HEAR. ENGAGE. RELATE.
Updated: Apr 23
As a #WomanInTech I have attended, spoken at, and volunteered for many #WIT type events. Each event has its own point of view on how to empower young/current industry women to excel in their careers - but out of the events I have been a part of, I believe @Aruba's H.E.R. really spoke the truth of the underrepresented in industry.
Firstly, I absolutely loved the title - not 'women in ___' or 'Diversity'; it really set the tone by starting the conversation on Hear - the audience starts the conference on the tone of listen first. Then, Engage, meaning take part, you are a part of the discussion no matter your background, current standing, you are encouraged to participate. Finally, Relate, we are all human, no matter how we got here, our stories are connected. We are the community of technology and together is how we can change the world. Talk about an inclusive event!
I had the honour to keynote H.E.R., where I took the audience on an adventure of my career in Discovering Security. Starting from a little girl who was repeatedly told she was worthless, into the realisation that actually, I could take back control of my life - and even better, I could empower others through demystifying the unknown.
If interested, I invite you to watch the talk, and respond with your thoughts.
There is also a live blog here , which includes pieces from Janice's talk below.
Following my keynote, we joined Janice on her talk of Your Personal Brand. Now, you might be thinking, oh I know all about my personal brand...but not like this! Janice talked us through her life journey, how she identified, rightly so, as a fighter and how she became the brilliant woman she is today. One vital piece of this talk was having the audience participate, by asking us these five questions under that title: 'Build your own Personal Brand':
1. What are you passionate about? What is your purpose?
2. What problems do you solve? To what question are you the answer?
3. What do people believe to be true about you?
4. Who do you love to be?
5. What is your superpower?
Once through those questions, we discussed out-loud some of our choices, I choose Empathy for my super power. Then we went into 'My Unique Value Proposition', which was a fill in the blanks exercise:
I am a _____________
My strength is ______________
Because I believe that ________________________
I can help you ______________________
Believe me because __________________
If you find the time to try filling these in, I can promise you, it's quite an eye opening exercise. Once I've found the recording of Janice's talk, I'll link it here as well.
Finishing off H.E.R. with a panel, I had the pleasure of speaking with 3 other established industry experts. In this panel, we covered the value of inclusion vs diversity, how each one of use plays a part, and the exciting future tech has for all the underrepresented groups - because the industry is changing, thanks to people like you.