Countdown to the new year and the Women In Cloud 2020 Summit

As we wind down 2019, we can’t help but think of all the things we have to be thankful for this past year. Although we still have a lot of work to do in order to see gender equality in the tech industry, we’ve also accomplished a lot of things this past year. 

  • We’ve grown our WIC active network to over 1500 members, more than double where we were one year ago and, as a result, we’ve tripled our audience during this time. 
  • We launched the online WIC Network community to give members an exclusive space to communicate, network, share ideas and help each other through mutual generosity. 
  • We build an Advisor Network comprised of industry executives and subject matter experts.
  • Our Accelerator impact generated $50M in pipeline opportunities and $6M in investments.
  • We’ve expanded the Cloud Accelerator into 8 countries: Canada, UK, France, Germany, India, Kenya, the US and Dubai.
  • We now have 60+ major companies directly participating in the community. 
  • And we’ve garnered major media coverage for WIC on Microsoft, GeekWire, TechNative and more. 

And as we move into 2020, we know we can accomplish amazing things. We’re going to continue launching our community in new countries and territories, add new programs like Executive Dinners and Innovation Hacks, continue to evolve our community into a true Generosity Network, and much more.

We kick off the year with our annual summit, and this year’s promises to be extra special. We’ve added a number of amazing new experiences that not only accelerate growth for women-led technology businesses, but also inspire, connect and harness the amazing power of the community to help solve other major problems we’re facing across the globe. 

Here are our top 5 reasons why you can’t miss out on the 2020 summit:

  1. Learn from relevant industry leaders: there are so many amazing speakers at the summit this year including critically acclaimed performer and author Patti Dobrowolski, and corporate vice president for Microsoft’s One Commercial Partner business, Gavriella Schuster, and many others. You’ll wish you could listen to all of them!
  2. Change the world and yourself in the process#AISolutions2030 Innovation Hub: Women In Cloud and IdeaGen have partnered together with industry leaders and policy makers to further the 2030 UN global goals through AI-based solutions by launching the #AISolutions2030 Innovation Hub. Leveraging the UN Knowledge Repository, WIC will be bringing some of the sharpest tech and business minds together in one place for a greater purpose, and promises to produce strategic AI solutions directed at solving the UN’s SDG goals.
  3. See up-and-coming women entrepreneurs and women-led business emerging into the spotlight first hand through the #CloudInnovateHER Pitch Challenge: women-led companies developing an enterprise-ready cloud solution that’s earned less than $10M in the past 12 months qualify to enter the pitch challenge. Four finalists will have an opportunity to deliver their pitch during WIC Summit 2020. The winner will be selected at the pitch competition and will receive a prize.
  4. Join in on scintillating conversation with industry leaders at the #CloudExecConnect Executive Roundtables: an intimate group eating together and inspiring through meaningful dialogue around one topic. Each table conversation is facilitated by an industry executive, and you can pick the topic that interests you most. 
  5. Multiple opportunities to network: in addition to the #CloudExecConnect Executive Roundtables, there’s also Collective Action Lounge, as well as the #CloudCommunityConnect: Community Roundtables that are community lead roundtables similar to the executive roundtables. With over 1500 attendees, there are bound to be a number of influencers you can get connected to. 

There are several more reasons to attend, so be sure to register today!

Also, there are other ways to get involved if you’re interested:

#AISolutions2030 Innovation Hub: WiC and IdeaGen partner to further to the 2030 UN global goals

In 2015, the UN adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, proposing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This agenda is built to create a global blueprint for dignity, peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and in the future, and is challenging the world as a whole to band together to leave no one behind. 

As humans, our well-being is linked. Poverty, gender inequality, and lack of access to education, nutrition, clean water, and sanitation is detrimental to economic growth and undermines social cohesion, increasing political and social tensions that can lead to conflict. The converse–no poverty, sustainability, equality, and access to basic human needs–benefits the entire population and promotes personal and social well-being, economic growth, and development. It’s key to building our future together and ensuring prosperous societies and a planet we can all enjoy together for years to come. 

That’s why Women in Cloud (WiC) and IdeaGen have partnered together and with industry leaders and policy makers to further the 2030 UN global goals through AI-based solutions with the #AISolutions2030 Innovation Hub at WiC’s 2020 Summit in January. Leveraging the UN Knowledge Repository, WiC is looking to bring some of the sharpest tech and business minds together in one place for a greater purpose and promises to produce great AI solutions directed at solving the UN’s SDG goals.

Advancing gender equality is one of the first five goals, and the UN is emphatic that realizing global gender equality is “critical to all areas of a healthy society, from reducing poverty to promoting the health, education, protection and the well-being of girls and boys,” and will go a long way to help solve the other goals. They stress that “investing in education programs for girls and increasing the age at which they marry can return $5 for every dollar spent. Investing in programs improving income-generating activities for women can return $7 dollars for every dollar spent.”

It’s no secret that advancing gender equality is at the nucleus of WiC, but all 17 goals are on the table for the #AISolutions2030 Innovation Hub.  “We not only want to be at the forefront of gender equality, but the other UN goals as well,” says president of Women in Cloud Chaitra Vedullapalli. “We believe this world is worth saving, and we know that we have one of the brightest communities out there–a community that is no stranger to gathering together to solve big problems and overcome adversity.” 

More than just an opportunity to show off their great skills, the #AISolutions2030 Innovation Hub gives up and coming women tech entrepreneurs and the entire community the chance at winning awards for their innovative thinking as well as bringing something better to the world. 

Prizes include swag, plus with the industry recognition and visibility the #AISolutions2030 Innovation Hub generates, the best and brightest ideas are sure to get noticed by community leaders, corporate sponsors, and outside investors alike. It will be a prime opportunity to be recognized as a leader in the tech space. 

Join us and gain valuable experience through collaborative design thinking, problem solving, executive pitch development and more. 

The Details

  • Signup:
    • #AISolutions2030 Innovation Hub is inclusive, so anyone can participate. This includes literally anyone at the Summit, even Speakers and Judges. The more people we have to solve the problem, the better. 
    • When you register, tell us which SDG goal you want to contribute to. We will group people based on their selected goals. 
    • Be sure to recruit your own team members and invite the community to join. 
  • Readiness:
    • Women In Cloud team will put together the Groups on Online Community and host an online call to explain the process. 
    • George Sifakis and other UN representatives will be part of the call.
  • Team Engagement: Summit
    • The teams will use the SDG knowledge base to identify their “target” and “outcome” to do research, and begin preparing their ideas. 
    • The teams will join the Design Hacking Workshop to develop their AI solution.
  • AI Solution Selection for Advancement 
    • The judges from IDEAGEN and WIC community will pick the compelling ideas to win awards at the IDEAGEN Global Awards Ceremony.
  • All other ideas will be recognized and nurture throughout the year.
  • Read the full terms and conditions for more details. 

Join us for this amazing opportunity to roll up your sleeves, have fun, and help solve the world’s big problems through innovative tech solutions. Sign up today

 

Why Cloud Knowledge Needs to be Turned into Action

In recent times, cloud computing has become a commodity to organizations all over the world. Most companies use cloud computing in one form or another because of the efficiency it offers. However, most companies have yet to recognize and unleash the full potential of the cloud.   

A new report from The Economist Intelligence Unit and IBM found that among 572 business leaders surveyed, almost three-fourths indicate their companies have piloted, adopted or substantially implemented cloud in their organizations yet, only 38% cite cloud as a leading priority for the entire company. Rather, cloud is still viewed by many as an IT solution, with 62% citing cloud as a leading priority for their IT organizations. (Forbes

While cost-cutting is a crucial reason for the growth of cloud computing, there are other usages cloud plays in the disruptive innovation of the IT sector. Hence, it is extremely important for companies today not just to incorporate cloud computing but acquire knowledge about the technology to utilize its fullest potential. 

Today, most companies use cloud technology for file storage or backup or as a means for disaster recovery; the basic mundane use of cloud, which kick-started the growth of the cloud industry. However, plenty of other options like Online Marketplaces, Ecosystem Connectivity, Artificial Intelligence, Large-scale market adaptability, and scalability remains largely unexplored by various small and mid-level businesses simply due to lack of knowledge and the ability to turn knowledge into action. 

That being said, it would not be completely true to believe that cloud knowledge isn’t being put to action. Cloud Hyperscalers like Microsoft, IBM, Google, and Amazon not only display cloud innovations in their products but they also offer software to businesses that echo their needs. The knowledge and resources these organizations possess about the cloud are immense, and hence it becomes inevitable that the profitable numbers are kept aside and this piece technology is used for the greater good of the society. 

Women in Cloud recognizes the importance of empowering businesses through technology for a better society. With Microsoft and IBM leaders on board, the community offers cloud tech support to businesses led by women like Stylyze Inc, a B2B Retail SaaS platform to enhance product catalog that curates like a personalized stylist and RightSciences, a B2B SaaS platform to develop plant-based patch formulation for hyper-personalized medicine delivery.

Knowledge is an asset in the tech-driven world we are a part of today. While knowledge is available all around us, the power to tap into the knowledge and channel it into action lies with few.

There are various ways knowledge can be converted into collective action. Women in Cloud particularly focuses on making an impact in the following ways;

  • Providing and supporting access to customers, funding, and resources
  • Accelerating businesses through policy resources and readiness 
  • Striving to create and spread innovative solutions, partnerships and communities

 Hence, knowledge management and information dissemination become vital for sustainable growth.

Cloud computing is a technological innovation that can be used for improving lives in society. An estimate suggests that Cloud will provide the digital infrastructure of tomorrow’s cities, where an estimated 6 billion of the world’s population will live by 2045. 

It is safe to say that in the near future, Cloud computing is going to be a bigger part of our lives than it already is. Therefore, it is important to not just acquire knowledge about cloud computing to all types of businesses but to utilize technology for a better technologically-enabled society should be the goal. 

With that thought, stay tuned for the next blog about how to make powerful alliances to further your business or personal goals.

 

Owning Your Dream Opportunity By Julie Chase

It’s difficult not to get discouraged when reading reports such as the “Women in the Workplace,” by McKinsey&Company and LeanIn.Org—where we see little progress on diversity in the corporate world over the last few years. But let’s zoom out a bit to 20 years ago when I entered the tech world. I remember only seeing 1 or 2 women engineers in any given team. In the past few years, I’ve not only worked with many but have also been fortunate to work with many women leaders.

When I look through a wider lens, I can better see the great progress made and feel more positive. With the influx of women-focused organizations, like Women In Cloud and female-founded companies, I’m more optimistic than ever. I truly believe the next few years will be marked by exponential results.

Even in my own business, at Dream Job Catcher, I’ve noticed a positive shift. I regularly talk to recruiters and over the past few years, there has been a significant increase in women negotiating for higher compensation. One recruiter from a Fortune 500 company says that every time a candidate asks for more, she is able to present a higher package. If they don’t ask, the original offer stays in tact.

More than half of our clients are women. One thing that’s pretty consistent is that they read job descriptions literally—often asking “have I done this exactly?” Whereas, most men read the bulleted lists as “Can I do this?” And the latter is the better way to approach the list—as well as it’s based on other experiences that are parallel to the role.

This is just one of many examples where I help our clients realize their full potential by focusing on their strengths. We work together on establishing the right mindset and overcome limiting beliefs. We also partner to determine your dream opportunity, which I define as an opportunity you love every day—and then create an action plan to make it become a reality. There’s nothing more empowering than taking ownership of your career & life and making it happen!

We’re extremely excited to sponsor the Women In Cloud Summit. 

Please stop by our booth or attend the Career & Life Transitions roundtable.

 

Credit: Julie Chase, CEO of Dream Job Catcher

Clearing The Path For Female Entrepreneurs By Gavriella Schuster

I look forward to joining the Women in Cloud community on Saturday, Jan 26th, where female entrepreneurs from many facets of the tech industry are coming together to invest in themselves, to recharge their energy, and be inspired by a community of like-minded women leaders, sponsors, and allies.

The data is clear, female technology entrepreneurs are outnumbered and underfunded and we need that to change.

What can enterprise leaders do to help? Here are  five ideas:

  1. Investigate – Look for places within your supply chain where women-led suppliers are under-represented.  Examine your application process for requirements that may not be inclusive.
  2. Analyze and Take Action – Measure the mix of women in your tech communities and create practices and norms that encourage women to feel welcomed, valued and involved.
  3. Seek Broad Support – Look for support from across your company’s communities. The women in your organization should not be the only ones to bear the burden of driving the fixes we need. Get everyone involved, and set-up women in the company to be strategic advisors and mentors.
  4. Share the Voice of Women – Ensure the female perspective is shared in your feedback systems and deliberately reach-out to women-led communities to include their point of view.
  5. Go Beyond – Sharing advice and mentoring women in your organization is important. But for greater impact, create true pathways for women business decision makers to take active steps toward engagement with your organization and business opportunities.

I can’t wait to speak with all of you who are attending the Women in Cloud Summit. I’m excited to hear your stories, learn from your journey, and get ideas about how we can make things better together.  I’ll be joined by other industry leaders who share my passion and energy for helping female entrepreneurs step into the cloud opportunity.

If you haven’t yet registered for the event, here’s the link to reserve your spot.  Tell your friends, colleagues, leaders, investors, communities.  Let’s take the time to make this investment in ourselves together.

 

#WomenInCloud #SheSoars

Credit: Gavriella Schuster