…and I’m really proud of this. Today I’m driving to IBM’s main campus in the UK to deliver a presentation. Nothing unusual in that you may say, but the event that I’m speaking at is the fruit of an idea I had in December about bringing women in the IT industry together.
You know I’ve been presenting at women in IT events for a while now, and I’ve been presenting the results of the survey we did in London, Orlando, Auckland and Barcelona. At each of these events, the challenges, issues and fears that women encountered in the workplace were exactly the same, no matter which company they worked for, or where they were in the world.
So when I got back to the UK after IT forum I called up a couple of contacts in Cisco, Dell and IBM, got in touch with the leaders of their women’s groups and told them my plans.
And that’s where the “Connecting Women in Technology” initiative was born.
We have a joint brand (thanks to Andrew for creating our logo with his excellent graphics skills). I like the mobius strip idea – its a continuing journey for us, and a “linking together” theme. We’ve released joint PR too – showing just how well we can work together. We even sent a joint invitation to all our women’s groups too…
“Connecting Women in Technology is all about communication: within companies like our Women@Microsoft group, across companies, across boundaries, across geographies.
There will be sessions on how women’s networks can change the community, encouraging women to return to work after a career break, and Eileen Brown from Microsoft will explain how a chat with another women in IT over a glass of wine sparked the idea and started this snowball rolling. There will be time to network with other women, share your thoughts and challenges and discover how women in other companies overcome these issues. We will host a panel discussion with representatives from each company where you can ask or text in your questions for the panel during the afternoon”.
I wanted to bring together companies, who may partner or compete in different aspects of their business, and to celebrate that women across the IT industry can still collaborate and network effectively. We’re planning to host 2 of these events per year, with each event being held at a different company’s location.
I’m in early talks with several other IT companies who want to to get involved too. I didn’t have the correct contacts to bring them on board in time for this event. And as you may have guessed from my post on Tuesday – Groove has enabled all of us to put this together seamlessly 🙂
So this is why I feel really proud today. I’ve started something that’s going to grow and grow as we reach out to more companies in IT. And I’m really delighted that a simple idea over a glass of wine had grown into this…