Go Girl Geeks.
By Tracy Evans
My husband is a techno geek. Okay, he’s probably going to be ticked that I called him a geek but hey, aren’t most guys into everything electronic? Yep. But guess what? So are many women. Gasp. You heard right. When it comes down to it many soccer moms can kick dad’s butt when it comes to installing the VCR, fixing the computer or programming the kid’s iPod. That’s right, the secret’s out. Women aren’t hiding their technical know-how anymore. In fact, some moms are so good at fixing stuff they’re getting paid to do it.
Nicole Conway has been taking stuff apart and putting it back together again since she was a little girl. At the ripe old age of four her curiosity got the best of her and she became fascinated with all gadgets large and small: pens, radios, and televisions. Sure, most kids are obsessed with things that light up and have buttons. But how many little girls intentional dismantle an old television to see how it works? Nicole did. And she’s still doing it today at the age of forty-one. The Long Island mom of three is part of the popular Best Buy Geek Squad. You know that team of smarty pants types that can fix the gadgets in your home that you can’t. Chances are you’ve seen a member of the geek squad drive through your neighborhood in that cute little black-and-white beetle bug. Ah, like me, I bet you thought the geek driving the car was probably a guy not a girl.
Well if your computer is on the fritz and you call for help the geek who arrives at your door could be from either gender. A growing number of women now make up the 17-thousand member geek squad team. Nichole is a Deputy Field Marshal now – a fancy word for manager – but she used to work door-to-door as a Double Agent. The house call was always welcome but customers were often surprised to see a woman standing on the porch. Nichole says, “Men are usually surprised, women are usually thrilled”. And that’s before Nicole even got into the house, the really magic happened inside. One female customer was so impressed with Nicole – who repaired the family’s computer and wireless home network – the customer picked up the phone and called her spouse. Nicole says, “She called her husband in front of me, to tell him that a woman had fixed the problems that he could not. A pretty satisfying moment, I must say!”
Not bad for a woman who just a few years ago was working in a different field altogether. After spending years as a social worker – a meaningful but not profitable career - Nicole was determined to try something new. So when she heard about the Geek Squad she knew she had found her calling. Finally, all those years spent tinkering with gadgets had paid off. A good paycheck, a flexible family-friendly schedule, and a great group of geeks. What more could a woman want?