Guest blog post by Emily Hay. Photos by Eric McCowan, https://eric.pixieset.com/
On 10th May 2017, the Brisbane Women in Tech Salesforce user group held a documentary screening, providing a fundraising opportunity and spreading the word about Tech Girls Movement.
So what is the Brisbane Women in Tech Salesforce user group? Run by Emily Hay and Bec Aichholzer, it's part of the global Salesforce user group program. A user group is a group of people centered around a particular software or hardware, who come together regularly to share experiences and understanding of the product.
About 7 years ago, the original Women in Tech Salesforce user group started with around 20 women meeting up at the annual Dreamforce conference, held by Salesforce in San Francisco. It's now grown into a global network of more than 76 groups, with thousands of members.
The Brisbane Women in Tech user group have a vision:
“To create a supportive, engaging and friendly environment for local women in tech to share experiences, and build a network. We want to answer the questions, “Is it just me? Am I alone?” with a resounding NO!”
You can view the She Started It trailer here: https://youtu.be/hcGGrUx666s
This time round, fabulous local start-up Skedulo decided to re-up on last year's support and via their sponsorship, helped Emily & Bec bring the screening to our attendees, entirely free of charge. As Emily put it, “that's pretty rad, so I thought to myself, we should use this as an opportunity to pay that radness forwards.”
Cue Tech Girls Movement. Emily & Bec collected donations in lieu of charging for tickets, and the event raised $695 in total for TGM, and also raised awareness about our cause.
Emily describes the introduction to the film as “a phenomenal panel of business and tech leaders, I was loathe to end the panel discussion to allow for the screening; I could have listened to these women drop truth-bombs all evening. A huge thank you to Rebecca Livesey, Jamie Leach & Dr Catherine Ball for sharing their time with us at the event!”
(L-R: Rebecca Livesey, Dr. Catherine Ball, Jamie Leach & event co-leader Bec Aichholzer)
Rebecca Livesey is an executive coach and Managing Director of Achieve-Lead-Succeed, previously a non-technical CIO and experienced in what it takes to strike out on your own after working for big business.
Dr Catherine Ball is an author, founder, and ethics advocate working across global projects where robotics and new technology meet environmental protection. Check out her exciting project, She Flies, where you can learn how drones can change the world, and even get to pilot one yourself!
Jamie Leach is the CEO of GIS People & Gruntify; Chair of Tech Girls Movement Foundation, and currently studying for her Doctorate of Business Administration in Financial Barriers to Female Entrepreneurs, Jamie has extensive knowledge of what it takes to create successful web start-ups.
The film itself was very interesting and the audience's hearts were riding the emotional ups and downs experienced by the young female tech entrepreneurs profiled. Overall, there were a few poignant take-away messages for young women, from both the film and the panel:
“Feel the fear and do it anyway”
“It's when you're being true to yourself that you can change the world”
While friends, family, teachers and other role models are there to support you and give you advice, you ultimately must be true to yourself. What do you think is important? What are your values? What is your idea of success?
Be tenacious and back yourself.