Ageism – Let’s expose this one too! The ‘future You’ will thank you.

Sharon Rieger

The Tech industry, especially the open-source community, has been very vocal about the importance of inclusivity in Tech. In 2017 and 2018 we witnessed an outcry for Tech to include women, non-binaries, people of color, and the LGBT community. NERD was the first event that I attended that brought this to the attention of its attendees. Thanks NERD! I propose that another group of under-represented people needs advocates and encouragement- women over 40 who want to break into Technology. We are awesome and valuable. The obstacles, glass ceilings, and blatant bias we’ve faced have prevented many talented women from entering the industry. For others, it has made us stronger and now we can help each other. This will be an interactive session that will include humor and empathy in a non-judgmental tone. We all have biases, it’s only human. Let’s pull them out of the shadows and talk about them in an open, friendly, and supportive environment. Everyone is welcome, but I encourage people who are at least ‘willing to be willing’ to change behaviors and false belief systems to attend. At the end of the session, I hope to give women and men the courage to go for what they want, at any age. Let’s stop pitting age groups against each other. Age discrimination affects all of us. At the very least, I hope to give people something to think about the next time they are inclined to accept derogatory feelings, attitudes, or shame about their age.