Pointers: Recommended reading 10-20-08

Women in IT: A midcareer barrier?
Source: Mercury News

Why do so few women in the technology field make it to the upper echelons of their organizations?
According to a recent study, it is because so many of them drop out, or drop back, in the middle of their careers to focus more attention on their families and health.

The study, by the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology and Stanford University, found that 43 percent of mid-level technical women said they had suffered poor health because of excessive work-related stress, compared with 36 percent of mid-level technical men.

A quick fix for boring meetings
Source: BNet

In this short (2:35 min.) video, human resources consultant Edward Muzio explains a technique for making meetings interesting and productive.

People drift off or get frustrated when meetings appear to have no purpose and no end in sight. So Muzio shows how managers can use a simple template, drawn on a white board, to organize a meeting and keep participants on point and interested.

The template ensures that “everyone knows what they are doing and what to expect,” Muzio said.

How to do how-to Web sites
Source: PC World

PC World explores the art of how-to Web sites by studying the masters: Lynda (for learning software), HowStuffWorks (just what it says) and six others that seek to pass along practical information.

Two such sites — Yahoo Answers and Instructables — largely depend on the content contributed by informed members of their user communities. Other sites tap into a team of experts to create content and answer user questions.

Livemocha, now in beta, helps people learn new languages by pairing them with native speakers.

Health hazards for IT workers
Source: ComputerWorld

Health experts discuss the bodily damage incurred by many technology workers. The long hours spent sitting at a desk and staring at a computer screen can lead to aches and pains, because of poor posture and eye strain.

Also, desk jockeys also tend to eat too much junk food, leading to weight gain, which in turn could cause high blood pressure, heart problems and other worrisome risks.

The article
includes a sidebar story on “Five easy changes for better health now.”

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