Janes of Digital is growing.
We’re expanding the JoD experience, so women and allies can explore topics that may otherwise be off limits. We’ve been getting more asks from Microsoft colleagues and clients around the country (and the world) to host events, and we’ve been more than happy to say yes.
We want to provide a platform for voices that may not otherwise be heard, and as part of this mission, we recently helped host discussions across California in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Our topics covered both confidence and vulnerability – two topics that may seem opposites at first look but turn out to have more in common when explored in depth.
Here’s a brief update on what happened at those events.
San Francisco Channels the Power of Vulnerability
A topic we explored in New York late last year, vulnerability is sometimes seen as a weakness, and can often be associated with stigma or failure. Yet, research and practice are showing us now that vulnerability is a strength that gives us power and drives success and innovation.
So how do you open yourself up to something that seems weak, shameful, scary, or unvalued? And how can we embrace the power of vulnerability in the workplace?
These were some of the questions we aimed to answer at the Janes event in San Francisco held on 3/28 at Monroe SF.
The impressive courage of the speakers who led our discussion including; Dee Olomajeye, Senior Consultant at Aon Hewitt, Tiffany Miller, Director of Customer Evangelism at Salesforce, Ragan Williams, Head of Growth Marketing at Airbnb, and Shilpa Nagaraja, Sales Director, at Microsoft, was not lost on participants.
Moderating this panel taught me that showing vulnerability happens in all sorts of different ways and meant something different to each panelist. We heard points of views about being assertive, clear and strong in your communication to show you belonged in the meeting or conversation. We heard that being calm and open was the way some people demonstrate vulnerability. I continue to push myself and check myself if I’m being vulnerable; am I open to feedback, am I sharing tough experiences that I’ve learned from, am I standing up for those less privileged?
No matter how you show vulnerability – keep practicing. One thing we all agreed on was that this is a muscle you continually have to stretch and strengthen.
But you don’t have to take my word for it, here is some of the feedback we got from attendees.
“I really loved how the event was run and setup. It felt very chic – like the place to be – and it felt like a safe, welcome, and empowering place. I also loved the moderator.”
“In conversation, people mentioned how vulnerability is not a topic often addressed, and that they genuinely appreciated women discussing this subject matter openly.”
“It really changed my mind on the notion of “vulnerability” and how that translates to working with my team.”
“It was so powerful listening to the whole panel share their unique experiences, thank you for including me!”
LA Conquers the Confidence Gap
Our goal at the LA event was to encourage women to maintain the momentum and continue to tackle these issues with confidence.
At the Lincoln Speakeasy on 4/12 our panelists included Clara Kim, Digital Advertising Innovator at Edmunds, Libby Bush, Founder & CEO at Tandem Entertainment, Karen Scott, a PMA Certified Pilates Instructor & Movement Practitioner at Karen Scott Fitness, and Natalie Young, Chef & Owner at Eat, a restaurant in downtown Las Vegas. This event was moderated by the fabulous Lynne Kjolso, VP of Global Corporate Sales at Microsoft.
The progress of equality for women in the workplace (both equal salary and equitable leadership positions) is still moving too slowly. New data from Catalyst on workplace equality shows us two things. One, women now negotiate in equal numbers to men but are still promoted less. And two, men don’t even have to negotiate to get that promotion or raise.
The women on the LA panel were courageous in sharing their experiences in negotiating, deal-making, and bravely starting their own businesses. I learned a lot about being brave, being prepared, and being ready to make deals and get the recognition I deserve.
Here are some of the things we heard from attendees in tinsel town.
“I really enjoyed the Janes of Digital event! I am new to L.A. and came to this event by myself. It was great to meet other people in my industry. I want to fly up to Seattle to attend the next Janes of Digital in June!”
“As a spectator of the event, I left feeling extremely inspired by the confidence and courage that all of the women on the panel have and was truly inspired by learning about all of the ups and downs each has gone to on their journey to becoming their own boss.“
“I really appreciated the diversity in the panel and that not everyone worked in Advertising. I particularly resonated with the idea of approaching work and our peers with respect and sincerity; of empowering other women in the space by reinforcing their opinions and thoughts; and for knowing our worth and fighting for what we deserve. Thank you so much for having us be a part of this like-minded community!“
It takes great confidence to express your vulnerability, but in doing so you are undoubtedly, opening doors for yourself and others.
If you’d like to watch the LA event check out the recording on the Bing Ads Facebook page.
We’ll have more coverage from our Janes events in Redmond coming shortly, so don’t forget to follow us on Twitter to know when that’ll be available – @JanesofDigital