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Welcome to Webgrrls Wisdom, a blog to find commentaries about women's careers, business, technology, and the industry.

Posts written by jaime

Inspiring Women of the Web & Technology

written by Jaime Chambron
Jaime Chambron
Topics: Career,Leadership,Technology,Women in Technology

In light of March being women’s history month, I thought it was time for us to take a break from the recession and quickly reflect on great women who have made strides in the web industry.  May these women motivate and inspire you to create cutting edge technology, leverage the web to create a new business, or continue to strive for excellence every day.

Naomi Simson - Founder and CEO, Red Balloon Days

From marketing to entrepreneurship, Naomi has taken her passion for pleasure seriously as a career option, creating the #1 Gift site in Australia and New Zealand four years running.

Marissa Mayer - VP Search Products and User Experience, Google

Ten years after becoming Google’s first female engineer on staff, Marissa now leads product management on all search related products – web, maps, desktop, earth and more.  Marissa is an example on how sticking with a company willling to groom and train their employees can create shining stars.

Esther Dyson - Independent Investor and Entrepreneur

From writing for then flipping EDventures to CNET (thought reclaimed the name for personal business), becoming the founding chair of ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) to publishing a book on how the Internet affects individual lives, she has influenced a lot of people on the web.  She now dabbles in many different companies, often becoming an early investor or board member of online startups, which have included Flickr and del.icio.us.

Alex Beauchamp – Independent Consultant, Girl at Play

Alex is noted to be one of the first females to create a personal web site back in 1995.  She now owns a prosperous design company, having completed projects for many well known brands, including Disney, Washington Post and Anthropologie.

Lynne D Johnson - Director, Social Media, Fastcompany.com

Lynne is a professional journalist and blogger, having won numerous awards for her work, including the 2006 Black Blogger Achievement Award.  Before Fastcompany she held the position of General Manager of new media for SPIN, VIBE and VIBE Vixen.

Who are other Women of the Web Leaders who, famous or not, creating the technology supporting it or leveraging the web in new ways, have inspired you?

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Can You Climb the Tech Ladder?

written by Jaime Chambron
Jaime Chambron
Topics: Technology,Women in Technology

On the Systers blog hosted by the Anita Borg institute today I found an intriguing subject line – Savvy Geek Chix – promoting an event in SF on how to survive this economy.  This is top of mind right now, especially since I just received word that the fiancee’s dad, after 30+ years with Sprint, is on the “take a year and look for a new job” list right now.

But then I stumbled upon something a bit more tangible for me in Dallas – a recent research publication on Climbing the Technical Ladder: Obstacles and Solutions for Mid-Level women in TechnologyHere are four things the research points to as solutions that you should look for and consider doing if you are trying to foster growth and prosperity for the technical women within:

1. Professional Development

Leading or being part of a company that invests in each employee is critical to not just the growth of the employee, but of the competencies of the organization and the retention of employees.  Being in technology means staying on top of the latest trends and technologies, not, using what you learned 15 years ago only.  Find ways to learn, if not via internal training then by going to classes outside of the company.

2. Positive Culture

We need to be in an environment that has positive energy – not necessarily rewarding you for just getting out of bed and showing up for work but – one that can encourage you to deliver great results, foster team work and collaboration while meeting the company’s goals and objectives.  We should be encouraged to take risks and try new things, not getting our hand slapped every time we try something different.

3. Managers Who “Get It”

Managers need to understand that there IS a difference in how women and men behave and communicate.  They also have different support structures and needs due to their roles and responsibilities not just on the job, but back at home.  More may need flex time.  Or they need to be able to work from home.  But this may relate to men as well, so it is important that managers today understand the world as we knew it – 1 stay at home person while the other works – is not the norm but the exception now a days.

4. Diversity At the Top

To encourage women to stay and see a longer term path for them, it is critical to show that there are female senior leaders in the ranks to show it is possible to get there.  An all white male board says something completely different from a board of diverse professionals.  Again, you don’t want to just reward a woman for showing up every day and are now a senior executive, but you need to find those with the skill, experience and aptitude to deliver what the company is looking to deliver.

Now if companies were doing this before the bubble burst…

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Save Your Company $$

written by Jaime Chambron
Jaime Chambron
Topics: Business,Technology

As our economic outlook is still a bit uncertain, encourage your company to try the following to help reduce spending in the first half of 2009 while keeping its employees in tact:

1. Minimize Office Costs

There are many things you can do to reduce phone bills and save on electricity such as

  • Using Skype or another VOIP product for long distance calling
  • Make sure it’s “lights out” by a certain time of night to save on electricity bills
  • Negotiation phone, DSL, electricity and other utility and other office vendor bill rates, or switch
  • Print only when you have to and start to share documents electronically

While much of the above may be minimal, if you can get a large percent of your workforce doing the above savings will be seen.

2. Stay At Home Base More

At a minimum invest in a good virtual meeting product like WebEx or GoToMeeting (or a free alternative Califlower), where you can hold virtual meetings and web casts versus traveling to meet with someone.  While we know face to face meetings are valuable, saving $1000+ on multiple travel trips may be more important right now to survive the next year.  You can do things like virtual white boarding and sharing documents to work through to dos together.

3. Have Extra Office Space?

Rent it out to a team looking to save costs this year too!

4. Reduce Agency/3rd Party Service Provider Fees

Need that marketing agency at $15000/month, or are you better off hiring someone by project?  What about tech recruiters – can you use tools like LinkedIn, Jobster or Facebook instead to hire new team members?

5. Outsource Jobs That Are Not Core To Your Business

Do you really need a staff of HR, IT Support, Lawyers and Accountants to help you run your business?  Outsourcing companies in these areas are specialized to serve these needs economically for any type of business.

While the above tips may seem obvious to you, the key isn’t 1-2 people or department doing the above, it’s the whole company.  Internal communications should go out encouraging the above behavior such that it is rewarded when times are better again – for example, movie tickets or gift certificates you may be able to get donated for the biggest cost cutter.

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Tips to stay ahead and keep a job in these fast pace times

written by Jaime Chambron
Jaime Chambron
Topics: Business,Career,Technology

While catching up on some industry reading over the weekend, the usual “Top 10 X for Y” normally peak a bit of interest.  This weekend included a report from PayScale, the “Ten Careers in Demand for 2009” – of course that really peaked my interest.

The usual medical jobs (nurses and technicians), along with some new ones like career counseling or public relations professionals who can handle crisis communications, software developers were also noted to be in the top 10.  But with one caveat – software developers who can stay on top of change with the rapid pace we are going through for technology convergence and new device deployments around the world.

So how do you not just accept change as part of your career, but embrace it with everything you do?  Here are some tips to stay ahead and keep a job in these fast pace times.

1. Stay On Top Of Industry Research

Stay in tune with new channels for communications, and the particular industry vertical you serve – be it manufacturing, retail, energy or something else.  There are many ways to get information now, from the heavy hitting research firms (with heavy hitting prices – ask your company if they have a subscription you can tap into) of Gartner and Forrester, to online data sources like CNET, to individuals who have a passion for blogging on tech, like GigaOm and Guy Kawasaki.  (and of course the Webgrrls blog!)

Make it a habit to stay on top of different writers and points of views either by scheduling a daily catch up on your calendar in the morning or evening, or, focus on catching up on the weekend.

2. Write

Volunteer to write white papers for your company, for a reputable provider of content online or your own blog.  This will force you to continue to do your homework while getting your name out there for being knowledgeable on the next cutting edge widget.

3. Your Process to Develop Software

How “agile” is your software development process?  You don’t have to adopt full blown agile approaches like scrum, but you can modify parts of your process to be more open to change as you learn more about the goals and objectives of a project you are working on.  While you may kick off a project today that is due in a year, you may find along the way that there are 4 more devices that are coming out you need to support, and 2 being sunset.  So make sure you can, at a minimum, adjust for changes along the way.

How are you planning to embrace change in 2009?

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Four Tips to Keep Rolling In the Business

written by Jaime Chambron
Jaime Chambron
Topics: Business,Career,Marketing,Women in Technology

Be it landing the next great project to work on internally, promoting your work as an independent consultant, or selling your company wares, you need to find ways to continue to promote talent and cultivate relationships on a shoe string budget in 2009.  But how?  Here are some tips:

1. Thank Yous

It’s what mom taught us…thank yous….but not the verbal kind, SMS text, nor with an eGreeting.  It’s the old fashioned, pull out a pen and note card, and write someone a thank you note.  When was the last time you sent a personal thank you card to a client, co-worker or industry colleague?  Here are some tips on how to save time writing personal thank you notes.

2. Pitch 3 Things

What three things make you stand out above the rest?  Remind colleagues, your boss and prospects what 3 things you and/or your business are great at doing and why they need to keep you around.

3. Incorporate Asking for Referrals Into Different Processes

When someone registers for your website or newsletter, do you ask them to refer others?  What about networking internally or within your industry networking group?

4. Reconnect with Someone Once a Week

Has it been a while since you chatted with a highly respected former boss?  Senior executive you have a relationship with?  Someone else you enjoy partnering with?  Make it a habit to re-connect with someone once a week to continue fostering relationships within and outside of your business.

So who are you sending a thank you card to today?

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