"I had trouble leaving the dressing room as folks started to gather at the Super: Women in Tech event. A show of this scale, featuring women in technology had never been done before. The nerves of whether or not people will attend your party begins to set in." - Zoe Piliafas, Co-founder of Vox Siren and Executive Producer of Super: Women in Tech
BackFence PDX and Vox Siren sat down last spring and came up with the concept of the show. They decided to jump in and jump in a BIG way. Why not select, Revolution Hall, one of the largest and most luxurious venues in Portland to host your first show together? This meant that all we needed to do was gather 800 people for a night of listening, learning, laughing and wonder. No problem.
"Before going on stage, the thought of 700+ pairs of ears and eyes focused on you is super intimidating, but the audience was so warm and supportive, that within a few minutes it felt like I was telling a story in my living room. I didn't expect to feel comfortable with the pauses and the silent moments in my talk, but I did." - Melinda Campbell, Puppet Inc.
Everything about this show was a woman-led-solution. We know that while, Equity and Diversity trainings have value, there are so many other ways to explore and validate the experiences of women. Super: Women in Tech is not a Ted Talk, it's not a conference. Super: Women in Tech brings back one of the oldest art forms, oral tradition. There is no accompanying powerpoint, there is just a spotlight, a microphone and a woman on stage sharing with us a part of her story, a part of her journey. It's undeniable. It's raw. It captivates.
The first believer in our event was Laura Stepp, formerly the Director of People with Puppet Inc. now Jama. She took a risk and became our first sponsor. Laura's magic, has been built on her strong reputation, she then introduced Vox Siren to other women leaders to gather support. The women in the tech industry made this event possible. Hats off to your leadership.
Elemental's Community and Diversity Program Manager, Nancy Garcia was hired recently because Elemental recognized that it needed to take Diversity and inclusion initiatives to the next level. Nancy learned about the event and within weeks got the support of her Elemental Team.
"Elemental created this role to formalize our commitment to D&I in the workplace and to take the steps needed to further momentum." says Nancy. "We believe in the power of diversity and recognize that world-class innovation stems from inclusion, equality and transparency... We strongly believe that if we practice diversity, we attract diversity and my role is to ensure that D&I is ingrained in our daily business operations at all levels."
This show was different. It got us all quiet for a moment in time. A moment to listen. There was no expected response. One woman after another, got up, tested her courage, and captivated us. We all left with a new perspective, a new conversation.
We have been asked, are you going to do this again, please do this again! We have some ideas brewing of future possibilities. We would love to hear yours! If you have thoughts, suggestions, want to get involved or folks you want to see on stage, please contact Zoe Piliafas at email@example.com
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