Written by Paige Dawson
Earlier this month I cheered on the Dallas Business Journal’s 2019 Women in Technology award winners. The annual event celebrates 24 women in the Dallas-Fort Worth who are leaders in technology and a lifetime award for Valerie Freeman. We celebrated their achievements in areas of artificial intelligence, database development, hardware, robotics, services, and other specialties. While I love supporting sharp, smart women in business, I was a bit biased as I was there specifically to cheer on one of our MPD clients, Dr. Patricia Connolly, CEO of SMC Squared. (Read more about her here.)
What was even better…the event team at DBJ did a masterful job of making the entire event interesting, diverse, and, even, humorous. Not your typical (i.e. boring) award bio intro and thank you speech repeated 24 times. As each winner was introduced to the stage, one of four moderators shared compelling points about the winner’s role and background as well as earlier answers they secured on more unique aspects that captured their essence and outlook.
Instead of the standard thank you speech on stage, each winner was asked to share 15 seconds of wisdom that she’d give to her younger self. Fascinating, right?! With each the room filled with of lots of nodding heads, knowing smiles and hearty laughs. Overall, three key themes popped up time and again:
What’s even better: Each winner brought such an authentic presence that you just know they could be great friends and supporters of each other. They truly seemed “cut from the same cloth” and with a similar DNA that just permeated the entire event.
Then it hit me—that common thread—that these women are truly our early adopters of women in technology. They shared how they were the only or one of just a few females in their departments or in their computer science classes when they embarked on careers 25+ years ago. They were, and still are, some of best glass-ceiling breakers in the STEM arena.
I invite you to read DBJ’s individual profiles of these ladies to be inspired by their stories. As one winner shared, “You can’t be what you can’t see,” so let’s inspire our next generations.