My Experience: Grace Hopper Conference

Earlier this month a large group from Target’s Engineering & Recruiting teams headed to the Grace Hopper Conference (GHC) in Orlando.  It was a busy week filled with great speakers and new relationships formed.  Target was nominated as an AnitaB.org’s Top Companies for Women Technologists – specifically a company that has representation of women technologists above the mean, very exciting!

One of my favorite experiences at GHC was leading Target’s Women in Technology Workshop.  This idea stemmed from the concept of working through tough issues that women in technology face.  The topics were:

Pay Equity/Negotiate Your Worth

Having Your Voice Heard

Overcoming Obstacles, Frustrations, Remaining Resilient

This was an active workshop to talk through past experiences, current situations, things you’ve tried, and ideas you have heard about.  We came back for a rapid fire share of topics to consider and consistent themes, things learned, things that made us feel uncomfortable and practical real-life application.

Below are the takeaways from each group at the GHC session.

Pay Equity/Negotiate Your Worth:
Know your Market Value – ask in a safe environment, consider benefits/location tradeoffs, utilize tools like salary.com & Glassdoor

Practice Negotiation – concentrate on: what values do you bring, take out “maybe” “sorry” “I think” “I’d really appreciate”; think through value of benefit package; and Just Ask!

Practice telling your story – even for an internal role

Having Your Voice Heard:
Be Loud!  Take initiative/ask questions

ASK:
*Actionable feedback
*Specific
*Kind

Debate – be willing to be wrong, just not silent

Visibility with Sr. leadership
*Collaboration tools, i.e. confluence, hipchat, slack
*Show your work!
*Speak up – ask to get involved

Coaching vs. blaming
*Ask why
*Collaborative coaching
*Smile back (aggressive voices)

Find a mentor/coach

Overcoming Obstacles, Frustrations, Remaining Resilient:
Speak Up, model what works, name it; just keep moving, take the next steps

Focus on your emotional resilience
*Know how you can contribute
*Move from survival to learn & thrive
*Where am I going/why?
*Find a supporter
*Breaks/Balance – feed your belief in what’s possible

*I originally posted this to my LinkedIn page; the views and experiences are mine and do not necessarily reflect the views of Target.

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