Akamai Diversity

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STEM Professions - Share your Passion!

I recently attended an Akamai Women's Forum where Tom Leighton (Akamai co-founder & CEO) and Jim Gemmell (Chief HRO) came to discuss diversity in Akamai. Jim talked about the overall availability of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) candidates, and it made me reminisce about how I got interested in a technology career.
I remember exactly when I "found my calling" in a technology career. I was a junior in high school in Green Bay, WI when an IBM sponsored trailer that traveled from school to school came to the high school to teach us how to keypunch. How may of you even know what a keypunch machine is? I have to admit I hated every minute of keypunching - but in all honesty it helped pay for my college as a part-time job.

I finished a 6-week program in 2 weeks just so that I could go home early - although the instructor had another idea. ☺ There was an old IBM Accounting Machine in the trailer where you had to program it with "plugs" and he "encouraged" me to try and program it. I was hooked!!!! I loved the challenge along with the mix of technology and creativity. My family moved to Yakima, WA for my senior year and the high school had a Data Processing class that was held in the Town Hall and then I was off to college for a Computer Science degree.

Accounting Machine.jpeg
I have enjoyed a challenging technology career that has NEVER been boring. I realized that I had not thought about how to get anyone else excited about the STEM type careers until this meeting. It was wonderful to hear all the initiatives that Akamai participates in to promote these careers such as the Akamai Foundation that promotes mathematics education and excellence among the next generation of technology innovators.

Did you see catch the Super Bowl Ad from toy Startup GoldieBlox? It was exciting to see companies that are targeting methods to get children excited early in life about STEM type professions. For more information read the Forbes article Why Toy Startup GoldieBlox's Historic $4 Million Super Bowl Ad Win Matters

When did you find "you're calling" for the STEM professions and what idea's do you have to share your passion?