CRACing The Ceiling: Networking For Women in Data Centers

CRACing The Ceiling: Networking For Women in Data Centers



CRACing The Ceiling (CTC) is a new series of networking events for women in the data center industry which provides an opportunity for participants from all backgrounds to forge connections, share best practices, and strengthen relationships. The group is led by Caroline Haley, VP of Outreach & Operations for Milldam Public Relations: a PR firm with more than 10 years of experience in the data center space.

CRACing The Ceiling will launch its first event in concert with AFCOM at Data Center World, New Orleans. The cocktail networking hour will be held at 6:30 PM on Tuesday, September 13th at the Public Belt Bar, The Hilton Riverside, New Orleans. Earlier in the day, AFCOM is hosting both a panel session and exhibit hall discussion centered on Women in the Data Center Industry to kick off its own Women in Data Centers group at the conference.

While the issue of women participating in STEM fields has received increased attention and analysis within the last ten years, the rise of women in data centers – specifically – hasn’t seen much awareness. In 2012, the Data Center Journal published a piece on women in data centers, which questioned why fewer women work in IT and offered several solutions to encourage more engagement. It concludes with an idea which resonated with us: “For women who are interested in IT, encouraging one another and receiving encouragement from mentors and others in the field is important.” However, until 2016, no mainstream groups have arisen for women that work in this particular industry.

This year, there appears to be wider media interest in the topic. In January, Emerson Network Power’s blog published “Wanted: Women in the Data Center Industry.” The author was inspired to consider the topic after observing, at a Datacenter Dynamics event in London, that “we are an industry dominated by men…” In March, Data Center Knowledge reported on Stratoscale’s analysis of data center professionals. The survey discovered that while few women work in the industry (12% of respondents were women), they actually earned 17% more on average than their male counterparts. An odd reversal of the gender wage gap, the stats were not actually analyzed by DCK though they certainly beg the question as to whether this trait remains true across a larger selection and, of course, why.

Unfortunately, not all related trends are positive, as Instor Solutions recently posted to their blog on whether the number of women working within the data center industry is actually declining. Finally, AFCOM’s Karen Riccio wrote an article last month outlining the state of women in data centers. She is also providing an intro to the panel session occurring at Data Center World.

Will 2016 be the year for women in data centers? Has the industry’s glass ceiling finally been “CRACed”?

If you work with data centers in any capacity (end user, vendor, analyst, etc.), we invite you to join CRACing The Ceiling at its first event in New Orleans to have a cocktail on us, meet fellow professionals, and consider the future – together.


Opportunities to Discuss Women in Data Centers:

“Women in the Data Center” (PL 7.1) @ Data Center World, New Orleans

  • Tuesday, September 13 | 9:25 AM – 10:25 AM
  • Room: R206

Exhibit Hall Discussions @ Data Center World, New Orleans

  • Selected discussion will be held on the topic of women in data centers during the conference.
  • Exhibit Hall

CRACing The Ceiling Event

  • Tuesday, September 13 | 6:30 PM
  • Public Belt Bar, Hilton Riverside New Orleans

Questions? Want to get involved? Contact Caroline