This blog post was authored by Crystal North.
Wow. I have spent the last month reflecting every single work day as to why I love my job. I started this personal focus because I had read one too many status updates on LinkedIn that just seemed so unauthentic, so negative, or so salesy. I wanted to brighten the day just a touch.
As I went through this exercise, I realized that I am incredibly lucky and grateful for the company, product, opportunities, and people I surround myself with. I figured I would take a moment to appreciate one of my favorite career opportunities that I was given by my leadership team at Vertica and Jasmine Wilson who leads our Inclusion & Diversity team for Micro Focus. I was provided the opportunity to attend the Professional Business Women’s Conference in San Francisco, California.
On the night before the event, Micro Focus was given a number of passes for the reception to kick off the conference because we were a silver sponsor (yes I need to plug that Micro Focus is making an effort to support the empowerment of all groups within the organization). I was able to learn more about the PBWC and hear from Ashley Judd a preview of how she would address the audience during the keynote. It was an incredible way to be inspired and energized for the next full day of keynotes and speakers!
Things I learned:
– Ashley Judd is a brilliant woman, truthfully I had no idea how educated and powerful of a soul she is. Notable takeaways:
•Have a spiritual practice, maintain and have boundaries, practice self-care, don’t abuse power to disempower.
– Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda are frigging hysterical and again so brilliant (reminds me of me and my best friend).
– The ABC7 anchors did a killer job of offering best practices on how to get your story heard… May try this when fundraising or hosting a DataGals (women in tech) event locally sometime soon.
– Tania DeSa
is incredible. You can find her in Ted Talks and I am sure she speaks at other conferences. Notable takeaways:
•Sponsorship/mentorship are two different things: a Mentor offers personal / professional support & a sponsor advocates for your advancement, and they take bigger risks and action (great case study from Bentley University here
•Earn credibility with a sponsor
•If your mentor/sponsor relationship is not working, end it.
•Know your value
•Interview your sponsor
– Minority members need to be a voice, if you don’t do it for yourself… Do it for someone else.
I left the conference feeling empowered and ready to continue to press for progress, as well as continue to be grateful for leaders like Colin Mahony, Joy King, Sabrina Corazza, and Jasmine Wilson just to name a few. In addition to corporate empowerment for women, I have also joined the Nashua Lady Project to continue to empower and support women in my local community, as well as have a side hustle called C. Far: Beyond the Box that focuses on the 4 elements of fitness (emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical) to help people redefine their goals and achieve success. Lastly, I am a part of a Mastermind group that constantly challenges, supports, and energizes me to tackle all of my goals.
I am on a mission to help future generations, including my daughter, to overcome the diversity barriers that exist today.
What can I say I love my job and the people I am surrounded by, I am what you might call… Constantly inspired.
***A few more pics: