Aspire, Succeed, Inspire and then Give Back (Previously posted 3-20-08)
|Aspire, Succeed, Inspire and then Give Back…. I recently attended an Association for Women in Computing meeting. I was introduced to this group back around the holidays, but regular meeting weren’t scheduled to begin until March. As a women involved in the technology industry for many years, it’s difficult to find situations where the number of females out number the number of men in a room. So, I was very excited to attend the meeting, but I didn’t really have any expectations beyond that.
The first thing I noticed when I entered the room was the constant buzz of conversation. It’s not like men don’t talk, but this was different. I hadn’t realized that when I enter a new situation that includes mostly males, I tend to do a lot of talking because of gaps in the conversation. Wow!! So, for once I could sit back and use my listening skills and relax. One brave guy even opted to attend the meeting. This really gave me perspective on what it’s like to be the only male/female in the room. Interesting stuff!!!
I think that I will remember this meeting for the rest of years because of the impactful, inspiring and altruistic speaker that was featured at this event. The speaker, Susan Lutz is the Founder and CEO of both ETSec, Inc and TrustELI, Inc.
Before the event, I hadn’t taken the time to read through the speaker’s bio. When I first met Susan, she appeared to be a polished professional woman who seemed similar enough to most women in the room. She opened her speech with a coloring book drawing that her daughter had completed years ago that included the words ‘Don’t Quit’ (or something similar) and cited how that simple coloring exercise had inspired her in her own professional endeavors. Earlier in my career, I had often added inspiring poems or saying to be own cube, but after feeling the pain of outsourcing and other company costing savings programs, I had stripped by cube walls of this sort of stuff.
It was amazing to hear Susan talk about her multi-disciplinary experience in strategic selling, marketing, strategy planning, forecasting Next Generation Technology, profit and loss, and technology solution implementation to both ETSec and TrustELI. She also spoke about her expertise in global systems integration and her extensive experience in telecom have been in demand around the world – including Singapore, the Philippines, London and New York. I was very inspired by her ability to gain such a variety experiences and to become so successful in the business and technical world.
The next part of her speech sent chills through my body and placed tears in my eyes. Susan and her husband Richard are also founders of The Angel Ball Foundation; a non-profit organization which grants Adults who are Terminally Ill their final Dream. It seems like there are many organizations out there that cater to sick children, but not many for adults. Sadly, I know that it’s only a matter of time before a family member or friend may require help from this organization.
It’s been a week or so since the Association for Women in Computing meeting and I am stilling carrying a bit of that meeting with me as I walk through my daily tasks. I’ve even started adding some inspiring poems and sayings back to my cube walls. And I’ve put more effort into becoming a stronger women in a mostly man’s world. Who knows, maybe someday I can create an organization to help people or lead kids in the direction of pursuing careers in the area of technology.
Coding is good, but Enjoy your Journey….