With the SWE Conference being my first professional conference ever, I was extremely anxious. After all, a concentrated amount of passionate, professional women in one place at one time is a bit intimidating.
To prepare, I learned more about the Society of Women Engineers and attended a session discussing how to effectively work with men and women in a professional environment—featuring a panel of professional men.
The main idea of the session boiled down to the power of effective leadership, whether you’re a woman or a man. In order for a team in any environment to function, a leader needs to ensure that everyone on that team, man or woman, is included and that everyone’s voice is being heard. I think that was an important takeaway from the conference:
It’s a two-gender issue.
Yes, professional women need to know how to approach situations of gender discrimination in the work place and integrate their voices into a team, but professional men also need to be aware that gender preferences and prejudices are sometimes conducted automatically, without much thought. Men also need the education about how to approach these situations with other coworkers.
Trying to fix this issue by solely educating the women is like sailing against the current. However, by incorporating both genders into that education, we will see much smoother sailing.
If you – regardless of your gender – want to learn more about what to do once you get the job, sign up for tonight’s $tart $mart Salary Negotiation workshop.