A few weeks ago Substantial attended the Women in Tech Regatta in Seattle, described as “Five days, 35 workshops, 46 non-profit Women in Tech organizations, 175 speakers, over 1000 participants, and infinite connections made.” We attended a variety of panels ranging from salary negotiation strategies and advice, to deciphering blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
Our unanimous highlight panel, titled “What Would Chad Do?” and hosted by Facebook’s Seattle office, featured a moderator and 6 diverse panelists shedding light on how women and men behave differently in the workplace, often at women’s expense. “Studies show women tend to follow the rules more closely than men, do not push for salary increases at the same rate as men, and underestimate the value of networking to get ahead.”
A few stories below encapsulated the courage and vulnerability the panelists shared from their personal careers:
- “I never knew what I was doing when I accepted a job.”
- “I didn’t know anything about coding. Enrolled in a bootcamp. Worked hard. I got an offer, which I had worked so hard for – the organization offered me more money than I have ever been offered, and asked for more.”
- “I quit my job, I started my own company.”
The moral of the story? Throw yourself in the deep end. Ask for more – more money, more vacation, more responsibility. When you take a new job - speak up. Fake it till you make it.
Each panel encouraged interaction, connection and communication with small groups of those seated around you. These breakout sessions allowed for longer-lasting conversations and connections rather than your typical conference-style networking and awkwardly smiling and shaking hands into the wee hours of the night while Usher is blasting in the background and you’re awkwardly trying to eat a miniature sandwich. There was none of that here. Pure class.
The WiT Regatta is annually hosted in Seattle, Vancouver, and Amsterdam. Yes, you should attend this one in any or all of the cities in which it is hosted. Thank you to Melody, her team, and all the volunteers who made this event possible.
See the photos here. The next WiT Regatta is in Amsterdam from October 29-November.