Eva Bradshaw is a Regional Affiliate Manager for the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Award, Eva supports volunteer affiliate teams’ efforts to recognize young women and their educators. Prior to NCWIT, Eva served as the director of online learning at Zane State College. She has been an IT professional in higher education for over 25 years, empowering young women in local community after-school programs and mentoring female professionals entering the IT workforce. Eva enjoys sharing her IT career journey with other women to encourage them to contribute their unique talents. She lives in Columbus, Ohio and has a strong love for the Ohio State Buckeyes, her husband (John), two grown daughters, and black lab (Woody).
Briana: What was your first experience with technology and/or coding?
Eva: My first experience with coding happened over 30 years ago, and no I did not know Grace Hopper personally. I’m not quite that old! There were separate removable disks that held programs and data files back in my day and I programmed in BASIC. That’s before GUI interfaces and Windows, in case you were wondering. Some things haven’t changed that much. It was important to document your code then for others to understand and modify it and that is still true. My first programming consisted of taking an earlier program and adapting it to be used by a different audience. Thank goodness for documentation.
Briana: Describe some of your achievements in awards or extracurriculars, especially STEM.
Eva: I’m most proud of my volunteer work with an after school girls’ computer club run by TECH CORPS (http://techcorps.org/). We were teaching coding back before the Hour of Code and knew then that it was important to offer girls an opportunity to write the code and not just play computer games, but explore and build their own games in Scratch.
Briana: What is a challenge you've faced, related to coding/technology experiences? How did you overcome that challenge?
Eva: Over the years I have hired many IT professionals and the challenge is having enough women in the pool. Men will apply for a position if they have half of the qualifications and women tend to underestimate their abilities. It’s important that women apply for positions even if they don’t have ALL the desired qualifications. We need to have your name in the pool to be able to be selected as the top candidate.
Briana: What advice would you have for someone who was interested in technology, but was intimidated?
Eva: Remember that there are women in technology that will be mentors and give you support. You are not alone. We’ve all asked questions and needed encouragement along the way, so don’t be afraid to ask for it. Then when you are my age, remember to share your experiences and advice with those that are just starting out. Who knows what the tech world will look like then? I’m constantly amazed by the changes that technology has made possible and can’t wait to see what your generation will create.