Not too long ago I attended the WITI Women Powering Technology Summit, with the express purpose of networking to build up the team for our new game. I'm very glad I was able to go, since I got much more out of the summit than just networking. I came away with some useful insights that I feel I am able to use in my role here at EA as we work towards evolving our workforce to better serve our consumers.
A theme that I heard throughout the presentations is the constant need to show young women examples of women in roles that break stereotypes, so they see your achievements as the norm, not the exception. I feel we have a lot of opportunity at EA as female leaders to make ourselves more available for public presentations and panels if the chance comes along. Even just taking some time to attend one of these events and mingle with the students may provide that bit of reassurance that they are not alone.
I also learned that even though it sometimes feels awkward or pushy, networking is the way business is done in this day and age. It's not only accepted, it's vital. Find your network, select what relationships you will cultivate and think not only about what they can do for you but what you can offer them. A mutually beneficial network helps all parties.
Maya Bratz, Head of New Products at The Wall Street Journal summed up the entire summit perfectly within her keynote.
You don’t need to wait for a mentor to begin succeeding.
You don’t need to be “reasonable”. Follow your instincts, which may not be reasonable, and stick with them.
You don’t need to succeed. Fail fast, early and often.
“Good failure” is when you believe an idea is good, but you need to try it to find out if it’s successful. It won’t always be, but your recovery period from failure must be FAST.
Think of your life in “Beta”. You’re going to have bugs, so don’t be afraid to fail.
Toot your own horn!
You have a right to be in your role.
You have a right to be assertive.
Take control over what you have control over; don’t wait around for what you don’t.