The panel agreed that the most effective aspect of stiletto networks is that they are truly helpful to the women involved. They’re not a place to vent or complain; women come up with a concrete action plan and challenge each other intellectually as they navigate being leaders in the male-dominated fields of both Law and Tech. As Kathi stated at one point, “We interact with the world differently, and that’s OK. And it’s good to have a network of people to think through it.”
As Penny highlighted, it’s precisely for this reason that FirstRain has made a concerted effort to have a diverse leadership team: when you assemble a group of people with differing opinions and experiences, you end up being much more creative as a group—and more effective. As stiletto networks grow and empower the women involved, everyone—including businesses—benefits.
All of the panel discussion really boiled down to one idea, whether it’s women helping women or women interacting with men. Patricia said it perfectly—that empowering women is “about relationships—baby steps, and building relationships. It’s not going to happen overnight. You have to be in it for the long haul.”
We’re excited to announce that Penny has been invited to speak at the Ark Group Women Legal Forum on Wednesday, Feb. 5. The Women Legal Forum is advancing the increasingly important dialogue on gender diversity in the legal profession, while illustrating the business imperative for the retention and succession of female leadership.
Penny will take part in a panel discussion around the themes of the book Stiletto Network: Inside the Women’s Power Circles That Are Changing the Face of Business. The panel will focus on shedding light and sharing insight on models used in business that the legal profession can learn from and adopt.
For more information on the Ark Group Women Legal Forum and to see a complete list of speakers, please visit http://usa.ark-group.com/events-details.aspx?eid=142.
Wayfare Tavern | 558 Sacramento St. @ Montgomery St.
Wayfare Tavern sits in the heart of the Financial District—a perfect location for an after-work-drinks bar. It’s also owned by Tyler Florence, so you know it’s good. The bar is totally swanky (it looks like a 1920s speakeasy meets a Parisian bistro), the appetizers are to-die-for, and if you want to stay for dinner, I’ve heard that’s pretty great too.
Waterbar | 399 The Embarcadero @ Folsom
Exactly a mile away from Moscone, Waterbar is an upscale San Francisco classic, sitting right on the Embarcadero with a gorgeous view of the Bay and the Bay Bridge. Though the food is fabulous, they’re best known for their extensive oyster bar… so you can throw back more than just their drinks. It’s not silent, but the noise level is on the quieter side—perfect for doing business.
Prospect | 300 Spear St. @ Folsom
Focused more on food than on drinks (but with a full bar, don’t worry!), Prospect is less than a mile from the Moscone Center, and is a classy, modern spot—but the attitude is relaxed and low-key. Their cocktail menu is outstanding, as are their appetizers (word on the street is: try the Wagyu beef tartare) and desserts to sweeten the deal.
Rye | 688 Geary St. @ Leavenworth
Venture slightly further afield to Rye, which is Prospect’s partner of Newton’s Law (nerd alert! opposite but equal): it’s more bar than restaurant. This means a little louder ambiance, but the wide-open décor is awesome and the drinks delicious. Special shout-outs go to the Basil Gimlet and the Dark & Stormy … so you can have your cocktail without worrying about any unprofessional umbrellas in your glass.
The View | 55 4th St. @ Mission
Last but not least: this bar might just have the best views in all of San Francisco. Situated at the very top of the Marriott Marquis on Union Square, you can take in 270° of SF. They do have food if you get hungry, but this is the perfect place for a happy-hour/post-work drink—especially if you’re trying to impress out-of-towners.
P.S. If you really just want to get a beer or three, check out 21st Amendment Brewery. It’s not “business casual” by any means—but it’s awesome!
“There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we erect ourselves.” -Ronald Reagan
This year the Grace Hopper Conference focused on how to overcome many fears. GHC offered everyone a great opportunity to meet and learn from experiences of some of the world’s most successful leaders.
It was inspirational and motivational to hear from leaders who have reached heights in their life and career, and the entire conference was filled with rich content ranging from technical, to management to early career advice.
Some major highlights from the conference this year were:
1. Former Intuit CMO Nora Denzel (and current member of the FirstRain board) presented a keynote session. She had a very memorable quote that I haven’t forgotten since she said it: “It’s not about who you know or what you know. It’s all about who knows what you know”.
2. A session on cloud computing with an excellent overview of benefits, the risk, the lack of standards and where it is headed.
3. A great session on SDETs (Software Development Engineers for Test)—which I was pleased to see bore a strong correlation with what FirstRain Testers do daily. Some prominent speakers from premiere companies discussed how the testing industry has emerged over the last twenty years and how SDETs are gaining the necessary cross skills and complimenting the development life-cycle.
4. Dr. Noor Fathima, Behavioral Scientist and OD (Organization Development) Consultant, carried out a workshop called “Unleashing the Power Within”. The workshop was dedicated to today’s women who are multi-talented, juggling the work-life balance and dealing with the multitude of challenges that come their way. This session was completely sold out!
5. Aparna Gupta, Managing Director of FirstRain India and the rest of the panelists in a session called ‘Road to Executive Leadership’. They discussed the ongoing problem about the lack of women in executive roles. Aparna and the panelists discussed how this is an important issue we need to continue to address. She revealed the hurdles she had to overcome to reach the level of success that she has today.
6. Lastly, the highlight that stood out most during the entire conference was the sheer energy and camaraderie throughout all of Grace Hopper. The excitement of technical women from all over the world, networking and learning from each others’ past experiences was very inspiring and made for a great event.
Attending and participating in sales orientation/training events and annual kick-offs is something that FirstRain offers as part of our customer success program. As one of our customers, Ciena invited us to attend in order to showcase FirstRain as an important new tool for the team within their CRM system. All of their sales users are encouraged to take advantage of FirstRain intelligence within their CRM and it was evident that FirstRain is already acting as their carrot! In fact, for this event our booth was right next to their CRM team’s station, and we were pretty busy giving lots of demos and answering questions for interested reps. We were really delighted by the amount of positive feedback we received during our 4 days on the ground with this great team.
From individual sales reps, to team managers, to the head of sales himself, we had an overwhelming number of people expressing the value FirstRain is bringing to their business. Our own team is certainly aware of the benefits and usefulness of FirstRain for companies like Ciena, but hearing from actual sales users telling us how we are making an impact is extremely cool and rewarding. You can’t ask for anything better than that, can you? I had a great time talking with people from all over the world, and it was very exciting to hear how different teams are using FirstRain daily. Sure, the “fancy-smancy” hotel and delicious food, we’re a great perk for all, but the best part was coming back to California knowing that FirstRain is delivering the customer intelligence they need, where they need it, and that their sales teams are WINNING with FirstRain!
On October 17th, 2012, our amazing COO, YY Lee will speak at the Semantic Technology and Business Conference. Her session, “Expanding Your Horizons: Using Cross-Domain Semantics to Deliver Higher Impact Intelligence“ will present how FirstRain has tackled the challenge of delivering customer intelligence across many different business domains. The session takes place at 9:30am-10:00am at the Grand Ballroom.
The Semantic Technology and Business Conference takes place from October 15th-October 17th in New York City. The conference will host numerous sessions from diverse experts in many industries, as well as an expo hall exhibiting the newest semantic and big data tools and developments. For more information, email me at email@example.com.