Last night fifteen women gathered over beer and pizza to determine the upcoming schedule for the New Orleans Women in Technology (WIT) monthly roundtables and skills workshops. The first five roundtables have been posted to their website, www.neworleansWIT.org and are open for registration. More information about the skills workshops will be posted at a later date, but they will center around personal branding, negotiating, time management, face to face business communication, and financial planning.
After finishing their planning, the women then held their first roundtable discussion on the topic of how women treat each other in the workplace. In the roundtable format, each woman shares a story of a positive or negative personal experience and poses a current question or problem that she is having with relation to the topic. After every woman shares her story, the group collectively chooses a question or problem to troubleshoot. During troubleshooting, though, all advice must be given in the form of personal stories and advice that starts with “You should…” or “You need to…” is quickly guided back into storytelling.
Last night’s discussion centered around the practice of women holding other women to an unnecessarily high standard, likely out of feeling territorial (otherwise known as Queen Bee syndrome). The women shared their stories and theories on why this territorial nature exists and as Lyndsey Young, founder of Voce Media put it, decided to “put an end to this cycle now.”
This decision is a perfect example of the group’s mission: To advance women in IT through a community-based approach. By offering these roundtables, skills workshops, events, and other resources, the group seeks to help more women enter the IT workforce and increase the salaries of women to be equal to men. To register for the next roundtable and to keep up to date with other resources the group is offering, visit www.neworleansWIT.org, follow them on Facebook or Twitter, or join the New Orleans WIT group on Linked In.