To kick off the celebration of International Women’s Day (March 8), I spent last Saturday with 300+ of the most talented and passionate women in tech.
I arrived at the Googleplex on Saturday morning, and was greeted with the iconic green Android statue and rows of primary colored bikes. The outdoor registration area was quite inviting and reminded me of Anthropologie, with its wooden tables and abundance of succulents.
From the speakers to the panelists and the attendees, each and every person I met was amazing in their own unique way — accomplished, passionate, gracious, and all very willing to share their knowledge. In true Google fashion, it had all the glitz and glam of a tech event — we were all well fed and provided great swag.
Here are my 5 takeaways from the event
- Adversity makes you stronger
“It doesn’t matter where you’re from or what your background is, if I can do it, so can you”, from Diana Trujillo who arrived to the U.S. from Colombia alone at 17 with only $300 and minimal understanding of English. She now leads the Mars Rover project for NASA, and was the first Latina engineer on her team.
- Be somewhere that allows you to be human
“Don’t ever work for a company that makes you choose between career and family”, from Marian Croak who is the VP of Access for the Next Billion Users at Google.
- Prototype quickly and cheaply
A testament to the Google Cardboard VR viewer, which allows anyone with a smartphone to experience virtual reality.
- The dialogue of equality continues to grow
“Supporting all underrepresented people in technology is a global movement” and “We need to use that power, privilege, and access to amplify the stories of people all over the world”, from Natalie Villalobos who is the Head of Global Programs for Women Techmakers at Google.
- Adventure and new experiences can help you solve big problems
“When you put some adventure and challenge in your life, you get a radically different perspective on how to change the world”, from Julia Tizard who is the Sr Director Operations for Virgin Galactic. The adventures in her life, range from running her first marathon ever on Antarctica to having her first child.A big problem she’s solving right now for Virgin Galactic is getting their customer into space. They’re not likely to be NASA trained astronauts, and they tend to skew older and less fit — basically the affluent demographic (with a number of outliers, of course).
It was an awesome day relating to other women’s passions and stories, and I am thankful to have been part of such an inspiring and empowering event.
— Life at Google (@lifeatgoogle) March 4, 2017