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On Thurs Nov 14th, MoveTheDial had its second annual global summit. Taken from the site, this organization is defined as a Global Movement To Advance the Leadership and participation of all women in tech.
As with all conferences, there are talks going on simultaneously, so it’s always so hard to choose which one to go to because they all seem amazing. It’s too bad that technology hasn’t gotten to the point where we can teleport or be in two places at once because that would definitely help at conferences!
I started the day with the fireside chat with Dragon’s Den Michele Romanow. I’m a HUGE fan of hers. In addition to being a Dragon, she is a Canadian Tech Entrepreneur, board director and venture capitalist. In 2015, Michele was listed as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada. I thought she hit the nail on the head when she said that “being an entrepreneur is a high contact sport.” ( I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been knocked down, but each time I would come back up, bruises and all). A couple of other things that she touched on were that standing out is not a bad thing. She never thought being a woman was a disadvantage, it just meant she was different.
Every talk and panel I went to after that continued to inspire and light the fire. This is why I try to attend events and conferences here and there because it can be quite lonely when you’re trying to build something by yourself.
What really caught my attention was how unique and diverse the panels were – diverse in people and content. I loved how there was a panel with parents and their daughters, representing the various generations. I also sat in on a panel of all men who supported women and diversity.
I thought it was very interesting that the summit created a fireside chat where a young woman who had accomplished so much at a young age was the one who was doing the interviewing.
The afternoon lineup for the day also included Randi Zuckerberg. She shared her story, along with the start of Facebook Live and how it was used to promote one of Katy Perry’s world tours.
I can’t tell you how heart-warming it was to see young girls win scholarships and getting connected with high-profile women in tech to further advance their dreams and careers.
Normally I would duck out of conferences early due to it being a long day. I was recovering from a cold and thought I would have to leave after lunch, but I ended up staying until the very end. I bumped into a couple of ladies who I had connected with at previous events I had attended earlier this year – Kat Espiritu – a video content creator who was responsible for creating the videos in the Startup & Slay Series by How She Hustles and Arwina Mogul, the CEO of Beam, an online platform to connect people within the Esports community and to help manage your Esports events.
The final conversation was moderated by Kris Reyes, a reporter at ABC News with Erin Foster and Sara Foster, Co-Heads of Creative at Bumble was really relatable. I also spent my 20s trying to figure out what I wanted to do and did a lot of effing up. It wasn’t until a few years ago in my early 30s that I had a bit more clarity.
Going to this event also made me want to learn more about the state of diversity in tech.
From my own brief experience being on a tech team for a startup, from a diversity perspective, I was the only woman and one of two people of colour on the team. This may sound strange, but for as long as I can remember, I’ve always done some kind of inventory in my head to see how people who looked liked me, similar to me or who else was a non-Caucasian person. Of course, I never felt that way and was thankful to be treated as a valuable member of the team.
Since I am such a curious person, hence the podcast and blog interviews. I have asked other people of colour about doing this inventory and several of them say they do it too. Even when I go to conferences, I take note of who the speakers and panelists are. I would often think to myself why are there not more women, women of colour or people of colour up on stage?
This was probably the first conference where it didn’t leave me wondering.
Overall the event inspired me more on what I can also do to Move the Dial or to continue working on what I believe will help move the dial.
Watching this video gave me goosebumps:
and provided some validation as to why I am qualified to lead the collaborative book, Dare To Be Digital (Formerly known as The Defining Digital Moment. Even though I am already a published author, the thought of leading a book in a space I haven’t really created a name for myself in yet was kind of daunting. I was feeling a bit of Imposter Syndrome towards it.
And then I came across this post on Instagram:
It is an excerpt taken from the book Go Out of Your Way by the founder Jodi Kovitz.
This is why I’m encouraging you to attend more networking events like this. Events that have been curated with passion and purpose. They’re there to help you keep going and realize what you are doing matters.
A whole lot.
It can take a community and village to make a significant change. However, when you think about it really starts with just one person and an idea. Then it’s about taking those small action steps to move the needle on the dial a little bit each time.