Friday, November 15, 2013

Grace Hopper conference

I was at the Grace Hopper conference for two days. For the first time, I was in a conference about women. To start off with, it was amazing to see the kind of participation. So much so that on the first day, for most of the sessions I was sitting on floor.
The second day was all the more better . My most favorite session was about social enterpreneurship, where women from diverse backgrounds came on the stage and shared how they have been enterpreneurship and made us part of their journey by a glimpse of the video.
I think the conference had a big impact for me in-terms of the way I started looking at the Information Technology industry and the careers within it.
Actually a lot of the topics addressed as part of the conference were not really gender specific . For example a lot of the sessions, brought to the fore a lot of leaders - mostly women. They shared what they thought were the pursuits of a good leader.
Few take aways I had with all the leadership related conversations was
- You will need to make choices and trade-offs and be OK with making them.
- You need to have mentors and sponsors in the workplace to help you
- One needs to be passionate about what he does. We need to be proud of what we do and bring passion into the work.
- You need to constantly challenge yourself.

The interesting thing was , I was on multiple sessions related to leadership and most of the leaders re-iterated what I said above in different ways.
Apart from this, the biggest question on every session was how women need to balance between work life and home and still be successful at work. To me, this drills down back to the choices above. Women have always been owning child nurturing tasks for time immemorial now. While different people had different opinions like some reached out to their support systems, some had hired help.

Overall it was a good time spent. I made a few acquaintances in the process.I think more women and men should spend time on going to sessions this way. It takes us out of the well we create ourselves and encourages to move out of our comfort zone.