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This week, SpotX sponsored an event in partnership with General Assembly Denver to celebrate the achievements of female entrepreneurs and women in technology. The evening began with a private screening of Dream, Girl, an artful and thought-provoking documentary chronicling the experiences of 12 female entrepreneurs. Produced and created by an all-female team, Dream, Girl tells the diverse stories of women who quit their jobs and risked everything to pursue—and achieve—success in a range of fields including 3D printing, media, fashion, consumer goods and more. Read more about these incredible women here.

Following the film, we welcomed a panel of high-powered women in the Colorado tech space:

Moderated by: Monica Coughlin, COO, Colorado Technology Association

Lisa Neal-Graves, VP, Zayo Cloud

Kristen Moorefield, HR Manager, SparkFun Electronics, Inc.

Sarah Thompson, VP of Systems Operations, SpotX

panel

The panelists described what drove them to pursue careers in tech and the many unique challenges they’d faced along the way. Sitting in the room, one could feel the audience connecting with the stories they were hearing, but there were three themes that really stuck:

Find a Community

The documentary subjects and the panelists all emphasized the importance of developing a support system of ambitious women who can help you bounce ideas around, celebrate successes, troubleshoot problems, and manage crises. Lisa Neal-Graves said to have a group of women on speed dial who will always be able to take a call. She recommends spending one minute venting about the problem, the next commiserating about the experience, and then committing to leave the call with a plan of action in place.

Define Yourself

Many of the speakers described feeling conflict between their own sense of self and other people’s expectations of them. Their collective advice? Don’t let someone else dictate the type of leader you can be. Sarah Thompson captured it well:

“There’s a lot of pressure around being a woman in tech. You’re supposed to be strong, you’re not supposed to be strong…but the reality is: There is no mold. There’s room for all of us.”

Vulnerability is Not Weakness

No matter who you are, what you have, or what you’ve accomplished in the past, not every day is going to be your best. On those days, it’s natural to feel vulnerable—and that’s ok. The speakers’ advice was to not confuse the vulnerability you feel with weakness. As Kirsten Moorefield put it:

“You’re good enough. You’re in the room for a reason. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone.”

SpotX was honored to be a part of this event, and we’re looking forward to working closely with  the Colorado Technology Association in 2017 to sponsor more #womenintech events in 2017:

Women in Technology Conference

Women with technical skills and women who work in technical industries will gather for a full-day, retreat-style event. This conference sells out every year, so don’t wait to get your tickets.

3rd Annual CTA Tech Tour

If you are looking to get your brand out there, this is the event. CTA will be boarding a bus to tour the beautiful state of Colorado, and we’d love to bring your brand along for the ride. So, hop aboard, slap your logo on the bus, or even bring your own corporate vehicle to caravan. This is THE storytelling platform for Colorado tech, and we hope you’re ready to hit the road with us.

Stay tuned for more details.

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