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A Reflection on WITI's 2020 Virtual Summit

Casey Mazzotti

December 13, 2020

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2020 has been a roller coaster of a year for most, and while the world has seemingly moved to a virtual platform for the time being, that did not deter Women in Technology International (WITI) from putting on a virtual summit filled with professional women supporting professional women.

Much of the discussion this year surrounded navigating the new digital platform in which we find ourselves; panels discussed topics such as digital inclusion, cybersecurity, software development, artificial intelligence, accessibility, and working from home, to name a few. Coaching circles practiced personal branding for success, eliminating imposter syndrome, maintaining mental fitness, and honing soft skills. A wellbeing center focused on self-care and a career fair helped women understand how to stand out in the job search. Networking opportunities abounded with specific activities and opportunities to interact with speakers from companies like Freebird Mojo, Microsoft, CNET, Turnitin, and Salesforce.

For having such an uncertain year, this certainly counts as a banner week for the WITI community.

Speakers encouraged participants to focus on their self-care and wellbeing first - one speaker noted the strategies she uses to maintain boundaries of work and home life; she utilizes one room in the house for work, and when she is not in that space, she is not working. Another speaker encouraged WITI members to chart a path of their career goals and successes, and pair those plot points with the skills, experiences, and certifications necessary to achieve those outcomes.

Much of the advice coming out of this week's Summit centered around maintaining wellbeing, balancing work and home life, developing connections, and building a career through COVID times; all topics that any professional or pre-professional woman can benefit from learning more about. One piece of advice, in particular, speaks to the theme of this week's events; Shanis Windland, VP of Diversity & Inclusion for VMWare, stated that "part of your job expectations are managing your own well-being" - a poignant statement from a successful executive.

As women are developing professionally, it cannot be overstated that to continue to do so means developing personally, as well; working to find a balance that builds and maintains wellbeing is key to finding success and fulfillment from a professional career.

Find more discussions from the 2020 Virtual Summit here.

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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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