Last night at AlleyNYC, I was part of the Women in Tech panel at the Tech in Motion meetup. On the eve of the SendGrid/Adria/PyCon debacle, we met to talk about being women in leadership positions, obstacles we’ve overcome, and advice for women who want to be leaders (and the men that are in their lives).
A quick round up of highlights of the event.
Not only did Beth Gilfeather sneak me a glass of wine right before the panel started, she gave some really great advice about picking the right partner, staying balanced and rising to the top.
Cailin Nelson gave wonderful perspective about the difficulties of working with men vs her physics PhD. My favorite was her thought that being a woman leading men can be an advantage because she doesn’t set off any competitive urges in the men she manages. Definitely a testament to her leadership skills.
Lindsay Bressler shared some of her great experiences about making sure she always had a seat at the table in meetings. But my favorite was when she encouraged women to trust their intution - if you have a good idea or point to make in your head, don’t wait for someone else to say it for you.
Anna Khan gave some great contrast to how men and women pitch VCs. The moral for women: pitch even if your idea isn’t ready.
Carol Mirakove gave thougthful and nuanced advice about managing inappropriate workplace humor, staying informed and reading as much of everything as you can.
Merrill Ferguson was a force to be reckoned with. She gave spot-on advice about not caring what anyone thinks of you, not being afraid to say what you see going on around you, and about the importance of mentors.
Merrill Ferguson wishes she had more female mentors/role models above her. Also no longer really cares what ppl think of her.#techinmotion— rachelsklar (@rachelsklar) March 21, 2013
Even though my parting advice was to be cocky, I was honored and humbled to be on a panel of such smart and accomplished women.
Watch your tone
After the panel, a man came up to me and asked what he should do when he has a problem with a woman’s tone. I gave him the best advice I could think of, but more than the advice, I loved that he asked.
If I missed you or we didn’t connect, I’d love to hear from you.
Huge thanks to all of the women on the panel: Anna Khan, Carol Mirakove, Beth Gilfeather, Merrill Ferguson, Cailin Nelson, Lindsay Bressler; moderator Mandy Walker; host [Sloane Barbour] and of course Rachel Sklar, being all over the internet even when she was with us.