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One of the UK's most prominent female IT executives has joined the first group of skydivers to freefall over Mount Everest. Kate Craig-Wood is MD of Memset Ltd, "the UK's first carbon-neutral hosting company". She will be making the Everest jump in order to raise money for Computer Clubs for Girls (CC4G), a third-sector outfit …

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We're getting there

It's great that someone is doing something to try and highlight the gender imbalance in IT, and do something about it.

I think it's also a positive sign that you managed to get half way through the article before mentioning her transsexualism. You still lose points for mentioning her former name though - that's a biggie in the "trans news articles drinking game".

For some reason, there are lots of us in IT, and no, I'm not telling you what my former name was.

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Coat

For the high jump

Damn - she's got balls

Well... not any more.

But you know what I mean

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Law
Paris Hilton

erm?!?!

"the UK's first carbon-neutral hosting company"

They are a carbon neutral company.... and she's needlessly flying around... conflict of interest? Not to mention for the operations she's undergone she went all over the place. I personally couldn't call a company carbon neutral when the head people in the organisation like to waste a year's worth of fuel on a 10 minute jump.

Good cause though - I would love to see more women in IT - it's a 100% sausage fest in my office building, not by selection - there just arn't any women applying for the software jobs! :(

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Showing the way

So, girls, we learn that one way to break through the glass ceiling is apparently to be born - and follow most of one's career - as a man.

An inspiration.

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Apologies for the puerile comment, but...

...that is quite an impressive "rack" s/he's paid for there - none of this size B nonsense.

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From a bored IT team

I wonder where she gets her hardware from; we're in the market for a new rack ourselves!

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Oh what a surprise...

I'm glad to see the guys posting here are being as adult as always. Way to go on fulfilling that male in IT stereotype of a misogynistic childish nerd.

- What does her being trans have anything to do with what she's about to do. You don't say X is going to sail around the world and by the way they're left handed. It has nothing to do with jumping out of an plane over the Himalayas.

- Trans-women never have male privilege. The may have it thrust on them but they are fighting it to their core. Many do well despite their condition. I know I was severely messed up prior to transition.

- Once we transition we're subject to the same misogyny as every other woman if we pass. And if we don't we have the added whammy of transphobia.

- Not all of us 'buy' our breasts. I'm a 38D and its all natural thank you.

- Why do you think you have the right to talk about our genitalia or our breasts. Tell me about your penises. I bet you're insecure over them.

I am a globe trotting software consultant, currently working with a client in Silicon Valley, although I'm based in the UKI. I transitioned before I built my current career. I have two degrees (physics and compsci) and I'm a qualified accountant. Before software development I played with gravitational wave detectors in academia. I got where I was with hardwork, despite the male dominance of the industry.

Kate is doing a good thing. She's done well and she's helping others do the same against a society that still hinders them.

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Miffed...

What is it with guys? Well done with the misogyny and bigotry. That she is trans is so totally irrelevant to the parachute jump.

As for "size B nonsense" there are a hell of a lot of natal women who are smaller than that. My own younger sister being one of them.

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Heart

Let me be the first man on El Reg to say these words...

I for one gladly welcome our female overlords....

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From the horse's mouth...

Re Law: 1) The trip was a holiday and as such the jet fuel burned would have been burnt if I was going somewhere else, and anyway I offset all my emissions (I'm a carbon neutral citizen) - yes not perfect but the best solution in the short term until fusion is working and planes run on hydrogen! 2) The kit was carried up the mountain on foot mainly (and the other jumpers and I also walked most of the way) and 3) the jump ship (a Pilatus Porter) was selected in part because it has one engine and a fairly low carbon footprint.

Re. Ralph B: Actually, I agree with you; I feel that I am advantaged over other women in IT because of my being brought up as a boy and being encouraged to do stereotypical "boy things" like computing - that is in part why I am so keep on CC4G since I feel it is helping to redress the issue of girls being less encouraged towards IT than boys, despite the fact that we badly need more women in technology.

Shameless plug: Since my own gender transition Memset Dedicated Hosting has won PCPro's Best Web host 3 years running and I attribute that in no small part to the good gender balance at the top (ie. me and my brother! :).

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@Kate - 'Male' privilege

Thanks for commenting.

I think its a double edged sword :-) On one side our histories have potentially given us advantages that many young girls do not have (However in my case my first computer was actually the family's TRaSh 80 and we all had access to it. I was just the one interested in it. There was no parental conditioning there.). Society is at fault. However by giving special treatment you highlighting the 'unusualness' of women IT and hence reinforcing the stereotype. You're doing the right thing but things are never simple.

BTW many of my 'boy' activities I learnt as a woman, motorbikes, fast cars, snowboarding and so on...

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@Kate

I was thinking about posting another comment, but I’ve been tied up for the last few days. The first AC comment was mine – although it was a puerile joke, it was actually intended to convey genuine respect for what Kate is planning to do.

In my misspent youth, I did a bit of umbrella dangling and rock scrambling – both from respectable heights, although not together. What Kate proposes to do is very hazardous – anyone who thinks otherwise needs to wake up and check their event logs. Everest is not an environment where you get a do over if you make a mistake. If you think otherwise, then you are suffering from complacency or over confidence, and when parachuting, both of these will kill you. 30 years ago, I lost a good friend and a special lady because of over confidence – not hers, someone else’s. Unfortunately, it happens.

I would say to Kate that I am very envious of her; in my salad days I would have jumped at the chance to have a crack at jumping on Everest. I actually found my old jumpsuit in a box in the attic a couple of years ago; it doesn’t fit anymore – must have shrunk in the wash or something.

I would offer some advice, but it’s probably all horribly out of date. I would however suggest you think of what to say when you leap out – my group had agreed on the phase “Airborne”, but in fact what I shouted was “Oh SHHHIIIIIIiiiiiiii………”. If you want something inspiring to read, I would suggest the poem “High Flight” by JG Magee – I still get goose pimples when I read it.

Have a good time Kate – it will be an awesome experience and one that you will remember for ever.

Signing off - wishing you clear skies and safe landings.

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