Google Event 6: 2nd February 2011

This is the 6th in the Connecting Women in Technology series, and it was Google’s turn to host the logistics for the event.


This event was amazing, with a terrific line up of speakers and workshop leaders.

Due to space restrictions, Google didn’t have a large enough venue to host all of the people who wanted to come, so Microsoft kindly volunteered to use their auditorium which holds a couple of hundred attendees.  And we needed that many because we had an amazing day.

Maggie Philbin  was our MC for the day.  She started off the day with a set of amusing anecdotes about her early days in TV and particularly her time on Tomorrows World where she flew in a Hawker hunter and drove in one of the cars with a very early direction finding system (aka SatNav).

Maggie then introduced our speaker for the keynote session.  Cherie Blair.  Maggie interviewed Cherie for an hour, asking her about her early life in law and the challenges she had as a female lawyer in Chambers.  She talked about life with Tony, first as a junior lawyer, then as a politician, then as the prime minister, now as  the Envoy to the Middle East and the challenges of being a working mother with children, juggling her time, and work against her husbands various roles throughout her career.  Maggie was magnificent at asking just the right questions, and Cherie was self effacing, entertaining, funny and witty.  It was a great insight into the life of an amazing woman.

We had 3 breakout workshop sessions focusing on self development:

  • Creating your elevator pitch with Claire Macland
  • Identifying your personal brand with Marianne Calder
  • Self-awareness: who am I anyway? with Lynne Copp

We then broke for an energising networking session over coffee before going back into the main auditorium for the panel discussion hosted by Maggie.

CWT Panel

(This is Claire from Avaya reporting on her breakout to the main room)

The attendee feedback was amazing. Here’s a selection of quotes

I like the fact that we get to talk to women in technology and that it transcends competitive boundaries

It was relevant to Women in the workplace and encouraged Women to be more entrepreneurial and aware of our self-worth. Really resonated with me and made me take stock.

Well organised event with lots of good speakers. Fireside chat with Cherie Blair and break out sessions very good

I thought the event was really well structured and managed. Maggie did a fantastic job with her own section but also interviewing Cherie and then also the panel. The break out sessions were great and very valuable.The overall event had an extremely positive vibe.

Nice to have a chance to interact with others from the technology space.

Great humour and very engaging speaker in the breakout session. I think Cherie and Maggie were fantastic, and really came across well. The panel discussion was really interesting, particularly when some were more candid!

Lynne Copp was fantastic. Very enthusiastic and very relevant break out session. I also liked the honestly within the panel discussion, the members were very open with their commentary, much more than I had expected. It was also good to have a couple of men on the panel to get a another perspective.

The quality of speakers was fantastic, very inspiring and down to earth advice from very influential and powerful women. I liked the break out to learn a little more about yourself, stopping and holding the mirror up with advice about what you see is a rare opportunity for those of us on client site working every minute for the project.

Unlike anything I’ve attended before. Very interesting and entertaining.

As I’ve said before, this type of event transcends company boundaries. It allows women from 8 large technology companies to get together and share insights and best practices, get useful contacts, and network with their peers in the industry.   And twice a year events like these have proved that this type of initiative is needed across our industry.  CWT are also the main sponsor for the everywoman awards this year which is a sell out event, demonstrating that there are some amazing women working in our industry who rightly deserve recognition and support.

Our next event will be at hp later in 2011 where we will continue this amazing journey of collaboration and connection… Roll on the next one…

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