Hello from the blogger table for the #PASSSummit WIT Luncheon!
Let’s take a moment to appreciate that delicious lunch, the uplifting music, and the welcoming atmosphere. As I sit here at my table I hear the familiar hum of a thousands of voices lifting and carrying across the room. I hear deep voices, high pitched voices, male voices, female voices, gravely voices, laughter, loud voices, quiet voices. I hear voices of friends and newly made friends of all walks of life. It is beautiful, it is loud, and my heart is soaring.
As amazing as it is here at PASS Summit, this is not at all indicative of each and every workplace out in the world. Not every space is as diverse and welcoming. If you are in a workplace that is not as diverse, you CAN make a difference. You can empower your space!
Director of Technology, Engineering Project Management, T-Mobile is here today to discuss “Mobilizing Your Own Grassroots Movement to Empower Gender Diversity in Technology.” Throughout her 30+ year technology career, across the manufacturing, healthcare, and telecom industries, Lauri has always been passionate about leading diverse teams. She is the Technology Chair of T-Mobile’s Women’s Leadership Network and leads the company’s Women in Technology initiative, to promote and retain gender diversity within Engineering and IT. Lauri is also an active member of the Project Management Institute’s Executive Roundtable.
Exacting change starts with one person who is passionate about making a difference. From there draft 2 like-minded, passionate leaders. Put in the work, be committed, and continue trying new things to get others involved. Coordinate lunch meetings and open up the invitation to all. Try new things to see what works. Happy Hours may work better for your location. Just keep trying. Be sure to track your data so you will have a better idea what works for your location.
*Pro-tip, offering food at your meetings helps boost attendance!*
Look to the Future
Before I break out into a song about children being our future, let’s chat about how STEM events expose children to careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. Opening up opportunities for boys and girls to learn about tech and engineering jobs expands their horizons and promotes diversity. I am still shocked that many young girls are told that tech/science/engineering is “just for boys.” On the other hand, many children from lower income families or disenfranchised locations may not know that these careers in tech would be a possibility for them. We are stronger when we grow together.
Seven Keys to Starting Your Own WiT
Lauri shared some amazing keys with us and I want to share them with you. Read these. Re-read them. Keep them close. Tattoo them to your arm if you must!
- Don’t get stuck on how you measure success.
- There is no “one size fits all” solution.
- Show up!
- It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
- You cannot do it all at once, don’t get discouraged.
- Bring people with you (not everyone is going to be ready).
- Say YES!