SIIA recently welcomed CloudNOW to the SIIA community. I recently had a chance to speak to their Founder and President, Jocelyn DeGance Graham.
Rhianna: Welcome to SIIA! You launched CloudNOW just over a year ago. Tell me about your vision for the group.
Jocelyn: CloudNOW is a nonprofit consortium of the leading women in cloud computing, our Mission is simply to promote women in tech. CloudNOW’s biggest differentiator is that we work with the industry rather than in a gender silo, and we focus on what we called ‘applied excellence’ rather than concentrating on gender specific issues, or soft issues such as work-life balance. Our partners are the leading media and event groups for Cloud, IBM, and PwC. In 2013 we hope to build on that success and bring in additional corporate partners.
Rhianna: How has cloud computing opened doors for women in technology?
Jocelyn: Cloud has had an amazing ‘democratizing’ ‘effect for everyone. Almost overnight the economic barriers for starting a company had completely been removed. We no longer needed bank loans, funding, capital investment for hardware…in short the good ole boys and other quid pro quo networks were out and the rest of us, in. And yes, that means women, minorities, kids in their college dorm room, third world countries, etc– total inclusion!
Rhianna: Have you seen an increase in the number of women professionals in our industry?
Jocelyn: With frequency I see articles asking ‘where are the women founders in tech’? I challenge these reporters to actually do their jobs and begin with something as simple as a Google search to uncover the growing number of women in tech and especially, cloud. What we’ve seen from our network is an increase of women who are starting their own companies and taking on the CEO role. We expect that trend to continue, and CloudNOW will be there to support it.
Rhianna Collier is VP for the Software Division at SIIA.