Friday, February 16, 2018
What do 100+ women in a conference room in Downtown San Diego do on a Thursday night? Party like it’s 2018 and talk about eDiscovery tools, of course!
When I arrived at West Broadway in San Diego, my heart was racing at the thought of presenting to a group of successful, smart, driven women in the eDiscovery and legal fields. However, my mind was instantly put at ease. Everyone was kind and generous and I am very gratified that I was able to join in this collaboration of legal and technology professionals.
On the surface, our task was simple: demonstrate two technologies, Google Vault and Cellebrite collection tools. My personal goal was to keep it looking simple and relatively effortless while offering my expertise in the forensic field to people with a greatly varying range of experience with the tools.
My colleague, Candice Iha, presented on Google Vault and its legal tools, as well as briefly went over the difference between Google Vault and Google Takeout as collection tools. I presented on Cellebrite’s UFED 4PC and UFED Physical Analyzer. To demonstrate these tools, I took the audience through the life of a phone collection, as best I could in the limited time we had, progressing from when we receive the phone through to when we send the reports to the client. I was very pleased by how well informed the audience was. They seemed to have an excellent grasp of the fundamentals and asked highly pertinent questions on both Google Vault and Cellebrite’s Physical Analyzer.
During the course of the boot camp, I realized that our task was much more than to simply present on the specific tools that we had been asked to demonstrate. It occurred to me that our task as women in primarily male-dominated industries is to continue to help support and educate each other in any way that we can. When one looks at the statistics of women in the technology industry, it can be gloomy. According to the National Center for Women & Information Technology (https://www.ncwit.org/resources/numbers), women held 57% of the professional occupations in the 2016 U.S. workforce. However, women only held 26% of professional computing occupations in that same workforce. We have made professional progress in recent decades, but there is still a long way to go for women in technology fields.
This event served to not only inform legal professionals on the tools used with digital evidence in their cases, but also to hopefully generate interest in understanding more about technology. In today’s atmosphere, and with the spotlight being directed on what it means to be a woman in any professional industry, gatherings such as this boot camp are especially vital as vehicles for continued collaboration, understanding, and progress.
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