March 2012 event 8 at Avaya

We celebrated our 8th event in the Connecting Women in Technology series at Avaya in Maidenhead

Avaya march 2012 event 2

The day started with the best example of collaboration across companies that usually compete in business. Unfortunately a horrible virus decided to test the strength of the CWT Project team as we were setting up for the keynote. The team rolled up their sleeves and worked together against the malware whilst entertaining the panellists who were lunching downstairs unaware of the adventure in the second floor. Our fantastic keynote speaker, Heather White was observing patiently how everything was transpiring and how well we collaborated.  Luckily all was sorted one minute before the kick-off!!

Avaya Event March 2012 1

We had a superb agenda for the event:

13:30 Welcome and CWT vision
14:00 Keynote Speaker by Heather White, Smarter Networking 
14:45 Breakout Sessions on: 
— Mentoring,
— Career Path, 
— Face to face Networking
— Social Networking
15:45 Coffee break with Informal networking
16:15 Summary from Tables
16:30 Panel discussion 
17:00 Wrap-up and event summary.
17:15 Close and further Networking in the pub


Heather White from Smarter Networking kicked off the day with some amazing tips about face to face networking.  Remember to wear your name badges on the right hand side of your jackets ladies.  Heather also had some really useful tips on how to cope with the personal space ‘intimacy dance’ that we do when we first meet someone face to face.

We then broke into groups.  Based on Feedback from previous events, small table groups work really well.  It is a safe environment for us to communicate and share our ideas, fears and goals.

Here are some of the wrap up information from the break out sessions that we held:

Career Path:

1. Tools to use to identify your strengths & weaknesses:
Johari Window
Nohari Window
Myers Briggs
2. Sites of use when trying to decide what you want to do when you grow up:
How to write a CV (Resume)
The Career Shifters Guide
3. Blogs & Other Resources:
Stephen Covey
Technology & Social Media – Eileen Brown (also a great link to websites for Women in Technology)
Managing progress against goals
Free ethical learning website
4. Professional Organisations – many offering free training webinars
American Management Association
Business Professionals of America
Dale Carnegie
Professional BusinessWomen of California
Invent Your Future
Sales Management Association
Project Management Institute
5. Books & Articles
The Strategy for Success by Rashika Fernando
Managing Onself by Peter Drucker
I could do anything if I only knew what it was by Barbara Sher & Barbara Smith
What color is your parachute by Richard Nelson Bolles
Screw Work; Let’s Play by John Williams
And What do you do? By Barrie Hopson & Katie Ledger
Bringing Your Whole Self to Work – Harvard Business School Press
Who moved my cheese – Spencer Johnson

Social Networking

External Profiles, Images, bio, SEO optimization
o Keep external facing profiles up to date,
o consistent recent image across all sites, no family shots etc. head and upper body, nothing revealing etc..
o Bio that can be searched on easily, SEO keywords in bio. Succinct, no acronyms.
o SEO, keep bio fresh, so search revisits it, white space, sub headings, first 55 characters in bio are the most important
Following up after meeting Face to Face. What to do with that business card
o Make contact via email mentioning place met and what you talked about
o Mention you will connect with them on LinkedIn and make the connection within a couple of days
o In the LinkedIn introduction, mention again where you met and remind them of your email
o If they comment on LinkedIn, interact with them!
o If they respond by email, save details to your contacts list
o Then THROW the business card away – you have all the details you need and have started the relationship!
Security, Privacy, Visibility
o Talk about need to secure all your profiles so the information can’t be seen by folks you don’t want to see it, check settings regularly. Get someone who is not connected to you to s end you a screenshot of your page and how it looks to them. This is very important. Check tagging settings on images
Blogging, Credibility, Discoverability, Reach
o if techy or marketing or strategic role, aim to blog once per week showing your thought leadership. Use short paragraphs for SEO, link your blog to twitter / Facebook / LinkedIn to make sure more folks see it
o on LinkedIn, if blogging on WordPress, add the widget to your profile
Engagement and communication
o Once you’re connected engage with your new friends regularly. Comment on LinkedIn job moves, and any interesting links they share. If you’re in the area, use linked place search to invite local connections to coffee.
o Make the effort to stay connected – even once per month. Remember you connected for a reason…


Some of the feedback was amazing…

I felt empowered by the event, the career path advice has completely focussed me and given me the structure that I need to progress. Thank you.

Enjoyed the panel discussion the most as it gave a chance to hear from successful women leaders. For me this is the most valuable thing when attending events like this – to hear other people’s stories, learn from them and be inspired by them

It was a reminder that spending time on my career is important, and as a busy working parent, I tend to neglect that, instead focusing on getting ‘everything else’ done. I will be updating my Linked In profile, and plan to start blogging, and make my career more of a priority. Thank You!

You need courage to become more confident

The value of the CWT event in encouraging us to build relationships and network across different companies, job roles, cultures and age groups and to see what women can achieve

Liked the honesty & openness of the attendees & panellists


The team are really looking forward to our next event – back to IBM for the second cycle of our series.

I’m very proud indeed… 

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