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:

Calling All Volunteers! Women in Cloud Summit 2020 – Time to Take Action!

We are accepting applications for enthusiastic and energetic volunteers for the third Annual Women In Cloud Summit.

Being a WIC volunteer allows you to:

  • Learn the insider’s perspective about what it takes to produce a large-scale summit with C-Level executives, entrepreneurs, and intrapreneurs.
  • Meet today’s leaders and network at the Welcome Reception
  • Earn volunteer credit hours through a meaningful advancement to women and the future of the technology industry
  • Work with other up and coming people in the industry and make connections for long after the event

Key Qualities of the Ideal Women In Cloud Volunteer:

  • Reliable and Committed
  • Energetic
  • Team Player
  • Strong Communications Skills
  • Self-Motivated
  • Contributing Member

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BEING A VOLUNTEER?

There are a number of benefits that are included when you become a volunteer:

  • One (1) Complimentary Ticket (Summit – Jan 25, Welcome Reception – Jan 24, Post-Event Celebration – Feb 22)
  • Swag Bag
  • Opportunity to Attend special Summit activations: Opening Keynote, Closing Plenary, #CloudExecConnect Executive Roundtables, #CloudCommunityConnect Roundtables, & #AISolutions2030 Innovation Hub, #CloudInnovateHER Pitch Challenge
  • Acknowledgements at event & at post-event celebration
  • 15% Discount Code for your network
  • Access to special discounted hotel rate for Summit

WHAT ARE THE VOLUNTEER REQUIREMENTS AND COMMITMENTS?

Schedule Commitments

  • Volunteer Orientation Call – Zoom Call: Friday, January 17th – 11 am to 12 pm PST (Attendance Mandatory)
  • Welcome Reception / Pre-Event Cocktails – Friday, January 24th – 5 to 8 pm PST (Optional/Registration Required)
  • Day of Summit Volunteering – Full Day commitment: Saturday, January 25th – Event Hours 8:00 am – 7:30 pm PST (Mandatory/Registration Required) – AM & PM Shift Reporting Times Vary

Available Volunteer Role Areas:

  • Morning Setup Support
  • Afternoon Setup Support
  • Speaker Support
  • Sponsor Support
  • Booth Support
  • Registration Support
  • Breakout Rooms Support
  • Ushers
  • Technology Support (AV, Decks Management, Photography, Videography)
  • Social Media/Event App Support
  • Tear Down Support
  • General Support (Event Runner)

Promotion to your network
We will provide a guide to share information about the event to your network, including the following:

  • Email & Social Media Copy
  • Photos & Video Content
  • Blog Submission Opportunity

HOW DO I BECOME A VOLUNTEER?

Don’t miss out on this great opportunity!
Complete our Volunteer Sign Up Form to sign up to become a volunteer today!

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

The Importance of Woman-Centered Spaces By Toni Colman

 My grandmother always said the biggest business deals were made on the golf course. When I looked around at the majority-male 2016 WTIA Golf Tournament, her words reverberated in my mind. How many women were missing out on forming valuable industry connections that day? Later, WTIA – the non-profit I work for as Director of Member Relations – received feedback from people who echoed my concerns. The desire to see women participate in the tournament was there, but it wasn’t actually translating to the golf course even though, at least technically, all genders were welcome at the event. It was clear that despite the great strides women have made in the professional sphere since my grandmother first began forming her observation, the imbalance I was witnessing wasn’t going to fix itself. It would take intentional, strategic action.

 I decided to form the tournament’s first women-only training group and team. I rounded up eight members and we met up once a week for six weeks and learned how to play golf. We drank beer, ate snacks, and worked on our skills in a pressure-free environment. Once the tournament rolled around, however, we were hit with a dose of reality. One man asked a teammate what hole she was working at, assuming she wasn’t there to play in the tournament; another asked a woman if she could connect him to one of the partners at her company, not considering the fact the woman herself might be a partner (she was). Someone else expressed frustration at us for going the wrong way on the lawn, and other men gave us unsolicited coaching advice. For better or for worse, we weren’t exactly surprised by these uncomfortable interactions. After all, changing people’s biases doesn’t happen overnight. The all-women team members agreed that it was a beneficial learning experience overall, and wanted to continue making male-dominated spaces more woman-centered.

 

To that end, I next put together a women’s poker tournament. Poker is another activity typically coded as masculine, which means few women learn it and those who do can be averse to playing it since they’ll likely be playing with men. (Fact: Significantly more women play poker online than in-person, probably for this reason.) The interest in the event was staggering—75 women ended up participating. The turnout reaffirmed my belief that many women were interested in doing traditionally “manly” things, as long as intentional spaces were created for them to feel comfortable in. Being the only woman on the golf course or at the poker table can be a daunting experience, and those spaces will remain male-dominated if we are only relying on women to brave such spaces independently.

These experiences have opened my eyes to exactly what it will take to challenge the ubiquity of professional, male-dominated spaces. I’m taking all I’ve learned to my company so we can use it to best empower women in tech. WTIA is committed to creating intentional, professional spaces for women where networking and growth can flourish without being stifled by the pervading cultural norms that discourage women from full participation and therefore maintain the gender imbalance. If you care about doing this work with us, contact me at toni@washingtontechnology.org and tell me how you want to shake things up or come see me at the Women in Cloud Summit on January 26th to build your network and expand your tribe!

Credit: This article was written by Toni Colman, Director of Member Relations, Washington Technology Industry Association