When we scheduled “How Tech is Changing the Way Women Work” (this was the inspiration) we had no idea just how timely the topic would be: with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In just out, Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Myer decision to ban working from home, and Anne-Marie Slaughter morphing into a feminist rockstar -- holy moly, this was the place to be.
But we were determined to push the conversation forward without rehashing all the work-life balance discussions and articles already out there. So we hit 3 topics:
- Digital tools and how they have broken the traditional model of work but created a chance to re-frame the work-life debate.
- The new window of opportunity for female entrepreneurs and startups to reinvent the employer/employee relationship.
- Where learning to code and STEM fields fit into gender equality for the next generation of women.
It’s a challenge to sum up a deeply rich and nuanced discussion but I’ll leave you with a final takeaway that each panelist bestowed on the audience. Take these actions and keep up the momentum…
1. “Find 3 small things that you want to make part of your work-life fit this week, schedule them, and make them happen. You’ll see you have more control over your life than you thought,” said Cali Williams Yost, the CEO Flex+Strategy Group and author of Tweak It: Make What Matters to You Happen Every Day.
2. “The next time you go to an event where everybody looks like you, ask yourself why you are there,” challenged Stacy-Marie Ishmael of Percolate. Listen to her comments on diversity in tech. They should not be missed.
3. “The next time someone asks you to speak, say ‘YES.’ And the next time you buy a toy for a girl, buy her something that she can make and build,” urged Jessica Lawrence, executive director of New York Tech MeetUp. She told a touching story of an 8-year-olr girl decked out in pink, showing off the robot she built. Girly and tech-savvy can go hand-in-hand.
4. Marie C. Wilson, founder of The White House Project and Take Our Daughters to Work Day said, “In the next 24 hours, call some woman you think should be involved in this area and tell her you were thinking of her at this panel.”
The conversation continues for the next three Tuesdays with Twitter chats with each of our panelists from 12-12:30pm. The hashtag is #womentech.
One question left unsettled: how to frame this topic so it’s an equal-opportunity discussion for BOTH genders?
Join us with questions and ideas! I’m @manoushz