Someone from Kickstarter’s HR team sent around an email to the ladies at Kickstarter about a speaker event called “She Said What?: Stories of Success from Women in Tech + Media”. Of course, I signed up.
About 100 women and a handful of men sat in Mediaocean’s bright, glossy office to hear from four panelists: Idit Harel of Globaloria, Maria Pousa of Mediaocean, Gina Garrubbo of National Public Media, and Cindy Gallop of ifwerantheworld/makelovenotporn
The hour long panel covered pretty typical questions regarding women in the workplace: how to ask for a higher salary, what to do about sexual harassment, how to find mentorship, risk taking, confidence, funding, resilience.
I was struck by how, time and time again, each individual’s answers to these questions make a common question really pop. It can often feel like the same professional advice for women is circulated over and over in the media. Yet, hearing these strong women share their stories, their take on lessons learned, I left the event reminded of the importance of presentation and delivery. Each woman had a different story, but it was their framing of the story, their emphasis and expressions that really drove certain points home.
Cindy Gallop was a standout of the night. She received applause and really got the audience wanting to stand up and raise their fists up. She was incredibly self-assured and it rang authentic with the group. She was also decidedly the sassiest of the group. When she told us that when we negotiate we should ask for the highest amount of money we can say out loud without laughing, we laughed. When she told us that the trick to being confident is to simply not care about what anyone thinks, it sounded so easy.
There weren’t any concrete tips that we practiced or could walk away with after the event. But having living, breathing role models in front of us, women who had been there and done that during different political times, was invigorating. It made me all the more confident in my work cultivating an Up Speak community.