Seattle Webgrrls Networking Meeting
Event date: September 04 2008
Posted by: Kristin Vincent
"An amazing thing happens when we encourage women to talk about themselves and what they are passionate about.   The energy transfers to all the other members and a synergy is born!"  - Kimberly Arellano - Entrepreneur and Vice President of Pathwise Management

"The caliber and diversity of the women who attended this event made returning for a next event a must both personally and professionally." - Veronica Szick, Account Manager of Nexus IS

Last Thursday, the tech community in the Pacific Northwest made it clear that they are ready to reignite the Seattle Webgrrls chapter. Because the chapter leadership has been in transition, the group had not gotten together in a while. But last week about 50 women and 2 brave men came out to fill every chair in the room. Nelly Yusupova, the New York City chapter leader, and I (Kristin Vincent, a member of the New York City chapter steering committee) were in the area for a conference, and we were thrilled to be able to attend and meet other Webgrrls 3000 miles away.
 
Microsoft sponsored the event and provided a great window-filled space right in the heart of downtown Seattle. The software giant generously laid out a spread of fruits, snacks, and even sushi. Sheri Sullivan, of Microsoft, commented that it was nice to have a chance to see what other people in the area are up to in the industry.

We all took our seats in a large circle and went around to introduce ourselves. Each person told the group a little about herself, what she needed in her career, and how she could help others with their life or career. Talk about a diverse group! Attendees worked in both large corporations and growing start-ups, and several had taken the leap to go out on their own. Many industries and job roles were represented. There were programmers, mathematicians, life coaches, testers, graphic designers, grad students, authors, product managers, CPAs, recruiters, and health and beauty experts.

"It¹s good to give women an actual platform to meet and network; the real world has its own advantages." - Ute Medley Writer/Consultant - SUM UNIVERSAL

Several people said they were looking to connect with other women in this male-dominated industry. Others were looking to transition into new careers. A few people nodded in agreement when one woman said she was looking for a "nontoxic environment". People shared that they needed office space, employees, clients, help with search engine optimization, and marketing advice. Each person also explained how they could help others in the group.
They offered things like technical advice, jobs for stay at home moms, event planning services, interviewing tips, Japanese lessons, and help navigating the sub-prime market.

"I liked the format in which everybody stood up and introduced ourselves among entire group.  This is very powerful way of networking." - Emiko Hori QA Engineer, Mercent Corporation

Next came the giveaways. Ani Babaian, the author and originator of the book series The IT Girl's Guide, gave away a signed copy of her latest book, The IT Girl's guide to becoming an Excel Diva. And Yelina Rosillo, an engineer at Boeing, got a free pass to last weekend's Entrepreneurial Women's International Trade show.

Then we broke into informal networking, people quickly made their way to people they wanted to connect with. Everyone in the room was exchanging cards and getting to know one another.

"This meeting gave me a chance to connect with many fabulous women who are all eager to help and lend their knowledge". - Celia A. Moody Dental Assistant and Entrepreneur

As the evening wrapped up, several people commented how glad they were that the group had gotten together and that they hope the Seattle chapter continues to get together frequently. I'm now back in New York, and I hope everyone over there stays in touch.

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