The IT Industry and Women

I'm a woman in an industry dominated by men and at times your voice can get lost so how do you manage to stay relevant and ensure you're heard? Within the tech sector, only 24% of the jobs are currently filled by women and of those 24% over one third  38% to be exact are considering leaving. It's a phenomenon that has been consistent since I've began my career over 15 years ago. Is the job demanding? YES! However it's also extremely rewarding because you are solving problems consistently. In essence as an IT professional, we use the analogy of "fighting fires" quite often. When there is an issue you are the first line of defense and it's time sensitive in most cases but when the tables turn and you're able to solve those issues, you feel a sense of both relief and satisfaction. It's rewarding and the pay is good. 

So what's the driving force behind the mass exodus of women looking to leave if it's so rewarding? There are a multitude of reasons why anyone would leave a profession and the most common is that you feel your voice isn't heard. This is especially true for some women within the male dominated IT industry. If you feel that your contributions are suppressed or worse, not even heard then it can start to wear on your motivation to contribute. You'll start to reprioritize your life and it's only natural to gravitate towards areas within your life where you feel valued and mentally you'll start to reshuffle the deck of priorities in your head and that job can start to look more like a burden. 

IT centric issues are factors as well. Mainly the fact that IT encompasses many different areas which grow at an exponential rate. It's easy to feel lost or overwhelmed when you're trying to balance a personal life that may include family planning or parenting with your professional life that requires constant retraining and endless learning. To stay relevant within IT, you'll definitely need to stay engaged in some form of self-paced learning or courses. It's not an industry where you can coast through with the same skillset that you originally started with. Your career and knowledge will evolve and grow naturally within IT. If it does not and you start to feel stagnant then that is a sign that you're working at the wrong company and not a sign that you're in the wrong industry. 

Deciding where you want to focus your attention too may add pressure and can be a bit overwhelming when trying to juggle multiple things within ones life. Again it requires focus and a clear plan of action that can be tricky to navigate alone. This is where having a mentor can be the most impactful for those who may be wondering about getting out of the industry. A mentor can provide guidance and can be an advocate for you and assist with your growth. It's advised to have multiple mentors to assist with different growth plans. For example a mentor within your current company can be an advocate for you within those meetings where you're not in attendance and a mentor within the industry as a whole can help with awareness of other options and growth potential that you may not be immediately aware of.  


Jeen-yuhs A Kanye Trilogy on Netflix

In true Kanye West fashion, he documented his rise to fame before he even knew he would be famous. Absolutely, he had a buzz in his hometown for making beats but as a rap artist he was non-existent. However if there were any depiction of hard work and dedication to ones dream, it was surely captured in Jeen-yuhs. The first of the three part Netflix series was released on Wednesday February 16 and part 2 and 3 will be released 2/23 and 3/2. 

Part 1 of the documentary starts with him in Chicago where he makes his rounds among the local talent making a name for himself as the beat hit maker. From the intro the series also features the cinematographer Coodiem who cast himself as a second character while he narrates about the ambition of both he and Kanye.  He states that he uprooted his life to make the move with Kanye as he moves to NYC in pursuit of his dream to not only be a producer making beats but also a rapper. As he states Kanye had a spark and from what he saw was destine to make it. From the beginning you witness a brace faced young humbled Kanye as he sits in a Newark apartment playing his songs for anyone who would listen. It also depicts the strong bond he shared with his mother Donda West and she can be seen within docu-series supporting her young son and always smiling. You can physically see the love and support that she poured into him and hindsight, knowing what we all know now it's both heartwarming and heartbreaking. It's actually the most poignant part of the series and left me sympathetic. Regardless of the current popular opinion on Kanye 2022, we can all relate to him during these chronicled early days and to me makes him seem more personable but I believe that's the point. 


Robert DeNiro's Granted rights to build NYC Movie Studio

 Robert DeNiro was just granted permission from the NY Planning Authority rights to move forward with a 7 story movie studio in Queens. That's huge for the city and a solid attempt to move production away from LA. NYC is no stranger to being the backdrop for motion pictures. However having variety in studios allow for more production to be shoot in NY which can lead to jobs. Personally I think it's a win for NY and the students of NYU, NYFA, Parsons and a list of other schools who offer film programs. 


Feels Like Home

 I haven't logged into write in a while. It's actually been 2+ years and while signing in and seeing my landing page, it felt like coming home so let's get to it! I made a bomb recipe and its the first thing that I definitely want to share. Actually I'm sharing and using this to save for my own record because it was THAT DAMN good!!! It's full of flavor and they blend together perfectly. Plus I've been on my healthy kick and it fits the healthy bill coming in at under 600 calories!

Kale salad with curried chickpeas and roasted walnuts. I also added dried cranberries to this salad for  extra sweetness and salmon for my protein. Prep work is required for the curried chickpeas. I used fresh chickpeas and let them sit overnight instead of using canned chickpeas but canned is fine and just as healthy. To roast them, I laid them out on a baking sheet making sure they were dry. Then brush olive oil over them and sprinkle with curry powder (I used mild Jamaican curry powder), coriander and salt. Coriander is not necessary but I added it to ensure that my chickpeas were seasoned well. Then bake them in the oven for 20-30 minutes until golden brown. 

Simultaneously I also baked my salmon. I season my salmon the same way each time I cook it and it's always GREAT (YESSSS I'm bragging because it delicious). Season the salmon filet with onion powder, garlic powder, a small amount of Old Bay seasoning, fresh dill, fresh lemon juice and melted butter. 

For the salad I mix kale, shredded carrots and spinach. Slightly sautee them in olive oil and garlic making sure not over wilt them. While cooking squeeze in a small amount of fresh lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes or so to get your veggies soft then set aside and add your Craisins (dried cranberries)

Roasted cinnamon walnuts aren't required but it definitely adds to the dish making it on the gourmet side! It's also simple and takes 2 minutes. In a saucepan heat a small pat of butter, add cinnamon while the butter is melting and add a small squirt of honey then add your crushed walnuts. Make sure you start off with small amounts of the honey butter because you don't want to drown your walnuts because they'll stick together. You only want to coat them. This should also be your last step when adding to your salad. 

At this point the chickpeas and salmon should be ready to come out of the oven. You don't want to overcook your salmon as it dries it out. You want moist salmon. Add your salmon and chickpeas to the top of your kale/spinach salad and enjoy!