3 Takeaways From My First Grace Hopper Experience
October 24, 2017 | Express Scripts
Emily S. is a Senior Manager at Express Scripts, supporting the Technology team.
It’s been about two weeks since the 2017 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing and my mind is still reeling from the experience. As a first time Grace Hopper attendee, I tried to pack as much into this 3-day experience as I could. From listening to all the fascinating speakers to interacting with my fellow women in technology at the Express Scripts booth, the event was certainly one I will not forget.
As I returned to work and my normal routine, I realized I was more energized and ready to take on the week’s challenges than ever before. The knowledge and opportunities the experience provided me are hard to sum up, but here are 3 takeaways I brought back from Grace Hopper:
We Can Do This!
Increasing the presence of women and their diversity of thought in technology-related careers is more important now than ever before as the need to innovate and use technology to solve problems continues to advance.
We may not see huge wins right out of the gate, but it’s important to set goals. For example, ask yourself, “If we have X women leaders in technology right now, what programs, development opportunities, etc. must we put in place to increase this number by X% next year.”
Of all the amazing learnings I took a way from various speakers at the event, a few stood out:
- tips and tricks on how recognize and reframe hidden assumptions, or the unconscious bias, that women experience in the workplace;
- different strategies for negotiation, and;
- how to utilize Cognitive and Dialectical Behavior Therapy techniques and practice mindfulness to manage your moods at work
At Express Scripts, I co-lead professional development for our WE LEAD Employee Resource Group, which is centered on empowering, recognizing and connecting women to help them reach their full potential within the company and community. I cannot wait to introduce these topics to the women of WE LEAD to help reframe how they approach professional development.
Product Ownership Activities
In my current role, I focus on end-user experience. During the conference, there were great discussions focused on some fun and different techniques I could bring back to my team, such as brainstorming trees, comic strips to validate ideas, and talk bubbles vs. focus groups. These activities stood out because they stray from the traditional way of approaching a situation, allowing teams to be more creative with their ideas.
The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing is truly a conference I will never forget. I made so many connections with women, like me, who are working to make a difference for women in technology across the world. The support for the overall event was overwhelming and I’m looking forward to going back next year to share how Express Scripts has moved the needle for women in Technology.
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