I recently attended a Women in Leadership networking and educational event at Riveredge Hospital in Forest Park. It was a nice change of pace for me, as most IT events I join tend to be male dominated. It’s the reality of the tech industry. Having been in this business for over 11 years, I’ve noticed that the industry is now slightly growing in women, but it has historically been and continues to be dominated with men. Don’t get me wrong, I love spending my days with a bunch of quirky and smart IT guys, but there was this amazing spiritual connection that filled the room that day which I don’t experience often. There were business women, wives, mothers, retirees, coaches, and volunteers. What they all had in common was the love for one another, laughter, connection, advice and a desire to help each other. It didn’t matter what age, color, or business they were passionate about — these women spoke to one another through a special language. Notice I didn’t say hear. I didn’t have to hear them. I saw their smiles, felt their hugs, and was moved by their energy to succeed with grace. Connections and introductions were made with genuine efforts and follow up. This is how these women have grown their businesses and their spiritual souls.
I’m grateful to my longtime friend and Publisher, Dawn Ferencak (a single mom nonetheless) who was able to bring over 100 women into this room to make an impact in their lives. I don’t know about you, but from my experience, it’s not easy to get 100 butts in seats for a half day and keep everyone engaged and energized. But Dawn did it. And like many of these women, Dawn never forgot about me and continues to change my life personally and professionally. She’s like a sister. On this day, in fact, I felt like I had many sisters, who all had a special purpose, and had a desire to make an impact in some way.
I didn’t always dream of working in IT, but I knew that I wanted to influence change and make a difference. Technology is a vehicle of change that can empower the way we live for the better. I hope during my next ten years, I get to see more women joining this industry. Women and men think and act differently. I’m not saying one way is better than the other, just different. And having an industry that’s made up of people who approach problems in diverse ways is good. Good for our future, and good for business!