We all need a community. People who pick us up when we're down and celebrate us when we're achieving our goals. People we can grab a drink with after work, and unpack our day. People who listen and respond with seasoned advice. Unfortunately, sometimes women working in fields where they are vastly outnumbered, like the tech industry, lack this sense of community. It's not that they don't like their male coworkers, it's just that bonding with someone who has gone through some of the same struggles can make for a more productive and happy employee. At tech conferences, especially ones where women are the dominantly focused on group, attendees are encouraged to share their struggles and their triumphs ultimately to find community in places they never thought possible.
Here are FIVE reasons you should send your female employees to a tech conference:
1) They will learn marketable skills that are easily applicable to their everyday jobs. At Women In Technology International's June summit, attendees with learn the important skills of:
- "Mapping Your Career Success" with Carol Evanoff, the bestselling author
- "Applying Critical Thinking Skills in Today's Marketplace" with Sheryl Root, a professor at Carnegie Mellon and
- "Cybersecurity" with a host of expert educators
2) They will find female friends that work in the same industry or neighboring industries that can offer them support and advice when they don't feel heard in the workplace. Women In Technology International's Summit provides ample time for attendees to get to know each other both in a professional capacity and just to have fun!
Attendees can connect at:
- The Founders Reception with keynote from WITI's founder Carolyn Leighton
- The Networking Breakfast on days two and three
- The Business and Technology Expo on day two and
- Throughout the conference at the AR/VR cafe
3) They will network with other women in their field that will serve your company well with connections you can't find elsewhere. Professionals come to the Women In Technology International Summit from all over the world and country to invest in new networking opportunities.
Attendees can network at:
- Coaching sessions on all three days of the conference
- The Networking Breakfasts and
- In the Startup Village
4) They will have time to reflect on their job and learn how to better communicate in the workplace and beyond. Coaching sessions with workplace experts throughout the conference will help grow these communication skills.
Attendees can participate in:
- "Why are we talking past each other?" with Diana Ackerley
- "What are you really communicating? 11 assumptions in 7 seconds" with Judy Peebles and
- "Difficult conversations: Navigating communication in leadership" with Heather Furby
5) They will have a chance to meet and hear from keynote speakers and Hall of Fame inductees who are experts in their field. This years inductees include:
- Dr. Heather Hinton, the cybersecurity whiz from IBM
- Julia Liuson, the corporate vice president of Engineering at Microsoft
- Dr. Sara Rushinek, the University of Miami professor with a speciality in SEO app development
- Blanca Treviño, the founder of Softtek and
- Dr. Natalia Trayanova, the doctor who specializes in using tech to save lives
Opinions expressed by the author are not necessarily those of WITI.
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Founded in 1989, WITI (Women in Technology International) is committed to empowering innovators, inspiring future generations and building inclusive cultures, worldwide. WITI is redefining the way women and men collaborate to drive innovation and business growth and is helping corporate partners create and foster gender inclusive cultures. A leading authority of women in technology and business, WITI has been advocating and recognizing women's contributions in the industry for more than 30 years.
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