The number of women entering into the tech sphere has increased over the years, bringing new insight and a female perspective to some of the world’s technological advancements. But as inspirational as it is to see so many women participating in the movement, there is still a massive discrepancy among men and women in the sector. Fortunately, some of the women of Silicon Valley are spreading their insight and secrets to this otherwise majestic, exclusive world. They are bringing the dream to every woman that will listen through a series of workshops and speaking sessions compiled into what they have called “Women of Silicon Valley.”
Taking place in San Francisco CA on May 2-3, the conference will introduce some of the women who are an integral part of the most recognizable technology brands around the world including Google, Facebook, Salesforce, IBM and Microsoft, just to name a few. There will be 60 speakers in all that will span across the two days who will be leading talks that will touch on subjects such as AI and Data Science, Blockchain, Having Great Mentors, and How to Advocate for Yourself in the Workplace. These topics are only touching the surface of what these incredible women will be teaching all who attend. The many benefits of experiencing this fabulous event are endless, but some great takeaways will be “getting the lowdown on how emerging technology and the latest trends will impact different aspects of the business. Or get hands-on coding in deep dive sessions” (WOSV). Also, speakers will be given a crash course into how they can build diverse and inclusive organizations, a significant theme of the event. Without diversity, the industry will suffer and will only be able to expand as far as its narrow demographics. This event will no doubt be able to break the mold of what an individual in Silicon Valley looks like and bring some much-needed spotlight to some hidden figures within it.
The speakers include Arquay Harris who is the Director of Engineering at Slack, cloud-based software that is used among team members to communicate and collaborate on tasks/assignments. Before Slack, Harris was a Web Development Manager at Google where she led a large team of Information Architects, Developers and Designers. She will be teaching “Advocacy: It’s Not a Four Letter Word” where she will teach participants how to take charge of their future. You will learn how to avoid the pitfalls of self-advocacy without personal calibration and also how managers can lead a successful team of individuals. Jessica Robinson, CEO at Purepoint International, will tackle the subject of “The 2019 Security Threat Landscape” in which she will address security threats that businesses will face this year. Considering our dependency on technology, this session is worth a listen to avoid any breaches within your own company. Leah McGowen-Hare, Senior Director at Salesforce, will lead a discussion on “How to Speak in Public.” Public speaking is an art and an underrated discipline that some business leaders often overlook. Words mean things, so how you represent your company or brand determines who believes in you and who doesn’t. It is so important to articulate the thoughts that are going around in your brain to an audience that may be foreign to the subject. In her workshop, she will emphasize preparation and training like an athlete to get those public speaking muscles up to par. As you can see, the subjects vary, and speakers’ topics cover the spectrum of what it takes to penetrate the Silicon Valley bubble.
Having women’s voices heard in this arena is a major step to equality within the industry and will be a vehicle for change. The face of Silicon Valley is changing ever so slightly to include persons of all colors and spectrums, leading to some significant developments for not just technology but all facets of global society.