Several years ago when cloud technology was still in its infancy, Jocelyn DeGance Graham attended several cloud conferences and observed that she was the only female in the room. Since that time, she has worked tirelessly trying to bring more women into the cloud industry.
DeGance Graham, founder of CloudNOW, a non-profit consortium of leading women in cloud computing and converging technologies, along with her CloudNOW partners, has implemented several women-in-tech initiatives.
She sat down with Lisa Martin (@Luccazara), host of theCUBE*, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile live streaming studio, during the CloudNOW 5th Annual “Top 10 Women in Cloud” Innovation Awards in Mountain View, CA. (*Disclosure below) The two discussed why and how DeGance Graham founded CloudNOW and the work she does in continuing to bring more women to the industry.
Foundation of CloudNOW
When DeGance Graham began attending conferences back when cloud was a nascent technology, she came to the realization that men vastly outnumbered women in the industry. At that point she began to form contacts with other women who were also a part of the field, with the end goal of encouraging other women to become a part as well.
Eventually, this led to the formation of CloudNOW, which was created with the sole purpose of supporting women within the industry and recruting women who were not yet a part of the fold.
“The idea really came to me as a way to understand how to connect and support other women that were in the industry,” said DeGance Graham. “And I really felt like by being able to form these connections, it could be something that would be beneficial for all of us.”
Spreading the message and empowering women
Since CloudNOW was formed, it has been supported by various sponsors that have helped the organization become what it is today. Initially, there was a $50,000 grant from IBM, which helped fund the business through its initial years. Since then it has begun a number of initiatives to get the message out and help women who want to be part of this industry to do so.
One of those initiatives is the CloudNOW scholarship, which will be given to a deserving female who wants to be a part of cloud but would normally not have the ability to do so.
“I think there’s many ways now that the message is getting out,” said DeGance Graham. “One of the things CloudNOW is going to be doing is forming a scholarship fund. So we’re really interested in being able to identify this next generation of women who want to study stem and be able to empower them to do that.”
Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE and theCUBE’s coverage of the CloudNOW – 5th Annual “Top 10 Women in Cloud” Innovation Awards. (*Disclosure: Some segments on SiliconANGLE Media’s theCUBE are sponsored. However, no sponsorships have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)