It was Dell’s pleasure to host the 20th Connecting Women in Technology event celebrating 10 years of CWT.
After a snowy March, April gave way to some beautifully sunny weather – and the hottest day of the year so far coincided with the Dell hosted event “Wellbeing for Success: If you change nothing, nothing will change”. Our aim was to provide participants with a slightly different focus from their day to day working life and to provide them with some key takeaways that they could use in both their work and personal lives.
We decided to try some different timings for the day in order to try and minimize dropout rates and encourage participants to stay for networking. This seemed to work with a record 225 attendees So, we started the event at 10.30am rather than after lunch and we provided lunch for the participants. We also lengthened the breakout sessions to be 1 hour each at the request of the presenters.
The Agenda was as follows:
- 10.30: Arrival and Registration in Dell Building, Networking Opportunity
- 11.00: Introduction and Welcome by Richard O’Donohue, Director of Business Development, Dell Financial Services
- 11.15: Connecting Women in Technology, Fireside chat between Richard O’Donohue and Eileen Brown, Lead Consultant, Amastra and Founder CWT)
- 11.35: Breakout Session 1
- 12.35: Networking Opportunity with finger food buffet lunch
- 13.20: Breakout Session 2
- 14.30: Keynote Speaker: Sarah Speake (CMO, Truphone) – The Road to Resilience: Kill or Cure
- 15.15: Summary and Closing Comments
- 15.30: Further Networking Opportunity
We also had a more structured networking event whereby attendees collected the names of 4 new contacts (someone from your company you don’t know, someone from a similar function in another company, someone wearing the same colour and someone with similar interests outside of work) and were then entered into a prize draw.
The prizes were:
- A signed Copy of Eileen Brown’s book “Working the Crowd”
- A signed Copy of Michael Townsend Williams’ book “Do Breathe: Calm your mind. Find focus. Get stuff done”·
- A free hours Skype coaching session with Michael Townsend Williams to find practical ways to get your best work done with a focused mind and relaxed body.
- A place on 2 day Dynamic Presenter Course run by Body Talk (worth over £1,400)
After a coffee and early networking opportunity, the event was kicked off by Richard O’Donohue chatting to Eileen Brown about the origins and purpose of CWT and how it’s still going strong 10 years on. This gave attendees newer to CWT a valuable insight into this unique and interesting collaboration. The group then broke into 3 breakout sessions:
- “Mental Health in the Workplace” Maggi Rose (Lead Facilitator, Mental Health at Work) http://mhaw.uk.com/
- “Calm You Mind | Find Your Focus | Get Stuff Done” Michael Townsend Williams (Owner and Founder, Stillworks) http://www.stillworks.org/
- “Increase Your Impact and Influence” Sim Courtie (Lead Trainer, Body Talk) http://www.ukbodytalk.com/
The day concluded with a passionate and heartfelt presentation from Sarah Speake who was one of the founder members of CWT when she worked at Google so this was a fitting end to our celebration of 10 years of CWT. Sarah shared the story of her career journey to date and how her personal experiences outside of work have made her more resilient. Her frank and down to earth approach resonated with the attendees and led to a lively Q&A session.
We had some fantastic feedback from the day:
“I would love to be able to attend more!!! It’s so inspiring to see and meet so other females in Technology! I would also love to be mentored by Eileen, I think she is just amazing…but I know she is a busy woman!”
“It was a very good event and makes you realise how much body language/mental attitude makes a big difference. Thank you for arranging the event.”
“It was the most valuable ‘women in tech’ type event I have ever attended. All speakers / workshops were great and I would be very interested in attending any future events. I would also be interested in helping to support any future events if you ever need any extra help!”
“The topics at this event I found particularly relevant and engaging. It was good to hear discussions on general wellbeing and working as opposed to simply those things which are traditionally “women’s issues”. Very relevant in the current work climate.”
“It was an amazing event, very well done.”
“Thank you to everyone who organised the event. It really was a fantastic day.”
Thank you to all who helped to make this and inspiring and energetic event. We are now looking forward to our next event at Intel later this year..