Last Saturday, Winhoven Group helped sponsor the second annual Women in Cloud Summit and joined over 1,000 participants hosted on Microsoft’s campus in Redmond, Washington. We wanted to know how we could help as a Cloud business to hire and engage more women engineers to join us.  

“Find your voice, use your voice, amplify your voice.” -Gavriella Schuster 

Gavriella Schuster, the Microsoft Corporate Vice President who oversees the company’s Partner Channel, was just one of the many inspiring women that spoke at the Women in Cloud Summit this past weekend. From successful CEOs to aspiring entrepreneurs, hundreds of women from across the nation united in Redmond, brought together by their love for the tech industry and reforming a woman’s role in it. She told us that in 1991, 36% of all tech-related roles were held by women. In 2015 that number was down to 25%. “We’re going backwards.”  

Gavriella also spoke about our own unique voice and perspective–  

You will see things differently than anyone else in the room. And the only way anybody will know, is if you find your voice, if you find your unique perspective, and you speak up.” 

“The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct.” — Carl Jung 

We had a chance to build our communications skills and increase camaraderie among our staff as well. Jenna Lange, Founder/President of Lange International, taught us that “executive presence is the combination of behaviors and mindset that convey to others that you are confident, in control and connected” and to land our story by connecting the dots of a statement, impact and relevance. Stacey Sargent, CEO of Connect Growth and Development, had us overcome our self-doubt and Impostor Syndrome. One of our favorite keynotes was “Improvocation: The triangulation of relationships and status building”, presented by Nancy Watt. The “yes, and” approach to work, family and life allows for greater possibilities and open communication. We had a blast applying the “yes, and” improv to our Mars landing scenario.  

 Our big takeaway from the conference was to continue mentoring women and girls far down the pipeline to inspire and encourage them to take positions in technology. Business is technology now and one doesn’t even need to be an engineer or in DevOps. The Winhoven Group will continue mentoring at Dress for Success and taking on tech interns for our Cloud Technologies.