Ladies (and gentlemen), get your geek on

12 11 2010

I’m fortunate enough to be a part of a local networking and learning group called Girl Geek Dinners Ottawa. We meet on a monthly basis to network, learn and share ideas about technology and related topics.

The mission of these get-togethers is to make technology accessible to all age groups and people, particularly women. Sarah Blow, Community Manager at TweetMeme, is the person who started Girl Geek Dinners (GGD).

Here’s why:

The Girl Geek Dinners were founded on the 16th August 2005 as a result of one girl geek who got annoyed and frustrated about being one of the only females attending technical events. She was tired of being assumed to be marketing, tired of constantly having to prove herself and decided that she just wanted a change and to be treated just the same as any other geek out there, gender and age aside.

An idea worth sharing

Sarah’s first Girl Geek Dinner event, held in London, England, was such a success that people started talking about it across the web. The idea caught on and soon Girl Geek Dinners started popping up across the UK and Europe. Girl Geek Dinner

There are now Girl Geek Dinner chapters in 77 cities around the globe. There are seven* chapters in Canada! I think that is a wonderful thing.

If you live in or near any of these cities, check out your local GGD chapter:

Toronto Girl Geek Dinners
Montreal Girl Geek Dinners
Saskatoon Girl Geek Dinners
Calgary Girl Geek Dinners
Ottawa Girl Geek Dinners (that’s us!)
Winnipeg Girl Geek Dinners
Quebec Girl Geek Dinners

(*note: the Edmonton and Vancouver chapters have sites but they don’t seem to be active)

Get your geek on

I like the Girl Geek Dinners format because they are informal, community gatherings with an inclusive feel. In fact, men are more than welcome to attend, but must come accompanied by a women to ensure a minimum 50:50 gender split. Last year was our first season of Girl Geek Dinners in Ottawa and we had some terrific speakers.

We’re kicking off our first event of the 2011 season on Monday, November 29th. You can read all the details here and I hope if you’re in town, you join us.

We will be crowd-sourcing attendees for topic and speaker ideas because we want to ensure our events represent your interests and passions.

We be geeky

The organizers for Girl Geek Dinners Ottawa are Veronica (@giggey), Kelly (@krusk) and yours truly (@melgallant).

One of the reasons Sarah organized Girl Geek Dinners is because she was tired of being one of the only females attending technology events. And she was tired of everyone assuming that because she is female, she didn’t know anything about technology. While Kelly and myself have public relations backgrounds, we  have worked in the high tech industry for several years. Veronica is a business analyst and also works in high tech.

We are committed to supporting women with an interest in and/or who work in technology – no matter what field. That said, if you are a programmer, an engineer or some other fantastically geeked-out role, and are interested in becoming a part of our organizing team – please contact us at info [at] girlgeekdinnersottawa [dot] com.

Hope to see you November 29th!

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4 responses

12 11 2010
Sheila Gallant-Halloran

sounds like an interesting event – or should I say a “gallant” undertaking (love your surname :-)…)

12 11 2010
melgallant

Hi Sheila,

Love meeting other Gallants (in the virtual world and in person)! Thanks for commenting. 🙂

18 02 2011
girlgeekwinnipeg

Hi Mel,

I organize the Girl Geek dinners in Winnipeg; it’s nice to meet another Girl Geek dinner organizer! Maybe we can share event ideas sometime.

We’re currently running a blog challenge that anyone can be a part of, it doesn’t matter where you’re from: http://bit.ly/dN6IgU.

Cheers,

Trish Rempel
Winnipeg Girl Geek Dinners

18 02 2011
melgallant

Hi Trish!

Thanks for reaching out! It’s alway great to *meet* girl geeks from other cities, especially in Canada. Your blog project sound awesome – oh and I would love to chat event ideas sometime. 🙂

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