Women in Engineering, International Leadership Conference
Anyone who knows me, knows that leaving the City on any given weekday is NOT something I’m exactly enthusiastic about. That commute, be it by car or Caltrain, leaves a lot to be desired these days. So to make the trek down on the Peninsula to attend a seemingly off-demographic conference being put on by an engineering acronym you’ve never heard of … may seem a little odd [#fairenough]. In this case though it was most certainly warranted, and I hope next year in its 5th, the Women in Engineering, International Leadership Conference (#WIELEAD) invites me to return.
The reality: women have to stand up for themselves. If you want more money, you can’t be afraid to ask for it. Ask yourself, what would Sally Yates do? [#WWSYD] And as former Wall Street executive Sallie Krawcheck pointed out in her closing keynote, until the pay structure and money is equal, nor will the power structure. So then the question becomes, how should [wo]men lead by [a different] example? If male-dominated, tech environments/teams are often toxic, where do we go from here as a collective workforce? If we know that a company with more diversity makes for better business, how then do you create a place where all want AND are able to contribute? Currently (and historically), this has been approached by asking “what women can thrive here?”, and then pursuing the female candidates that are the most … well, male. That is to say, the women who have the highest tolerance for testosterone. That strikes me as a sad mitigation strategy. I believe it is far past time to start insisting that individuals check their testosterone and ego at the conference room door, to do their part to open up a FAR MORE competitive landscape. That may seem anti-intuitive, but it comes down to what type of competition you wish to condone. If you’re an ops or analytics person, we are talking about productivity KPI’s here, and if you are not already measuring your individual and collective performance to an actionable standard of adequacy, then start there. Once you are, ask your employees how they think their work process can be improved upon. If enough women identify the same potential inhibitor(s), why not investigate those issues further? Even if the disproportionately male executive team sees no need, cannot relate, has “more important business-critical priorities” to address, etc … this is how change happens. Only after we acknowledge the blatant -ism’s that exist in many people’s day-to-day reality, can we test for and start addressing them to improve the bottom line. [This coming, admittedly, from a guy that still has a long way to go in improving his EQ across the board.]
Only after we acknowledge the blatant -ism’s that exist in many people’s day-to-day reality, can we test for and start addressing them to improve the bottom line.
Why then in a world of limited resources should you dedicate some of yours towards changing practices that have existed for centuries if […]
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