“Our community rocks because we welcome with open arms. Our community rocks because we celebrate each others’ success. Our community rocks because we support each other in tough moments and when it is least expected.”
This is the message from Women in Teams, the newly-formed community group which seeks to explore pathways to making Teams a product where more women are part of the conversation.
The group, which had its first monthly meeting in February, looks to collaborate, share and educate one another in a virtual setting. Microsoft Teams Community Lead Laurie Pottmeyer brought the idea to the table before several community members and MVPs jumped in to take part.
Hungarian Office Apps & Services MVP Agnes Molnar says it is the right time to have this sort of group about Teams. “I think we can have open discussions – not only on technical subjects but also “human” topics, like being in this industry as a woman (or any minority) and the challenges we face. It’s good to have a safe place where we can discuss all of these things,” Agnes says.
“These days as most people work remotely, we all have new challenges – the pressure of the pandemic, new types of family logistics, no travel – but we also have to live online with neverending calls and meetings. These technical, psychological and social challenges are also something we have to deal with every day, and I feel this is also a strength of this group.”
Austrian Office Apps & Services MVP Martina Grom says it is important to support other women, especially young women, to look into tech jobs.
“I want to engage and motivate women and share my experience of why I work in the tech industry. It is time to give something back and tell the story of why IT is a very rewarding job opportunity,” Martina says.
“For me, one of the most rewarding moments was that some of my female customers got excited and signed up immediately. They introduced themselves and went into open discussion. Even with only a couple of meetings, I am extending my network around the world and exchanging ideas and knowledge.”
Another strength is that the group is open to everybody. United Kingdom MVP Peter Rising says he thought it was important to be involved as a male ally. “My goal is simply to listen and learn from all of our amazing females in tech, and see how I can help to spread the word about the group, and hopefully encourage some other female, male, or indeed other gender identity or non-binary allies to join us and learn and grow together,” Peter says.
“I think there is a massive disparity in the tech industry to this day in that it is still predominantly male which is not great and hopefully we can play even some small part in helping to change this.”
“I’m really excited about this group and hoping we can do some great things together!”
Women in Teams meets monthly and is always open to new members. For more information, visit the Twitter @WomenInTeams