Sitting in the (NCWIT) Red Chair celebrating Women in Tech

If I haven’t mentioned it before, I’d like to remind you that I am a Tech babe for life!  For years I honed my skills as a programmer (certified by Java and Oracle) while employed by some of the best companies in the world. My apps were stellar (if I do say so myself) and clients were always happy.  However, as a young programmer, I’d look around and see very few female programmers, and even fewer people of color venturing into the world of technology.  Today, I’m so excited to be co-developing some really exciting initiatives to improve the pipeline of women and underserved minorities in technology. More to come on my technology initiatives in future posts….

Carla Franklin sitting in the NCWIT Red Chair

Carla Franklin sitting in the NCWIT Red Chair

The red chair in the photo above is part of the NCWIT Red Chair campaign to support and improve opportunities for Women in Technology.  Current data on the issue shows that NCWIT’s campaign is urgently needed.  Consider the following data published by the University of Buffalo in February, 2014:

  • Women make up nearly half of the workforce, yet they held only one quarter of all technology and computing jobs in 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • In 2008, women earned more than half — 57 percent — of all bachelor’s degrees, but only 18 percent of the degrees awarded in computer and information science, down from 37 percent in 1985, the National Center for Women & Information Technology reported in its “By the Numbers 2009.”
  • According to a study by the Center for Work-Life Policy, 74 percent of women in technology report “loving their work,” yet 56 percent leave their careers at the “mid-level” point — more than double the quit rate for men. And they’re leaving not because of family obligations, but because they’re dissatisfied with their jobs.
  • Only 10 percent of corporate officer positions and 11 percent of board of directors’ positions at Fortune 500 technology companies were held by women, according to the 2008 census of corporate officers and top earners of Fortune 500 companies by Catalyst, a nonprofit devoted to expanding opportunities for women and business.

I hope that more women (and men) join me in this red chair.

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Techno Fashionista: A pink swing skirt to brighten up the work day

It was so much fun to wear this ensemble to the office last week.  Colorful skirts and dresses always provide a feminine flare and a great alternative to the drab and boring work dark suit (black, grey, navy blue…take your pick…boring!).  I coordinated a hot pink skirt by “Wow Couture” with a black “BCBG” top, adorned with a beaded accent.  A pair of black peep toe shoes by Nine West, rounded out my outfit.  Ladies, don’t be afraid of color in the office. Bright hues are a great way to liven up your work day!!!!

Carla Franklin - Hot pink 1

Carla Franklin - Hot pink 2

Carla Franklin - Hot pink 3

Carla Franklin - Hot pink 4

Urban Art Scene – An evening stroll through in the Meatpacking district

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New York is full of gritty, hard realities.  Life in New York is softened by the art scene…but I don’t just mean art hanging in museums.  The patient observer, who takes time to stop and note the constant presence of street art and graffiti that color every surface in the city of Gotham, will witness amazing beauty in every nook and crevice of the city.  I took these shots in the Meatpacking district of Manhattan, after a typical evening dinner with friends.  This bold and unassuming art is so integrated into backdrop of the area that most New Yorkers overlook it.

Poetry: The Creation…

James Weldon Johnson‘s (1871 – 1938) poem, The Creation, is a childhood favorite of mine.  This beautiful piece is a rendition of the Old Testament’s story of the creation of the world from the “Book of Genesis” (from the Bible and Torah).

The creation - Carla Franklin
And God stepped out on space,
And He looked around and said,
“I’m lonely,
I’ll make me a world.”

And far as the eye of God could see
Darkness covered everything,
Blacker than a hundred midnights
Down in a cypress swamp.

Then God smiled,
And the light broke,
And the darkness rolled up on one side,
And the light stood shining on the other,
And God said, “That’s good!”

Then God reached out and took the light in His hands,
And God rolled the light around in His hands
Until He made the sun;
And He set that sun a-blazing in the heavens.
And the light that was left from making the sun
God gathered it up in a shining ball
And flung it against the darkness,
Spangling the night with the moon and stars.
Then down between
The darkness and the light
He hurled the world;
And God said, “That’s good!”

Then God himself stepped down —
And the sun was on His right hand,
And the moon was on His left;
The stars were clustered about His head,
And the earth was under His feet.
And God walked, and where He trod
His footsteps hollowed the valleys out
And bulged the mountains up.

Then He stopped and looked and saw
That the earth was hot and barren.
So God stepped over to the edge of the world
And He spat out the seven seas;
He batted His eyes, and the lightnings flashed;
He clapped His hands, and the thunders rolled;
And the waters above the earth came down,
The cooling waters came down.

Then the green grass sprouted,
And the little red flowers blossomed,
The pine tree pointed his finger to the sky,
And the oak spread out his arms,
The lakes cuddled down in the hollows of the ground,
And the rivers ran down to the sea;
And God smiled again,
And the rainbow appeared,
And curled itself around His shoulder.

Then God raised His arm and He waved His hand
Over the sea and over the land,
And He said, “Bring forth! Bring forth!”
And quicker than God could drop His hand.
Fishes and fowls
And beasts and birds
Swam the rivers and the seas,
Roamed the forests and the woods,
And split the air with their wings.
And God said, “That’s good!”….click here to continue reading

Friday Flashback: Run DMC and Aerosmith

#BackInTheDay, in the 1980s, before #autotune made the voices of the untalented tolerable…when MTV actually played music videos…and guys walked around with boom boxes that played tape cassettes  (a relic from the 80s)…and girls coiffed their hair into gravity defying sculptures…and Dynasty and Dallas rules the TV airwaves , the music was so much better.  This collaboration by Run DMC and Aerosmith is one of the BEST in the past 30 years.  This song united hip-hop heads, and hard rockers.  I miss good music.

Digital Spring Cleaning: 5 ways to tidy-up your social media life

ImageThere is a belief that a cluttered home reflects a cluttered state of mind, and disorganization in one’s life. Removing the junk from your surroundings and organizing your things can have a profound effect on your state of being. Some see this belief as part of the “Law of Attraction”, others base it on principles of Feng Shui. Either way, I believe these principles hold true for both the real and digital world. Spring cleaning is an annual practice through which we can not only de-clutter and reorganize our homes, but also clear the junk out of our social media life in order to bring more positive energy into our existence.

A recent study by the Pew Research Center found that 67% of online adults in the United States use social networking sites. Moreover, 25% of the total time that Americans spend surfing the internet is focused in social networking and blogs, according to Neilsen. For adults aged 18 – 65+ who are actively go online, 67% are on Facebook, 20% have Twitter accounts, and 16% use LinkedIn. Living life online as an adult includes managing social networks, collecting friends and contacts, uploading photos, videos, and resumes, and actively updating status. As in the real world, a person’s social media life is prone disorganization and messiness if not periodically, and properly, maintained. I recommend an annual Spring Cleaning ritual to ensure that your social media life remains tidy and efficient, in order to reduce stress and bring more Zen into your life. As with spring cleaning for the home, I believe there are five principles that apply when cleaning the clutter from your social media life.

Rosie the Robot Maid from the Jetsons

Rosie the Robot Maid from the Jetsons

  1. Update your look: Stop posting that picture of you taken 15 years ago on LinkedIn or Facebook. Either the recruiter won’t recognize you when you go for that job interview, or the girl that you’ve been flirting with on Facebook will run from you thinking that you’re a stranger, if you attempt to meet her in person (this actually happened to a friend of mine, LOL). Invest money in getting new headshots to post to your online profiles. Also, take time to review and update your resume on your professional profiles to make sure that it reflects all of your recent accomplishments. You should actively update your professional profiles with changes in education or job status, because its easy to forget. Recruiters may be overlooking you for some great job opportunities because your job information is out of date.
  2. Get rid of things that you’ve out grown, and no longer fit: Culling my friends and contact lists is an essential house keeping activity that I perform at least once a year. Overtime you randomly add people that you barely know or with whom you no longer communicate to your social media profiles. Many of these people should no longer have access to your personal status, contact lists and/or photos. Just like that old pair of jeans from high school or college, in life, we often out grow friendships. Delete these people from your contact lists. Stop hoarding and collecting friends (who aren’t really your friends) in your social media life. You don’t really really have 1000+ friends (or even 500+). Its nothing personal, you’re just reducing the clutter.
  3. Sort and organize your Professional vs. nonprofessional items: Sort activities and people in your digital life according to their professional status in your life. Remember to maintain a professional boundary with co-workers and colleagues. Some people belong on your Google+, Twitter or Facebook friends list, others you may want to limit to LinkedIn. Not everyone who is an active participant in your life should have access to every thought, opinion or swimsuit photo that you have.
  4. Get extra storage for your all of your stuff: Invest in a Dropbox, Google Storage, Flickr or SnapFish account. Its worth it the money and set-up time. It offers a great way to backup files and data, in case your personal computer is stolen or the hard drive fails. It also provides a more secure and private method, compared to Facebook and Google+ for storing photos and videos.
  5. Make sure your that your belongings are protected: In the digital world, protecting your belongings means insuring that your privacy setting are turned on and up-to-date. Avoid over-sharing. Limit your status, family photos and personal thoughts to only those with whom you trust enough to share these details. Remove old pictures and/or change their visibility to people on your “Contacts List” who don’t need to see them.

Fresh gel manicure to brighten a #TechnoFashionista’s day…

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I love how amazing brightly colored nails look on me. Especially with a splash of glittery bling on my ring finger for added “dramatic effect”. Color gel manicures are my favorites, because I can achieve a glossy effect that looks fresh for 2 weeks straight without chipping.