Last Thursday night, the organizations that support women in technology came together for one giant event! The Nashville Entrepreneur Center was filled with old and new friends as we celebrated the impact women are making in the Nashville tech community. Women attended from Nashville Girl Geek Dinner, Women in Technology Tennessee (WiTT), Women Get IT, Tech Ladies, and Nashville Women Programmers. While each of these organizations offers different environments and programs, they all seek to empower women in tech.
In addition to reconnecting and meeting new friends, we heard from three women who are making an impact in the Nashville tech community.
Tomiko Peirano is an organizer of the Nashville UX meetup and co-founder and organizer of the Nashville Product meetup. Tomiko shared four keys to her success based on her experience working in her family’s restaurant.
- Show up. Be reliable. Attend meetups regularly. Get to know those who are there.
- Know your menu. Know who you are and what you have to offer the community.
- Tip out. If someone helps you, always return the favor. If you can help someone else, do it.
- I See You. Always respond and acknowledge someone when they reach out to you. Don’t let an email or Linkedin message grow cold.
Doing these things consistently, has given Tomiko several leadership opportunities. As the Nashville tech community grows, it’s more important than ever to show up and give back.
Thuy Rocco discussed how diversity brings us together to make powerful teams. She explained, “When a team has the same background, they all have the same mindset. But when a team is made up of people from different backgrounds, they have different mindsets.” This brings about better decision-making and cultural intelligence. While many companies have cross-functional teams, they do not go a step further and have cross-cultural teams. Thuy encouraged the group to use what we have in common to start a conversation and use our differences to learn from each other.
Inclusion is a two way street. -Thuy Rocco
The final speaker of the evening was Lana Israel, Founder/CEO of Muzology, a digital learning platform that makes learning more engaging through the use of songs. Lana assured us that even though the journey is not always a straight line, we should pursue our passions. She also challenged that technology is not about digitizing an offline process, but it’s about improving a process in a way that can’t be done without technology. The human element behind technology is also important.
Nashville has a tech community, not a tech industry. -Lana Israel
In other words, the people of Nashville make it more than an industry. With a vibrant community, comes many ways to plug into it.
Which organization is right for you?
The best way to find the right organization for you is to start showing up. Show up to a group a couple times before you decide it’s not right for you. Sometimes your nerves may get in the way of you having a good first experience. Here are five great meetups to check out from the Celebrating Women In Tech event.
Nashville Girl Geek Dinner
Nashville Girl Geek Dinner usually offers two events a month, with one of those events being hands-on learning opportunity. Their mission is to help women get into technology and software. Keep in touch on Facebook or Twitter.
WiTT (Women in Technology Tennessee)
WiTT offers a few different events every month around networking, mentoring, outreach, and education. WiTT uses the money they raise from membership and events to fund scholarships for women studying in technology fields. Visit wittn.org to learn more about membership and their events.
Tech Ladies is a national organization with an active Facebook group and national job board. The local group meets on the 3rd Tuesday of every month. Watch for their next event on Eventbrite.
Nashville Women Programmers
Nashville Women Programmers focuses on networking, education, and mentorship. You can find Nashville Women Programmers on Meetup.com.
Women Get IT
Women Get IT is a peer-mentoring group. The meet every month for a 90-minute small group discussions lead by table leaders. There are a variety of topics every month and attendees can pick the topic that interests them most. Visit WomenGetIT.org to learn more about their events.
Ladies, what are you waiting for? Check out one (or all) of these events soon!