back to articles list »

Interview with Geek Austin is up!

Jana Thomson from Geek Austin gets the dirt on Alison and her Core Conversation at SXSW, " Duh...It's Like Tech for Girls" 

Both Syuzie Pakhchyan of Fashion Technology and Alison will be running this core converstaion at SXSW. Please join them on Monday, March 15 at 11:00 AM. http://my.sxsw.com/events/event/487

Below is an excerpt from the interview, you can read more on GeekAustin.com at http://geekaustin.org/2010/02/24/sxsw-panelist-alison-lewis

"Jana: Technology is seen as a man's world, more than even business these days. One of the questions on the SXSW website for your panel was' why does getting girls involved in technology matter to our quality of life?' In my experience, seemed that even very competent and intelligent and otherwise confident women seem to be intimidated by the use of technology. Do you think that by discussing technology and encouraging the use of it in domains where many women are more comfortable and confident that it will encourage women to become more confident in their understanding and usage of computers and mobile phones?

Alison: Not to be brash, but I don't care much if they learn to use their mobile phones. That is something the mobile phone and computer companies want from them. It may make them more knowledgeable about how the phone works and they may even research the difference between 3G and 4G someday. But, it's more likely that women will start thinking about how that phone is used and start to critique it a bit more and start to critique it a bit more and maybe even eventually design their own phone for women. Wouldn’t that be nice?

As you can see, I want to inspire the attitude that the crafts and skills we have as women (have had for hundreds of years) are extremely viable in the technology sector. This idea alone is powerful enough to spark some innovation and questions in women. We need to start thinking about how objects are designed for us and start asking why they are designed that way. Start seeing where we can make the changes and have more control over the products and activities we choose to share with technology. I could rant about this all day -- but to be honest I am truly stepping into some unknown territory. We don't exactly know what bringing thousands of new women into technology will do, and I am not sure we can totally understand the implications. I just trust my gut, and my gut says, "more girls need to be in technology because we need their vision and they need to be a part of the creation of the products they are using."