I never quite made it to Girl Guides, possibly because I didn’t quite make it past the homemakers badge and clothing of the Brownies in the 80s. However this year I joined a different organisation that shares the acronym: the Girl Geeks. Girl Geeks is a worldwide community for women in computing and technology and has members from academia, politics, business and 3rd sector organisations. It runs a range of different events including weekend workshops and regular dinners around the world. I would be interested to know how many were girl guides too so they can fill me in on what I missed.
My first encounter with Girl Geeks was at the Edinburgh dinner in the Microsoft offices in September. First of all, it was fun to explore the fancy offices at Waverley gate and we started the evening sipping wine on the roof terrace. There were then two interesting talks by Aimee Maree Forsstrom (One laptop per child) and Josie Goodale (Cisco) followed by dinner and speed networking. This was my first experience of speed networking; the rules were you could only speak to the same person for 3 minutes then you had to find someone new. Not used to having my chatter restricted to 3 minutes, I found I was speaking at double speed so I hope the other girl geeks could understand me. Speed networking was particularly good for remembering people though, especially after the event.
A few days later I set off for Stirling and the first Girl Geeks weekend. Situated 2 minutes walk away from Stirling castle in the old town, I arrived at the Barcelo hotel too late to fit in a freebie spa session but in time to be given my goody bag by Cathy. I was launched straight into the Champagne reception (a never ending supply of wine and refreshers sweeties were available during these weekends) and started chatting with other Girl Geeks from Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Over three weekends we worked on creativity, negotiation and funding strategies. It was a great forum for meeting other people and I really hope it will continue for the next wave of Girl Geeks in the new year.