Women Who Tech – Lightning Talks #wwt

Jill Foster (@jillfoster) and Allyson Kapin (@womenwhotech) kicked off the event and addressed the question of why more women don’t submit themselves to speak on panels at conferences.

  • Women tend to be more perfectionist compared to men. They feel like they need to be an expert and have all the answers before pitching themselves to be on a panel or speak in front of a group of people.
    • “Perfectionism isn’t the endgame; participation is.”
  • Allyson and Jill gave some really practical advice about how women can practice public speaking to get themselves more comfortable:
    • Have friends engage in an impromptu Q&A with you about a topic
    • Videotape yourself giving your presentation

Next up was Shireen (@digitalsista) and Liza Sabeter (@blogdiva) on how to diversify your tech team

  • Diversity is an opportunity to have innovation in the tech space
  • Diversity allows tech teams to see what communities have not been reached yet
  • Use social networking platforms as listening tools to find diversity
  • Hiring diversity doesn’t equal sacrificing quality
  • Tech tools aren’t being created with diversity in mind

Connie Reece (@conniereece) talked about how to survive an online snark attack

  • “You’re mostly swimming with dolphins” not sharks
  • It’s hard to distinguish tone in written communications
    • Is it an unfair comment or is there something constructive behind the comment
  • Difference between snark and trolls
  • People will follow your lead on your blog or website
  • Trolls only purpose is to gain attention and disrupt
    • They’re not going to respond to reason
  • You need a policy and guideline for posts and comments
  • Activists are also out there and may target your website or other online presence to “take it down”. She gave the example of Greenpeace “attacking” the Nestle Facebook page over their use of palm oil and the rainforest

Tara Hunt (@missrogue) and Deanna Zandt (@randomdeanna) talked about creating a culture of collaboration

  • Lesson 1: it’s not about you
    • Super important to listen
  • Lesson 2: Be the perfect host
  • Lesson 3: Limitations breed creativity
    • Technology expanse can be paralyzing
    • Reduce your end goals to be very limiting
  • Lesson 4: Build intrinsic rewards
    • Cash rewards don’t often motivate people in the way that you think they will and often find diminishing returns
    • Great case study of Yelp and how they tried to offer cash to expand in to smaller communities and it didn’t really work. Instead went to foodies to find out what tools / rewards they wanted
    • “People will support that which they helped build.”
  • Lesson 5: Create serendipity
  • Bonus: It’s not about you