From the VP of Global Client Partnerships at Kargo: Never Prouder To Be A Woman
Below is an article originally written by Aly Gossman at PowerToFly Partner Kargo, and published on March 1, 2018. Go to Kargo's page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.
This March marks the 31st annual celebration of Women's History mmnth. Yes, you read that correctly—Women's History Month has only been celebrated nationally since 1987; when after six years of petitioning by the National Women's History Project, Congress extended the existing Women's Week into an entire month. Net net, a victory worth the fight!
For many of us, it's been a year of unease, unpredictability and collective challenge; this is absolutely not limited to the female sex but hey, it's our month, so let me focus. It's also been a time of unbelievable growth, renewed energy and excitement and hope for continued progress ahead. We've marched, created change, learned a lot and we continue to make strides together.
I've personally never been prouder to be a female—one who is empowered and inspired by my female counterparts in the workforce every day; one who is supported by a company focused on enriching the lives of all its people, while also understanding the importance of female-first groups, resources and outlets; one with steadfast support and love from family and friends who push me to dream bigger and fight for my worth (thanks Mom and Dad!).
So ladies, as we kick off March, I invite you to begin every morning by giving yourselves a huge pat on the back. We're all lucky to be part of the female powerhouse, but we must continue to focus our attention on empowering the females of our future. To do so, I've put together some advice and insights from a couple of those inspiring Kargo female counterparts I mentioned above—so get connected, stay inspired and pass it along!
POWER IS IN THE COLLECTIVE
"Women empowerment starts with women supporting each other. If we can do that intentionally and genuinely, we build confidence in our abilities and in others' perceived potential." This common theme resonated with almost every woman I spoke to; strength exists in the collective number and there's no way we can push ahead without supporting and believing in one another. Keep this in mind the next time you revert to gossip or negativity. Instead, face the challenges head-on with an open mind, promise to be honest with your female peers and always strive for support and compromise over conflict.
DREAM BIG. ACHIEVE BIGGER.
Acknowledgement of inequality and the ongoing fight for our rights will always be important, but let's take a second to be super proud of what we've accomplished since we first celebrated National Women's Month, 31 years ago. We're experiencing an exciting time of change, especially regarding consumer brands and the products that will shape our future. Badass females like Steph Korey and Jen Rubio (Away Travel), Emily Weiss (Glossier), Alexandra Wilkis Wilson (Glamsquad), Katia Beauchamp (Birchbox), and Katrina Lake (Stitch Fix) are revolutionizing their respective categories, building companies from scratch and leading the charge in CEO & Founder positions. They are teaching us that no idea is too small or unworthy of exploring, that no dream is too big, and that truly anything is possible for women in 2018.
At Kargo, 22% of our executive team is represented by female, all of whom are working mothers that have earned their seat at the leadership table. While this percentage is strong compared to the 14.7% global average I'm willing to bet that those numbers will only grow as more females make their marks.
DON'T JUST SHOW UP. SHOW YOUR SKILLS.
Last year our female executives kicked off a global initiative known as She Suite to advocate for the the 56% female majority in the Kargo workforce. This international group connects quarterly but has also broken off into small peer mentorship groups called "wings." She Suite wings provide organic female connections, always-on support, and #judgefree environments designed to inspire, unite and empower.
This point is unbelievably important as we build a female future: Dedicating time and effort to connecting with other women that inspire you to think bigger. It is imperative to take an active approach to networking and personal enrichment—not just showing up, but being an enthusiastic participant. Prioritize self-love and education as well listening to relevant podcasts (no one inspires like Sheryl), female authored books or (one of my personal favs) following some of your favorite female voices and organizations on social media like The Wing, Career Contessa, The Female Quotient, The EveryGirl and WomensMarch, to name a few.
I recently attended a SheRunsIt networking event in Chicago, where I walked into a thought leadership conference comprised of about 98% women. When you walk into a room with hundreds of truly phenomenal females that are pushing an industry forward, you get another friendly reminder of how proud you should be to be a working woman. As someone who has worked in sales for some time, there is always a spark of nerves that kicks in when you first begin to network around a crowded room. But it gets so much easier when you know you're surrounded by people that are all—first and foremost—united by their support of one another. I strongly encourage you to check out the organization.
INSPIRE OUR FUTURE
My final piece of advice is actually more of an ask: Share your pride and power to inspire those around you—and focus intentionally on the future female generation. Mentor our youth, support them and teach them to be proud of who they are and where they've come from. Since 2010, I've been involved in a tutoring program for 4th through 6th-grade girls tat Metro Achievement Center, and I struggle to put into words just how cool it is to guide someone during some of the most pivotal years of her life. Nothing inspires more than leading by example; making an impression on young girls and challenging them to work hard and study at an age when studying and working hard are not necessarily the "cool" thing to do. Teach the future generations to abolish gender stereotypes and exude confidence, and support them in achieving their wildest dreams. After all, the attributes of a strong female leader are contagious and invaluable to leaving gender discrimination in the dustbin of history.
I'd like to give a special shout-out to some of my favorite Kargo ladies who helped me build this article in celebration of #WomensHistoryMonth: Emily Whiting, Joy Sybesma, Stephanie Biegel, Jennifer Churchill, Sonali Hanson, Katie Fishman, Laura Grifka and Laura Adams. Thank you for your energy, excitement and intelligence that made this piece possible and keeps me motivated, each and every day.
Growing Your Career in Technical Support: 4 Tips for Getting Hired at Elastic from Support Director Heidi Sager
Heidi Sager loves math, but she also loves working with people.
She always has, which is why she enjoyed her part-time job working at the IT department of the University of Colorado while she was studying electrical engineering. (She'd started in computer science, but explains that it "wasn't for her" and switched her major.) She helped students and professors with word processors, basic programming, and software checkout, and took a full-time job after graduation as a UNIX system administrator.
Working at Relativity—the global tech company that equips legal and compliance professionals with a powerful data-organizing and discovery platform—looked different in 2020. The highly collaborative environment of their Chicago headquarters transitioned to a virtual setting, and just like companies around the country, Relativity adapted their goals and major projects to a completely remote environment.
Diversity Reboot 2021: The One Hundred Day Kickoff<p><strong>When</strong>: February 1-5, 2021</p><p><strong>Where</strong>: Virtual</p><p><strong>Price to register:</strong> Free!</p><p><strong>Where to register: </strong><a href="https://summit.powertofly.com/" target="_blank">Here</a></p><p>We had to include our own Diversity Reboot on our list of the best diversity and inclusion events to attend in 2021 because we know firsthand how the quality of 100+ expert speakers, the enthusiasm of 10,000 participants, and the cutting-edge tech that enables meaningful virtual networking and job fairs combine to create a truly epic five-day experience. This year, the theme 100 Day Kickoff harnesses the energy of the new government's first 100 days in office to help jump-start personal and professional plans to build more diverse and inclusive workplaces. </p><p>Following the February summit, we'll have a monthly series of smaller virtual summits on topics spanning everything from returnships to LGBTQ+ advocacy, so be sure to stay tuned for updates!<br></p>
The Future of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 2021<p><strong>When</strong>: February 3-4, 2021</p><p><strong>Where</strong>: Virtual</p><p><strong>Price to register:</strong> Free</p><p><strong>Where to register:</strong> <a href="https://www.hr.com/en/webcasts_events/virtual_events/upcoming_virtual_events/the-future-of-diversity-equity-and-inclusion-2021_kcxf8glq.html#detail" target="_blank">Here</a></p><p>This virtual conference put on by HR.com focuses on how social movements like #MeToo and Black Lives Matter have pushed DEI at work beyond legal compliance and into a major factor of any company or brand's culture, employee engagement, and performance. Topics include how to uncover and resolve pay gaps across your team and hire top-level diverse talent.</p>
Workplace Revolution: From Talk to Collective Action<p><strong>When</strong>: March 8-12, 2021</p><p><strong>Where</strong>: Virtual</p><p><strong>Price to register: </strong>$820</p><p><strong>Where to register:</strong> <a href="https://cvent.me/ZQ4BbE" target="_blank">Here</a></p><p>The Forum on Workplace Inclusion's 33rd annual conference includes 12 session tracks, from DEI Strategy to Social Responsibility, along with 59 workshops and daily networking sessions. This year's theme focuses on one question: "What will it take to start a workplace revolution that moves us from talk to action?"</p>
Diversity: How Employers Can Match Words With Deeds<p><strong>When</strong><strong>: </strong>May 19, 2021</p><p><strong>Where:</strong> Virtual</p><p><strong>Price to register</strong><strong>: </strong>Early bird registration is $49 and general admission is $149</p><p><strong>Where to register:</strong> <a href="https://hopin.com/events/may-virtual-conference-diversity-how-employers-can-match-words-with-deeds" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Here</a></p><p>From Day One is hosting monthly conferences in 2021 focused on different ways for companies to foster strong relationships with their customers, communities, and employees. May's half-day virtual event is focused specifically on how companies can make diversity promises that don't fall flat and features workshops, panels, and a fireside chat.</p>
Hire with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion<p><strong>When:</strong> August 18, 2021</p><p><strong>Where: </strong>Virtual</p><p><strong>Price to register: </strong>$195</p><p><strong>Where to register:</strong> <a href="https://www.hci.org/conferences/2021-virtual-conference-hire-diversity-equity-and-inclusion-august-18-2021" target="_blank">Here</a></p><p>This conference put on by the Human Capital Institute is one of 12 virtual conferences that HCI has planned for 2021. This one focuses on fair and inclusive talent acquisition, including how to attract diverse talent, implement inclusive hiring practices, and addressing bias in employee selection. Other conferences will focus on optimizing talent strategy, engaging employees, and developing your workforce.</p>
Virtual Grace Hopper Celebration 2021<p><strong>When:</strong> September 26-29, 2021</p><p><strong>Where:</strong> Virtual, broadcast from Chicago, Illinois</p><p><strong>Price to register:</strong> Was $799 for regular access to the virtual conference in 2020; 2021 pricing hasn't yet been announced</p><p><strong>Where to register:</strong> <a href="https://ghc.anitab.org/attend/registration/" target="_blank">Here</a>, though 2021 registration wasn't live at the time of writing</p><p>Grace Hopper might be the best-known conference for women in tech. Through keynote presentations, networking sessions, job fairs, and community-building activities, vGHC reached over 30,000 women for their 2020 conference and are expecting even more in 2021! While not a conference focused exclusively on diversity and inclusion, many speakers plan to focus their talks on creating environments for women to thrive in the male-dominated tech field.</p>
Inclusion 2021<p><strong>When:</strong> October 25-27, 2021</p><p><strong>Where:</strong> Virtual and in person in Austin, Texas as of now</p><p><strong>Price to register:</strong> Hasn't yet been announced</p><p><strong>Where to register: </strong><a href="https://conferences.shrm.org/inclusion" target="_blank">Here</a>, though 2021 registration wasn't live at the time of writing</p><p>The Society for Human Resource Management's biggest conference of the year saw 1,200 DEI leaders participate last year; SHRM hopes to see even more come to learn, be inspired, and to walk away with a playbook of implementable strategies to create truly inclusive workplace cultures.</p>
AfroTech 2021<p><strong></strong><strong>When:</strong> November 8-13, 2021</p><p><strong>Where:</strong> Virtual</p><p><strong>Price to register:</strong> Early bird pricing is $149 for individuals and $249 for corporate attendees; regular pricing hasn't yet been announced</p><p><strong>Where to register:</strong> <a href="https://experience.afrotech.com/" target="_blank">Here</a></p><p>AfroTech is a conference hosted by Blavity, a tech media platform for Black millennials. It focuses on emerging tech trends, connecting Black talent with top tech recruiters, and providing networking and educational opportunities, with an overall goal of building a strong Black tech community. Over 10,000 people participated in 2020. While the conference isn't focused specifically on DEI, its main audience of Black tech talent is an important one to understand and to engage at work and beyond, and several speakers plan to focus on issues of race and inclusion at work. </p>
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