Oftentimes, when speaking with women in tech, something I commonly hear is, "We don't have enough women role models", or "I feel so alone as a woman in tech". I've heard this same theme come up over and over again - what many of these women don't realize is that there are so many others like them who feel the same way in their various corners of the world. What if we could get them all to talk to one another, exchange stories and build a sense of community?
Three months ago, we created this new Diversity and Tech community, and invited people from all over the world to share their learnings, thoughts, personal experiences and career journeys in this. Since then, we've traveled to 8 different cities, from Singapore to Cape Town, Birmingham to Amsterdam, Paris to San Francisco and more.
Here's a bumper recap (and super consolidated list to keep handy) of all the Diversity and Tech panels we've had so far to really get your inspiration and creative juices flowing:
Tech Summit Singapore:
Tech Summit Birmingham:
Tech Summit Cape Town:
Tech Summit Frankfurt:
Tech Summit Paris:
Tech Summit San Francisco:
Tech Summit Amsterdam:
Other than holding Diversity and Tech panels at our Tech Summits where we aim to get people in a space and talking about key issues around diversity and inclusion, we hope you've been reading the inspiring Friday Features of our real-life women in tech and picking up some handy tips on how to carve out a successful career in tech:
Michelle Ding (Singapore): click here
Daisy Isibor (USA): click here
Lalita Jat (Australia): coming soon!
There are so many talented, powerful and engaging women in tech advocates out there who regularly write blogs or speak out about diversity and inclusion topics, including our very own Microsoft MVPs such as Heather Newman (read one of her many awesome blog posts about doubt language etc), Lesley Crook (read her "Work Out Loud" post here), Tracy van der Schyff (read her "Diversity, Roles and Responsibilities in Tech" post here) and more. I'm sure that within your organizations there are many inspiring women in tech whose stories can help ignite your career and ambitions as well - all you have to do is to seek out those stories in your community :)
Some of my personal favorites when it comes to leaders/voices in the diversity and inclusion circle include Verna Myers, a Harvard-trained lawyer, author and renowned diversity and fair hiring practices advocate. I enjoy watching her many TED talks on overcoming unconscious bias and what it means to be truly inclusive. I also often read books by leading Diversity and Inclusion advocates such as Emily Chang, author of "Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys' Club of Silicon Valley" and Tarah M. Wheeler, author of "Women in Tech: Take Your Career to the Next Level". I also recommend checking out "Nice Girls Don't Get The Corner Office" by Lois P. Frankel for those looking for practical career advice on advocating for yourself in your career and gaining visibility in the workplace.
That said, the next time you think that you're all alone in this journey - stop and remember that you're not. There are amazing role models around you, in various companies, industries and professional capacities.
All you need to do is to seek them out, and hear their story.
Do you have personal role models in tech? Share your list with us so that everyone can benefit!
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