alerie W. Perlowitz
Women In Technology
2214 Rock Hill Road, Suite 300
Herndon, Va. 22070
As CEO of an entrepreneurial network integration company, Valerie Perlowitz had invested equally heavily in a personal network of women technology executives. But until she met Hogan & Hartson attorney Jane Church, she considered her connections pretty circumscribed. On the other hand Church, who sought a network among women in technology, thought Perlowitz had broken the code.
It turns out -- as co-founders of Women in Technology -- they both did.
"We've had a phenomenal response," said Perlowitz of the group launched last April. Attendance at WIT, as it's known, is running in the hundreds. A membership drive, begun this month, has drawn members from both government and industry:
"A good cross-section of women who own their own businesses and senior vice presidents in major corporations" are typical WIT members, along with professionals from industry and government, a smattering from the non-profits, and elected officials. "I think we're getting the word out," Perlowitz said. A sign of WIT's staying power is that most members, including those from larger companies, are paying their dues with personal checks, reflecting their commitment.
WIT gets women that deal with technology out of the office and in contact with each other, said Perlowitz of the organization's appeal. "They can look at issues facing women, like the proverbial glass ceiling, and also keep current on technologies surrounding them." So far programs have combined social and information elements, and the group recently sponsored a seminar on ISO 9000 with the Northern Virginia Technology Council.
Later, foresees Perlowitz, an important role may be mentoring women math and science students beginning in high school but continuing throughout their career. "The opportunities are a little bit on the limitless side right now," the electrical engineer says.
Already the organization is trying to assist women leaving government to find new jobs, and it may create a talent pool.
But for now, it's sticking with basics. The program, set for Sept. 20 at 5:30 p.m. at the McLean Hilton, is Networking Night.