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    Danette Beal
    2017 All-Stars: Where are the Women?
    Entry posted June 21, 2017 by Danette BealElite, tagged Awards, Industry News and Events 
    389 Views, 8 Comments
    Title:
    2017 All-Stars: Where are the Women?
    Entry:

    Woman

    When I was in elementary school, my teacher gave us a penmanship assignment and asked us to write about a personal experience. I couldn't have been older than eight at the time, and I chose to write about an experience with a little boy. He told me I couldn't do something because I was a girl. The one page declaration in perfectly formed letters vehemently defended my rights to 'do anything a boy could do'. My mom was so proud of the assignment she kept it on her office wall until retirement. Although I didn’t understand why she was so proud of it at the time, as I have become older, I now realize the importance of my words. I consider myself lucky enough to have grown up believing I could do anything a man could do and still believe this today. My confidence goes well beyond normal levels in most capacities, and as an adult, my grit and determination have qualified me as a team player, not just the woman on the team.

    Qualifying an All-Star

    Although I am confident, I am also very self-aware, and as a member of the Oracle Service Cloud community, I was intimidated to post or answer questions on the forum boards. Opening myself up to critique by my peers was a risk I wasn’t willing to take while build my knowledge of the product. As an alternative to contributing, I scoured the forum boards for answers, kept to myself when I had the solutions and focused on building my team's knowledge and not that of the greater community. In speaking to colleagues who use the forum boards in a number of different roles (both men and women), I am not alone in my reserved attitude toward the community. Members ask pretty specific, sometimes very complicated questions that can take serious brain power to answer. Community members can be very blunt in offering feedback and not particularly encouraging. It is easy to understand why so many members are passive participants.

    To become a community All-Star, participants must qualify in a number of different ways. Each member of the community is given a score based on a predetermined criteria. Although anyone who joins the conversation is working toward becoming an official Oracle Service Cloud All-Star and it is not a difficult task, most do not qualify. In assessing our community program, there are a few traits of an All-Star that stick out; willingness to help the greater community, a desire to keep a pulse on what members are doing with the product and the personal value received from contributing are the biggest motivators. Although I was excited to announce the 2017 All-Stars, one consistent question was asked shortly after the announcement, 'Come on Oracle, is this 1953, where are all the women?'

    Where are all the Women?

    Women working

    This is a question that is asked frequently in business and not one that is answered easily. According to the United States Department of Labor, women hold around 46.9% of all jobs in the high tech industry, but upon evaluating the data, not all of those jobs are in technical positions. I have personally worked with quite a few women in highly technical roles and I know they are out there. Not only are they present, but they are also making a difference in shaping our products and technology today.  Jessica Bradley, Keri Jenkin and Susie Boyer are all top employee contributors to the community and highly valued within our teams. Each brings a level of knowledge and expertise that cannot be rivaled by anyone on the community or within Oracle. They are not alone, several hundred women are dedicated to making Oracle Service Cloud successful in a variety of roles. Not only are women contributing as employees, but also have a large presence within our partner organizations and customer advisory boards. Women have a seat at the table and their voices are being heard.

    To answer the question, 'where are all the women All-Stars?' That's easy, they're on the community. They are developing code, building workflows, improving knowledge bases and making management decisions just to name a few. We cannot make exceptions for women by bending the rules to become an official All-Star, but our team is dedicated to diversifying the community in several ways and decreasing the intimidation factor for both men and women. As we roll into the next qualification year, I will be crunching the numbers along the way and identifying potential All-Stars. I’m not concerned about women not qualifying, because I already know there are more than enough women who have the skills and expertise to qualify. My hope is that by June 2018, our community will have less members in the shadows and more actively participating by answering questions and posting regularly. To all the women out there, what is holding you back from becoming an All-Star and what can Oracle do to help lower those barriers?

    Look forward to your comments,

    Danette, Community Manager

    Comment

     

    • Keri

      We are all Wonder Women!

      Thanks, Danette, for the mention! You are one of our fearless leaders and you are greatly appreciated!

      wwm.jpg (20KB)
    • Pramod Vasudeva Murthy

      Agreed.

      There are women in our life(both personal and professional) who influence, encourage and make us what we are(to a major extent). It is important to respect them and provide equal facilitations they deserve.

      Thanks to Danette for highlighting this.yes

      ~VIP

    • Ammar Aldaffaie

      I have personally worked with quite a few women and I think they capable of doing everything equally as men. 

    • Chandini Davis

      Great write up Danette. Perhaps a Women HH should be added in Vegas next year.  I'm lucky to have worked with many intelligent and strong women at Oracle and I hope to continue!

      I do love that some great ladies hold the top spots over on the Hero Hub!

       

       

    • sarahanderson

      I wondered the same thing myself - I can think of a number of awesome Bozeman ladies who should definitely be incuded in this list!

    • Kristi A. Karels

      I am an advocate for "all things Oracle" and do my best to promote the products subtlely and efficiently.  I will peruse the community forums for answers and am grateful when people have suggestions and feedback for me. 

    • Varun Srinivasan

      I have been working with women in our organization and are superb and very knowledgeable. I think working with women let's you learn 

       

    • Franky Weber Faust

      I think it is a great way of thinking. We need equality in IT and all other areas.