Wednesday Jul 08, 2009

The Triumph of the Vote

Mr. Robert P. J. Cooney, Jr. came to Sun Microsystems today to talk to the Women@Sun group about the triumphant women's suffrage movement in the United States that took more than 60 years to gain success. Sixty years! Just for women to get the right to vote!  [1] Mr. Cooney became interested in this movement in the 1970s when attending school to become a graphic artist, when he realized the large prejudice that women needed to overcome and that they were able to do this in a nonviolent way.

This was such a difficult task, as the women had to convince men that not only were women prepared to vote, but that women were educated and informed. Only men could decide whether or not to grant women the right to vote, and many of these men were ignorant, uneducated and even illiterate.  A difficult task at hand, indeed!

Suffragists started with parades in different states to raise awareness of their concerns, along with organizing peaceful rallies. Getting women to join in these events was difficult, as many were afraid that their participation would be seen as too forward by the men and scare the men off of giving them the vote even more, but the suffragists knew they could not be silent. They need to be seen to be heard.

The US Supreme Court had ruled that it was an issue that should be decided by the states, so the women had to levy campaigns in each and every state, a very arduous process indeed! These campaigns were most successful in the progressive west. East of the Mississippi, the only suffrage many women could get was the ability to vote only for school boards and other small, local positions.

Susan B. Anthony strongly believed it was really a federal issue, and began the push for a federal amendment to the US Constitution. Unfortunately, she died before seeing this come to pass, after 45 years of tireless effort on her part.  Fortunately, there were other women ready to take up the task at hand and push the movement forward, even in times of war.

The women found they were ignored by both major political parties, so their took their parades to the democratic and republican conventions. At one of them, the women actually had a silent, still "parade" - where they all wore white with golden jewelry and parasols and lined the street and stood silently while the delegates were participating in their own march down that same street. The eerie silence had great impact on those delegates, bringing the rights of women to the forefront of their minds.

When the suffragists were not getting momentum they wanted at the national level, they began to leverage their vote in the western states to oust seated national politicians, targeting, in particular, the democratic party. I find this an interesting historic note, as the democrat party is now associated with women's rights, but apparently the turn of the 19th century told a different story.

Mr. Cooney has documented this in his book, Winning the Vote: The Triumph of the American Woman Suffrage Movement, which is filled with outstanding images of the buttons and posters the suffragists made, as well as pictures of the rallies and events and documentation of the cruel treatment several women received for protesting peacefully outside of the White House during World War I.

Mt. Cooney is an eloquent speaker and I really look forward to reading his book in the up coming weeks, but all of this reminds me that all over the world today, women still do not have the right to vote and have themselves represented. It's so disturbing to me, because it seems like such an inalienable right. How can we be citizens and pay taxes and not vote? But, if it took more than 60 years to make such thing a documented right in a progressive country like our own, it may be many more lifetimes before women the world over have these same freedoms and the same voice. Let's hope it comes sooner than later, for all of our sakes.

Valerie Fenwick

[1] As pointed out during the Q&A session, not all women gained the right to vote in all states in 1920.  For many women of color, particularly those that lived in the south, that quest took another 40 years, where they had to fight along side their brothers and fathers to get the same equal representation.

Wednesday Aug 06, 2008

Pat Mitchell - A Conversation on Leadership - Replay Available

Pat Mitchell is the only female board member on Sun's board. She is the former CEO of PBS and worked personally for Ted Turner. She is a mother of 6 and an amazing business woman!

Women@Sun asked Pat to sit down and share some insights with our members. Hear what she had to say!

[Read More]

Wednesday Mar 26, 2008

Women's History Month Panel

Sun is being represented on a panel hosted by the Alliance for Women in Technology today.

March is Women's History Month.

But we're going to be talking about the future.

It's a multi-generational panel on how emerging tools like social networking are being used to foster collaboration and build community.

We will be sharing the experiences we've had at Sun wrt the community of Women@Sun and how we're using Facebook.

Mary

Thursday Mar 06, 2008

Bringing Awareness of International Women's Day to the U.S.

While Sun has been recognizing National Women's History Month for nearly a decade, four years ago, we also started to spread awareness of International Women's Day (IWD) during our March events.

IWD takes place on March 8 and started nearly 100 yrs ago in Europe.  Employees at Sun from the Ukraine have told me that IWD is very much like Mothers Day in the US.   But it recognizes all Women.  Typically, women get time off from work on March 8 (which is a Saturday this year.)  IWD is the global day connecting all women around the world and inspiring them to achieve their full potential.   You can read all of the history online.

It's also a big flower day!  I've been told that men are expected to give flowers to the women in their lives - not just their mothers - but to their sisters, wives, aunts, etc.  In the past, we've given flowers to our local  women employees in the Boston area. (We were able to do this with the help of our favorite local florist. Jody & Jill, owners of Fortin Gage,  take very good care of the women from Sun who drop by their shop - that's why they get a special 'shout out' on this blog entry!) 

 

I was surprised what a big impact that a single pink or red carnation could make.  One employee told me that he emailed all of his relatives back in the Ukraine to tell them that Sun was celebrating IWD.  He went on to tell me how much money he would spend on flowers for the women in his life 'back home' -- he seemed very proud of the IWD tradition in his country. (And he seemed proud to work for a company in the US that observed IWD)

So, why is it that we don't hear a lot  about IWD in the US - especially as our economy becomes more global?  I've been wondering about this since I first learned of this March 8 observance.

This morning,  I was listening to my favorite morning show news personalities (Diane and Robin) and they mentioned IWD.   I think we are going to see more awareness of this observance in the US because of their IWD story this morning that featured Diane von Furstenberg

How are you going to observe IWD on Saturday, March 8?  If you are looking for inspiration, there are activities all over the world taking place - perhaps one is near  you!?!

(ps...if you are wondering about the flower picture on this entry, that's from my Garden 4 years ago - it's a gerber daisy that had a crushed blossom, and when the flower finally opened, a heart appeared - pretty cool, huh?) 


Wednesday Mar 05, 2008

Happy Women's History Month!

For the 8th consecutive year, Sun employees in the Boston area are recognizing National Women's History Month (WHM) during March.   (I have to admit that I will miss Larry R's annual email to me asking when National Men's Month is celebrated!) :-)

We have a great line up of activities at Sun in the Boston area this March - including our 3rd annual toiletry drive to support some local women's shelters.  (I'm at Sun HQ this week and saved all my little unused hotel shampoos, etc.  to donate to this cause - but due to airline security regulations, I have to check my bag since my 'stash' won't even come close to fitting into a quart sized ziplock  for my carry-on bag. Oh, the things we will do to support the causes  for which we have passion!) 

We're also looking forward to a panel discussion with some of Sun's women VPs and Directors as well as a roundtable discussion with Donnalee Lozeau, the first woman Mayor in Nashua, NH's 153+ yr history.  (I was at our City Hall last year and walked down the hall where all the previous Mayor's pictures are hanging - It was so obvious that a woman's face was missing!  It's great to see Donnalee's up there now and we're looking forward to her being at Sun at the end of March.)

We'll post updates about our activities throughout the month, so check this blog to see what's going on.  And let us know via the comments option what you are doing to celebrate WHM in March!


Monday Jan 14, 2008

Women@Sun and SL

I'm on the Women@Sun leadership team. 

We're working up an idea that would involve doing a private screening of a special multimedia event in Second Life for our Sun employees.

Details are still being worked out, but I'm hopeful.

If you haven't yet checked out Sun's presence in Second Life it's worth a look.

(log in; search on Sun Microsystems)

I'll keep you posted...

:-)

Mary

Tuesday Jan 08, 2008

Watching Women's History Unfold in NH this Week

I live in NH and am very excited about today's 1st in the Nation Presidential Primary that is taking place here today(I've already been blogging a little on this via the Sun Communicators' Group Blog)

It's only Tuesday and it's already been an exciting week.

In Nashua,NH  the first woman mayor for the city was inaugurated on Sunday morning during the 104th Inauguration of Nashua City Government - there were also some women being inaugurated for the Board of Aldermen (which was an all male board in 2007).

Ironically, as these women in city government were being sworn in to office, thousands of people were outside of the same venue, waiting in line to see one of the top Democratic candidates (a woman!) who is running for President of the United States.  (The City Inauguration took place at 10 am and the Presidential Campaign Rally was at 12noon)

Don't forget that women did not have the right to even vote in the United States until the Nineteenth Amendment was passed on August 26, 1920.   

It's amazing to know that there are women who are alive today - our mothers and grandmothers who at one time, were not allowed to vote - it was against the law.  And today, these same women get to see a woman's name on the ballot as one of the many PEOPLE who are running for President in 2008. 

No matter which candidate you may support, or vote for, we are living and participating in history.
That is something to stop and think about today.


Monday Dec 03, 2007

The Season of Giving Continues.....

Last week, Mary recognized the work that we're doing at Sun's NH office for the Nashua Children's Home.  (I just love the NCH project and get excited every year seeing Sun employees make an extra effort to provide local kids with happy holiday memories!)

This week, I'd like to give a 'shout out' for the additional project that Sun Women in the Boston area are leading right now.....a HUGE drive to support the Lowell Wish Project.    Within just a few days, 99 "wish tags" were accounted for by Sun employees in the Boston area -- and I know many of them are out shopping tonite.

This project is being led by Michele Walker and Tricia Teixeira (both are people I've known for many years at Sun and I'm glad that this project helped us to get reacquainted.)  This is the first drive that Michele and Tricia have led for the entire Burlington campus and their energy and enthusiasm has been inspiring to our local employees.

I wondered how they would manage so many 'wishes' knowing that our local community is very distributed.   With their IT and Web backgrounds, they convinced some of our engineering employees to donate some volunteer time to create an internal wiki - kind of a virtual holiday tree - for employees to access 'tags' from anywhere.   Very cool and I'm sure the start of a best practice that will be replicated across Sun.

Thank you to Tricia and Michele for the work you've done....I'll look forward to joining you and all of the other volunteers whom you recruited to take care of the final packaging and delivery at our Burlington campus later next week! 

Monday Nov 26, 2007

The season of giving

Women@Sun organizaitons around the world are organizing different holiday drives this time of year to give back to the communities where we operate.

As I find out more about details, I'll update with those here.

Meanwhile, I wanted to quickly give you visiblity into some fantastic work led by Sandy Belknap, Terri McClellan, and Cynthia Tello, who are based at Sun's offices in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. 

It's a gift drive that will benefit the Nashua Children's Home.

The Home is home 44 children, ages 7-18 who are put in their care by the courts, as result of abuse or neglect.

Every year, since 2001, Women@Sun in this region have organized a drive to make sure these children receive something special for the holidays.

I had the opportunity to visit the Nasuha Children's Home last year.

I've seen the investment that Sandy and the very generous employees her efforts have helped mobilize have made over the years; and the people who've benefited.

It makes me so to be able to call these people my colleagues.

Mary

Multicultural Women Townhall

I'm honored to get to participate in the Multicultural Women's Townhall behing hosted by Working Mother Media in Washington D.C. this week.

I'll represent Women@Sun there. 

I'll post details on my experience here later this week.

Mary

Monday Oct 22, 2007

I Invent the Future

October 22, 2007 - Twenty-four members of the engineering staff represented Sun at the annual Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC).

 

GHC is presented by the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology and the Association for Computing Machinery.

Sun was a Platinum Sponsor for the event, continuing the company's support for women in computing. Sun sponsored GHC in 2002, 2004 and 2006 (GHC used to be held every other year.)

Sun's GHC attendees represent the broad and diverse opportunities Sun affords to women in computing and technology, ranging from researchers at Sun Labs and engineers in Microelectronics, Software and IT, to managers and directors in Sales and Human Resources.

Sun's attendees were involved heavily at the event. Ten participated on panels and BOFs including:

  • "Advancing Your Career, Advancing Your Life" (panel submitted by Robin Wilensky, Architect in Sun Global Sales & Service Thursday, Session 1
  • "The Road to Executive Leadership" (includes a Sun panelist Kathy Jenks, Director in Sun Software)
    Thursday, Session 2
  • "Managing your career 2-5 years out of school" (includes a Sun panelist Sukyoung Ryu, Member of the Technical Staff in Sun Labs)
    Thursday, Session 3
  • "Girl Geeks in High School - Technical Experiences of Future Inventors" (panel submitted by Katy Dickinson, Director in Sun's CTO group, and daughter Jessica Dickinson Goodman, soon-to-be Freshman at Carnegie Mellon University)
    Thursday, Session 4
  • "Real Teamwork in the Virtual World" (includes a Sun panelist Leslie Lambert Vice President, IT Service)
    Thursday, Session 4
  • "Mentoring Makes MAGIC for Middle and High School Girls" (BOF submitted by Ira Pramanick, Sun Senior Staff Engineer in Software)
    Thursday, Session 6
  • "Successful Latinas Opening Doors to the Future: Advancing Latinas in Computing" (panel submitted by Gilda Garreton, Staff Engineer in Sun Labs; the panel also includes Ivonne Valdes, Sun Director in Global Services)
    Friday, Session 3
  • "Technical to Management: Expect the Unexpected - A Synopsis of Two Women's First Year Experiences" (includes Susan Miller, Director)
    Friday, Session 4
  • "Innovation Inside Corporations" (includes a Sun panelist Yvonne Wilson, Sun Principal IT Architect)
    Friday, Session 5
  • "Latinas in Computing" (BOF submitted by Gilda Garreton, Staff Engineer in Sun Labs)
    Friday, Session 6
  • "Outstanding Women in Computer Security" (includes a Sun panelist Kathy Jenks, Director in Sun Software)

Gilda Garreton, Sun Labs; Valerie Fenwick, Software; and Katy Dickinson, CTO, were Official Bloggers. Gilda blogged in Spanish.

Gilda focused on the track for Latinas in Computing: Latinas in GHC07, which produced a panel titled "Successful Latinas Opening Doors to the Future: Advancing Latinas in Computing," with six distinguished Latinas from industry and academia; follow-up BOF session and lunch event.

The attendees staffed a recruiting table, participated in Sponsor Night and gave away a Sun SPOT as part of the Sponsor's Raffle.

GHC 2007 was the seventh in a series of conferences designed to bring the research and career interests of women in computing to the forefront.

Presenters represented industrial, academic and government communities. Leading researchers presented current work, while special sessions focused on the role of women in computer science, information technology, research and engineering.

Past GHC events have resulted in collaborative proposals, networking, mentoring, and increased visibility for the contributions of women in computing.

Tuesday Oct 02, 2007

First a Wage Gap....Now a Happiness Gap?

A colleague from California passed along a link to an Economist blog entry re: Women and Happiness.  

Research is showing that women are less happy than men.   I find this intersting and decided to click some of the links in the entry to read more. 

Of particular interest to me was the comment in a NY Times article ('He's Happier, She's Less So') that "there appears to be a growing happiness gap between men and women."

According to the research, women aren't necessarily working more than 30-40 yrs ago - we are just doing different kinds of work. Less homemaker-type of work and more career/business work.

But many of us still have to do homemaker-type work - aka: housework -  on top of our career business work -- this is what is making so many of us unhappy.   It's like they say, "A woman's work is never done."

Bottom line (at least to me), is that we need to stop putting so much pressure on ourselves (Yes! That's easier said than done, I guess.)  Goes back to the need to 'have it all.'  Which apparently is taking a priority over our need for happiness.   

First a wage gap, now a happiness gap --- I'm going to keep reading about this to see if there is any research that ties the two gaps together.  

I wonder which gap we can close first? (And how long it will take?)

Thursday Aug 16, 2007

Sun Woman Speaks on NPRs 'Talk of the Nation': Aug 17

Listen to NPR's Talk of the Nation: Science Friday this week!

WHEN: Friday, Aug 17, 11:00am PT, 2:00pm ET
NPR's Talk of the Nation: Science Friday segment on your local NPR station


Susan Landau, A Distinguished Engineer at Sun,will discuss the Science of Wiretapping, particularly as it relates to the Protect America Act of 2007

recently signed into law.

The law, an amendment to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA), extends the government's authority to wiretap without a warrant.

We featured Susan on our Women's blog just last week to highlight her article in the Washington Post.

Wednesday Aug 08, 2007

Breaking news from the Detroit Free Press

Technology Camp Nurtures Girls' Interests in the Field

Sun Business Development Executive and President of the Women's Technology Foundation Rosemary Bayer supports Camp Infinity, which takes place in mid-July for girls to learn about different forms of technology.  Bayer says the camp has two objectives.  "The first is, you can do it and it's fun" and the second objective is to encourage girls to pursue careers in the technology industry, where women are underrepresented.  She adds, "The Michigan Council of Women in Technology started because there are very few women in the field. We realized we needed to get more girls motivated and inspired about math and computer science."

Full story.

Wednesday Jul 25, 2007

Battle picking and other daily activities

Interesting series of events:  In the same month, India elected its first female President, and on the other side of celebrity turmoil, a judge (male, ironically) condemned the whole of the Indian democratic philosophy because: Of 4 remaining female Indian Idol contestants, 3 were on the brink of extinction,  while less talented (in the judge's opinion), male contestants settled comfortably into their seats, one step closer to the coveted prize. The Indian President is elected by members of the Indian Parliament and Legislature, while the next Indian Idol will be jettisoned into stardom by the harsh critics in the Indian masses. Surely this means that in the Indian Government, we have done well by electing progressive, non-discriminating leaders that have the gumption to appoint the most deserving candidate, regardless of gender, while the masses in India need to do some soul searching on whether it was Charu's gender or her bland singing that led to her ultimate dismissal.

Or does it?

As I took a moment to be concerned about the state of my democracy, I realized that the ringing in my ears was the farewell song of the contestant who was voted off, and I have to say I was relieved to see her go. Further, each of the girls clearly lacked the ability to motivate the crowd into a bouncing, gyrating frenzy that somehow the boys were able to pull off. I would vote all the women off. I am a woman, and a music devotee.  Where should my loyalties lie? And why are they even in conflict in this event?

We need to pick our battles wisely. Gender biases exist legitimately and there are several examples of situations in which women have been disadvantaged, either consciously or inadvertently, in social and professional spheres (there are also examples, incidentally, of the reverse occurring).

I'd rather have a female President and a male Indian Idol any day! (Go, Chang!).

About

We share news and accolades about Women at Oracle.

Search

Archives
« April 2014
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
  
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
   
       
Today