entries, are available at www.cips.ca/it/women.

Technology is a major part of my life as I use it for internet research, e-mail, games, news and current events. As I pursue a career in the medical field or elsewhere I am positive that technology will be involved in my life and I want to be a part of developing cutting-edge enhancements.

On March 8th I went to a promotional technology workshop for ninth grade girls to encourage female students to remain involved in science, math, and computers. I spoke to several women about how technology has allowed them to get where they are today and how it is involved in their lives. All of the mentors I talked to enjoy their jobs and are glad that they continued their education in technology as it not only helped broaden their job search area but also gave them an edge as hopeful employees. Although each mentors’ occupations were different, (program analyst, infrastructure systems architect, and systems coordinator), they all agreed that technology is everywhere and will influence any job you choose. We were told that as students my age get older technology will evolve even further and it will be critical for us to be able to understand how to use it. Women need to become empowered by technology because the study by the National Committee on Equity showed little progress on closing the wage gap between men and women in 2000. Women are still earning only 73 percent of men’s wages.’ However, it is my hope that women involved in technology will create an opportunity for equality in the work force.

I would like to become a physician or a similar career in the medical field. Recently, I was reading the developments of echocardiogram tests. The echocardiogram uses ultra sound, rather than X-rays or invasive surgery to image a patient’s heart and blood vessels. With this technology, doctors can identify any area of your heart that has been damaged. Furthermore, if a person is unable to perform an exercise test a patient’s heart can be tested by using intravenous medications to simulate the stress caused by exercise.2 With this technological advancement, patient hospitalization and recovery has been reduced, which frees up needed beds in hospitals for those in critical care. Technology in hospitals and practitioners’ offices allow patients and their personal records to be organized, current, and available. Now more than ever physicians need to keep an efficient system in order to ensure a responsive prescription and appropriate advice for their growing number of patients. Hospitals that are technologically advanced will avoid devastating mistakes as they admit new patients and need to provide immediate and accurate care.

I feel technology will continue to influence every area of our lives and be the determining factor in equalizing pay disparity between men and women. In November 2001, Premier Ujjal Dosanjh committed the government to ensuring pay equity in the B.C. Human Rights Code.3

The future will provide me with opportunities to be involved in technology, improve working conditions, and help to create economic security for women in the work force.


(1) http://www.feminist.com/fairpay/f_wagegap.htm

(2) Mayo Clinic Women’s Health Source, December 2001

(3) http://www.bc.ndp.ca/newsarchive/010302_payequity.html

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