For almost a decade the Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce has hosted a fantastic event for women to learn and network with each other in downtown San Jose. This year, author of Data Driven and SAPsv’s own, Jenny Dearborn, spoke to the 400+ person sold out audience. Toni Burke, Executive Director, City Year Silicon Valley and Lisa Lambert Vice President, Diversity Equity Fund, Managing Director Software & Services at Intel Capital also spoke at the event.
Jenny reminded us of an inspiring quote by an amazing woman, Madeleine Albright, who said, “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” Jenny went on to share facts and figures about how it has been proven time and time again that woman in leadership roles, and women in the highest positions of corporations, are economically better for business. But for me, the most important take away was the daily practice of helping my fellow peers.
Jenny offered a simple supportive action we, as businesswomen and supporters of diversity, can practice daily in our business at SAP. Make it a best practice to lift up your female peers. This can be easy, and done regularly, by including a supportive statement as you introduce other women to your extended network, or even if that individual is joining an internal meeting for the first time. For example, “I would like to introduce you to my colleague Magen—she is an amazing communications leader. She was the one who did the outstanding work on the SAPsv Jam page that you might be familiar with.” It’s that simple.
Jenny also spoke about the importance of body language. She asked the entire audience to strike a power pose, then discussed how standing in a power pose before presenting can help increase your confidence, and help you “fake it till you make it”. To learn more about the power pose join us for the next Ted Live at SAP talk with Amy Cuddy.
Long before the challenges/findings on women in leadership became a regular topic in our local news, SAPsv had been investing in and we are deeply proud of our growing number of women leaders. In the first half of this year, with the support of the SAPsv Leadership Circle, we have we had 3 marquee events for our SAPsv employees and community including: Makers: Women Who Make America – Women in Business program in partnership with KQED, Liz Wiseman Rookie Smarts in partnership with Watermark, Women Tech Executive Roundtable with Tanja Rueckert in Partnership with the Churchill Club.
Additionally, we have also recently enjoyed blogs on SCN from Wing Lau, Mandy Lin, Tanja Rueckert, and Siva Sabaretnam about their personal experiences as women leaders in the technology industry. I would encourage you to read these blogs, contribute and thank these women who have taken the time to share, support and lead.
We certainly have not solved the diversity and inclusion challenge, but we as a community are trending in the right direction. There were 12 SAP women at this event and I hope this blog serves as a call to action for the rest of SAP employees who couldn’t attend. As individuals, we can make a notable and positive impact on inclusion by simply supporting each other.
I would like to thank Scott Leatherman (Sponsor and Board Member on the SJSV Chamber) and Jenny Dearborn for their support of this event and continued support in bringing us together as a community. Please join us for a Business Women’s Network (BWN) social in Dublin with Jenny and other female leaders.
For more information about BWN go to the SAPsv Jam page