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Geek Woman: Sandy Payette, CEO of Duraspace

Ithaca, NY The Geek Feminism blog ( supports, encourages, and discusses issues facing women in geek communities, broadly defined to include science and technology, gaming and more. Authors include women (and men) who are actively involved in software development or technically-related fields and have an interest in geeky discussions about feminism, feminist discussions about geekdom and/or geek feminist discussion about other things.

Sandy Payette, chief executive officer of Duraspace was featured as the 'Wednesday Geek Woman on Februrary 9, 2011 and recognized for her groundbreaking work on the original Fedora repository architecture as part of a research project that included collaborators at Cornell University and University of Virginia. Read the post here

The post calls attention to the fact that the field of digital preservation echoes the gender disparity found in other male dominated high tech fields:

"Software development around digital librarianship and digital preservation is overwhelmingly male-dominated, despite the larger numbers of women among librarians and archivists in general. Many of the women in digital preservation are Women near Tech, doing wonderful, important work, but not the fundamentals of software architecture and development. So Sandy’s contributions to the field become even more apparent given the strange gender disparities of digital preservation."

The DuraSpace organization announced recently that Payette will enter a doctoral program at Cornell University to pursue a PhD and new research focused on the intersection of technology, society, and policy. Michele Kimpton, currently chief business officer of DuraSpace and also a notable "Geek Woman", will assume the role of chief executive officer on March 1, 2011. Kimpton was recently featured by the Library of Congress as a “Digital Preservation Pioneer” for her work in developing entrepreneurial, community-driven and culturally sensitive approaches to creating tools and strategies in support of digital archiving (