IT Employment

Women in IT: Tricia Liebert (TiggerTwo), IT Consultant

In the first podcast of the Women in IT series on TechRepublic, I had the pleasure of talking with TechRepublic member Tricia Liebert, better known in the forums as TiggerTwo. Please take a moment out of your busy schedule to listen to what Tricia has to say, as my goal for this series is to celebrate one woman per month who has their hands in, on, or around IT.

Podcast

In the first podcast of the Women in IT series on TechRepublic, I had the pleasure of talking with TechRepublic member Tricia Liebert, better known in the forums as TiggerTwo.

"I got started in IT by mistake!" -- Tricia Liebert

Tricia has been an IT consultant since 1995, but she's currently taking a hiatus from her work life. Within the interview, she refers to herself as an IT generalist. "I'm an infrastructure project manager, but I can write code," she says. According to Tricia, her multiple abilities are what keep her employable.

Well-spoken and respected by her peers, Tricia is probably best known in the TechRepublic forums for the Pink Ribbon Brigade. For the second year in a row, Tricia walked the Breast Cancer 3 Day to raise funds and awareness. The TechRepublic community responded, not only with monetary contributions, but also with a sea of pink avatars on the site.

Please take a moment out of your busy schedule to listen to what Tricia has to say, as my goal for this series is to celebrate one woman per month who has their hands in, on, or around IT. On a personal note, I'd also like to wish Tricia a happy birthday on Monday, October 15, when she claims she's officially turning older than dirt. :-)

About

Sonja Thompson has worked for TechRepublic since October of 1999. She is currently a Senior Editor and the host of the Smartphones and Tablets blogs.

41 comments
Jaqui
Jaqui

there isn't a link to the podcast for downloading it? [ since I don't have any plugins / addons installed I have to download the mp3 to listen to it.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

That's why I waited so long to get to it. Been firing up Windows again for work and so went to listen. Won't play in Linux, though the in-text links do. Hmmm...

Jaqui
Jaqui

windows thing you mention? btw, I never listen to these things in a browser, I do not allow anything but text to display, not even a pdf is allowed to open in my browsers. website content, does NOT need anything but the browser. anything that "requires" additional software, is meant to be downloaded and accessed at the visitor's leisure.

apotheon
apotheon

I haven't heard it, either. Even with plugins for this kind of thing, whatever TR's using is b0rked in Firefox on FreeBSD.

Jaqui
Jaqui

it's that cnet thing of being ms only, they don't have a real os to see how screwed everything is if not viewed with ms software. ;)

Tig2
Tig2

That if you drop Sonja an email, she would find a way to get the MP3 to you.

Jaqui
Jaqui

since I never bet when I know I'll lose. :D as boxy says, this is the only one of these without a link to the mp3 in it. by poking the thread, maybe Sonja will fix that oversight and save herself lots of headaches in the future with people not able to get it.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

Tig you just nailed me with that. I'm still giggling. I wanted to get to this interview sooner, but it wouldn't run on Linux (no podcast option to be found) and I don't fire Windows up much of late. Very nice! Funny, you don't clip your vowels the way most northerners do... ;)

Tig2
Tig2

You've never heard me play with an accent. I can clip vowels with the best of them! I am also quite capable of sounding like I grew up on the set of "Dallas". But Nick is right- I'm not from here. I am a native Southern Californian- a rare breed usually not found much of anywhere, including California. I escaped about the time that the mandatory surgery was required. That's when they bleach your hair and stamp "Mattel" on your right buttock. I live incognito in the frozen tundra of Minnesota because the Californians don't know what cold is and don't want to find out. It is currently 2 degrees and -14 with the wind chill. I figure that as long as I know how to dress in layers and can be appropriately stoic about the cold, they'll let me stay. :D

Jaqui
Jaqui

I thought it was the left one. ]:) or is it now, both sides need the name branding? ]:)

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

She's a transplanted Californy girl! One of the smart ones...she got out.

jhouchin
jhouchin

Interesting discussion track, glad this will be an ongoing series.

rclark
rclark

Way to go. Couldn't really tell age by voice, but surely not old as dirt. Still a lot of horizons that need to be peeked over, so keep strong, keep going, and know that we all like the spice you bring to our community.

yolanda.gerber
yolanda.gerber

This is a fantastic idea. I agree with TT about her multiple abilities that keeps her employed. I can relate to that. I have gained knowledge on various technical platforms and have on occassion been treated rather poorly by my male counterparts. There were some males though, that accepted, assisted me and is still today, my best friends and support structure. It is daunting for any woman to step into a predominantly "mans world" and be a success. I have been in the IT Industry for 10 years..being a late starter..and it is still shocking how few the women are on a technical level and in management positions. All my hard work paid off and were recently appointed in a Senior Management position at a large Group of Companies. I applaud this initiative. Women need all the encouragement they can get.

Tig2
Tig2

It is always wonderful to hear that someone has reached a goal that they have set. Sonja will continue this series each month. I encourage you to check back to hear what each woman she interviews has to say. I know that I look forward to hearing them all. I hear what you say about having to deal with some men that are not willing to be reasonable in how they deal with women in the IT profession. Fortunately, they are the exception and not the rule. I personally have found a great many men- and a great many of them here on this forum- that only base their judgment on my abilities. We are only as restricted as we choose to be. This is a good thing. Again, my congratulations! I know that you must be feeling good about reaching this goal! You should!!!

NaughtyMonkey
NaughtyMonkey

been trying to listen to it and finally had 10 minutes in a row to do it.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Excellent work Tig, now put in a good word for me too. I'll don a pretty frock and put on some of that red lippie that gets neil going...well, the frock anyway, that should raise some office eyebrows as it is. I would like to be part of the Women in IT group, it is sexual descrimination to exclude men just because we have a penis and lack big bouncy hooters (well I think most of us do anyway). Loved your comments, great job!

Tig2
Tig2

Thanks so much Oz! Keep in mind that I don't have the big bouncy hooters either. But I do have a pair of X chromosomes. I think that is the criteria. But you bring up a good point. I would love to see the mens version of this idea. Mostly because I have seen over the years that we approach problem solving in different, but functional ways. And having been in media myself for a time, your experiences in the work world are always interesting to me. I sense the beginning of a thread here- the industries that we have worked in and how they differ form other industries... and how they are the same. Could be an interesting topic.

JamesRL
JamesRL

In my first month at university, they showed a film at an evening event put on by the women's club which highlighted male/female equity issues (1980). They were holding a discussion after the film which I was looking forward to since I agreed with many things, didn't understand some, and disagreed with a few. But I and all the other men never got the chance. We were invited to leave so that the women could have their discussion on their own. When we asked why, we were told that some women would feel afraid to speak out with men present. Sadly that put up a lot of barriers that need not have been there. I somehow doubt that many members of the women haters club sat through the film. A few years later I was working as the business manager at a community newspaper. We were working in an office in a community centre, and I had heard about this women's self defense course being put on in building. As I had been involved with martial arts and had a female sensei, I talked to someone involved and asked if we could do a story to promote it. I was told that a woman writer would be welcome. Now I'm not saying men should be involved in discussions of say, sexual abuse, since that might be better in a closed session with limited participation. But if we close off issues and limit them to just one sex, we lose a valueable perspective and source of ideas. James

Tig2
Tig2

Keep an eye on this series. Sonia always finds interesting women to interview and the experience that they will be able to share with you might be very helpful for you as your career progresses. You are absolutely right- men and women bring unique insights to the world of IT. Our problem solving approaches are somewhat different and we can always learn new things from one another. Stay focused on your dreams and goals. I know that you can reach whatever you set for yourself. And don't be surprised when you discover on reaching a goal that there are new goals to reach for.

me_richa
me_richa

Happy bl'ted B'Day Tig, I am from india...very agree with u. its a fact that MEN N WOMEN are two wheels of a van they both will always need one-another support. I m new in IT industry...n basically in IT Consultant wanted to be on TOP in my future. Thanks n Best Wishes.

Tig2
Tig2

One of the goals that Sonia set for this series is to celebrate, not denigrate. She wanted to highlight a woman in the industry who had something to offer beyond "those lousy sexist barstards". From that standpoint, I agree with the concept. I am always interested in how women come into the industry. The experiences I have heard from other women- also not from the standpoint of man bashing- have given me new ideas about the direction of my own career. I don't think that anyone is suggesting that men don't have important insight to bring to the table. Just that this particular series is focused on women. The only way that we will ever be able to get a holistic view is to bring people- men and women- to a common table to talk. That is one of the great benefits of this forum- there is no discrimination here.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Ex. One day I moved into a house with a sooty chimney. The landlord wouldn't clean it,so I went to a library, bought a sweeping brush (after properly measuring out my chimney) and went to it. The neighbour saw me and hired me to do his, then the guy across the street and so on for the whole winter, I was a chimney sweep. Got good at it, had a collection of brushes and all, just because I started with a dirty chimney. One year I went ot buy a Christmas tree from a farm, you pick one out and can trim/nurse it until X-Mas (if you want) when you get to cut it down and take it home. I ended up opening a Christmas tree lot that winter. Followed by fireworks next October and then a tree lot again in Dec. I played for a band, got a security job and ended up working for a major label one year. Had my own recruiting business in the US the next year. and so on... There's no way I could possibly begin to list or explain the where's and how to's of how I got here today or even recall some of the things I've done to earn a living. That would be a challenge way beyond me. Sorry Tig As for the hooters, you are sans penis so that's your loophole. ;)

Neil Higgins
Neil Higgins

Just listened to the podcast.Flashing lights? Dont you just love Saturday night. Brilliant.Well done.A nice,clear interview.

Joe_R
Joe_R

TiggerTwo, that was a great interview. And best of luck on your future challenges.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

But you don't sound like I'd thought you would. Oh, well, that's my problem, isn't it. :x Now, the return to reality. Can I have your autograph? On this check? Edit: yeah, I know...

Tig2
Tig2

What was I supposed to sound like? I don't recall who, but someone once said that when they read a post from me to JD, they hear my voice sounding like Kanga from Winnie the Pooh. As for the autograph, keep in mind that any check I autograph is not likely to be worth much. Currently unemployed and all that. :)

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

I expected you would sound like a squeaky Piglet or Roo (an expectation based primarily on memories of the last woman I knew with short red hair). Instead, you sound like you. Isn't that appropriate? And don't worry about the size of the check; it's the thought that counts. :D

w2ktechman
w2ktechman

let you write me a check as long as it cashes fine, no probs

Old-Fart-IV
Old-Fart-IV

Good start to the series with Tigger. Hopefully this interview, and those to follow, will encourage others (like my daughter) to view IT in a different light ... along the lines of it being a "real" career for her, rather than thinking that only geeks and "old-farts" enjoy tinkering with computers.

lataet
lataet

I've been in IT since the release of the IBM PC. Learned a lot. Enjoyed most of it. Recognizing women in IT has come a long way and it's really nice to see! My daughter thinks IT is for geeks and she doesn't want to be one. Yet she enjoys building websites while she doesnt want that to be her career. IT has gotten such a bad wrap with overseas development. It's scary for high school and college age kids to decide they will go into this for their career because of that. Any suggestions on overcoming this? Thanks so much for this opportunity! L.T.

Tig2
Tig2

Back in high school, girls who were geeks had one or more of the same characteristics- they were way too smart and destined to be spinsters, heavily overweight, or made Cinderella's ugly step-sisters look good. They were NOT popular. In my experience as the only female in the Computer Club, they worked harder for the same recognition. Times change and I like to think that the business has changed too. But some old attitudes stay the same. For anyone choosing IT today, the focus must be in what they are able to bring to the business of IT. There are some things that aren't likely to be outsourced and they relate primarily to the integration of business and IT. The ability to build a website is, in my opinion, less IT and more creative talent. My step-son is very gifted from the standpoint of graphics and art, equally gifted in his ability to create a website that incorporates his gifts in graphics and art. And perhaps that is a better view to take your your daughter. You can't outsource talent. Keep an eye on this series. Sonja doesn't do anything by half measures. I am confident that the women she elects to interview will have good stuff to say.

w2ktechman
w2ktechman

Congrats Tig, you made the first 1 Did you remember your first 'blinking light' comp yet?

Tig2
Tig2

ENIAC (I think I have that spelled correctly). The first computer I ever used was a few years later- the mainframe at Texas A&M. The high school I went to had a terminal. Experimental program and all that. I was the only female in the Computer Club that grew up around that terminal.

OnTheRopes
OnTheRopes

Nice podcast - First one I've ever listened to. Very well done.

DanLM
DanLM

Your not older then dirt, I hold that destinction. Dan

faradhi
faradhi

Enjoyed the interview!

gadgetgirl
gadgetgirl

- and just in case you were getting confused, you did sound like you. Honest. I even had the accent right - I can't believe how spot-on I was with your voice! It was great to hear you after all this time! Great interview - I didn't realise you'd been consulting for that long! Just shows you're in demand - and will be again! As for the skills you have - watchout, next time my lappie dies, I'm emailing YOU! :p oh - and you were my very first podcast, too - I've never listened to one before!!! ;\ GG

Jacky Howe
Jacky Howe

My very first podcast too. Congratulations ladies. And Happy Birthday Tigg.

AV .
AV .

I think your podcast was an absolutely great idea, Sonya! TR is a community and there are some outstanding people here, like Tig. Tigger, I have to say something cliche here, but YOU GO GIRL! AV

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