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Jun 17, 2009

Women on a Mission

By Evelyn Hoover

Recently I was on Facebook during my lunch hour, getting caught up on the status of the folks on my friends list. I noticed Merrikay Lee, owner/president of MCPress Online, was heading for Africa on a missionary trip. I've known Merrikay virtually since I started with that was then AS/400 Magazine.  

Merrikay is a wonderful person, colleague, mother and grandmother. Recently at COMMON she and I found ourselves in the long pre-8 a.m. Starbucks line. We used the opportunity to catch up on each other's lives. We talked about my children, her children and grandchildren and of course about work-related stuff, but she didn't mention her missionary work or her upcoming trip.

So I was surprised to read about it on Facebook. Merrikay and her missionary group is spending two weeks in Kilifi, Kenya. They left June 11, traveling 24 hours straight to reach their destination. The missionaries were willing to leave their comfortable homes and travel to an area where a five-star hotel is one that has a bathroom down the hall. They are doing this not for personal recognition but because they want to share the Christian faith by conducting a marriage seminar.

I salute Merrikay and her group's strength and perseverence. If you want to follow Merrikay and her team's missionary journey, visit the Crossroads to Africa '09 blog on Facebook.

Women like Merrikay are definitely the minority in the IT space. It's an interesting coincidence that I learned about Merrikay's missionary work the same week that the June issue of IBM Systems Magazine, Power Systems -- IBM i edition published. The June issue includes an article, titled "Making the Climb," which profiles three women's IT groups--Women in Technology International, Women in Channels and the IBM Super Women's Group. I'm sure these groups aren't the only ones out there focusing on women in IT but it was great to be able to highlight their missions in our pages. If you haven't read the article, I hope you'll do so.

Have an interesting women-in-IT story to share? Leave a comment. I'd love to hear about it.


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