In nearly every country in the world, technology plays a major role. Yet, even though women make up half the global population, they make up only a fraction of technology college graduates and the technology workforce. And, there’s a disturbing trend in some regions of the world where the number of women pursuing education and careers in technology fields are declining.
As we commemorate International Woman's Day 2015, we decided to explore why the number of girls and women entering technology fields does not reflect the global population. We asked four members of the Internet Society Hall of Fame for their insights on how to attract more girls and women to careers in technology.
Anriette Esterhuysen, executive director of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC).
Elizabeth Feinler, who managed the Network Information Center at the U.S. Defense Department's ARPANET.
Nancy Hafkin, who worked to build Africa's ICT framework.
Radia Perlman, who helped transform...
Radia Perlman shares her thoughts on women and careers in technology.
The news media can always count on our Hall of Fame inductees to provide insightful perspectives, thought-provoking ideas and memorable quotes. Here are a few examples from the month of January:
Brewster Kahle was the subject of a long profile in The New Yorker and another nice story in The Atlantic, about (among other things) how his Wayback Machine is saving us from the frustration of searching for deleted Web pages.
Paul Vixie doesn’t have much hope that the average user can ever be completely safe on the Internet. But he sees some hopeful trends: “The big companies like Apple and Google now are being helpful; for example, it’s nearly impossible to download software by mistake anymore, and that’s a good thing. Also, people are taking their security more seriously, now that we’re reading every day about identity theft at the large department stores, big-box stores and banks that we all use.” Vixie offers these tips for average users of the Internet:
- Don’t use the same password everywhere. Many websites are operated by folks who don’t know much about security. There are lots of password-management options now, including some that create extremely strong, random passwords for you for each website you visit. Use one of these options.
- Use only the latest version of the operating system and software you have on your computer and upgrade them as soon as upgrades become available. That’s because the fixes, patches and upgrades are usually done to improve the...
Internet Hall of Famer Paul Vixie has a startling take on the people who created the Internet: They were “just a bunch of young rebels who didn’t like the phone company monopoly. They thought they could come up with a better way to communicate – and have fun doing it. For most of us, the Internet we know today was not even a gleam in our eyes. It was just a rebellion, really.”
It’s clear that Vixie is speaking with great affection for the “rebels” who are his peers and predecessors. Dissatisfaction with the way things are “is what makes progress happen,” he says.
Much of his own career has been devoted to taking down those who would interfere with the Internet’s progress. His passion for that is reflected in the way he speaks, like a sheriff in the Wild West, of the “Good Guys” and the “Bad Guys.”
He has always had a fine contempt for the Bad Guys who abuse the Internet. In 1998, Vixie created the first anti-spam company, MAPS (Mail Abuse Prevention System), with the goal of stopping email abuse. And in 2013, he founded (and is CEO of) Farsight Security, which is dedicated to securing the world's digital infrastructure by ensuring that “everyone who’s trying to make the Internet safer has the tools they need to do that.”
Vixie believes that a...