For the first of Central PA AIGA’s women’s leadership initiative events, I was honored to be asked to be a panelist among 4 other wonderful ladies in the creative and tech field.
The evening began by mingling, light refreshments and snacks. I caught up briefly with a former team member of mine who was also on the panel, Jennifer Aldrich of InVision App. She drove down to York from State College and brought her daughter to attend the event! For those of you not from around here, that's about a 2.5 hour drive.
After the panelists situated on randomly chosen stools, we breezed through a few slides each with of our backgrounds and general career information. The audience was so wonderful and engaged! It was an intimate room and about 30 people.
After that, JJ asked us each questions from career advice to experience in a mostly male-dominated field. We also spoke about acceptance, leadership and the importance of opening and communicating opportunities for everyone.
At the end, we answered some audience questions, which were totally fun. Anyone who had answers or related experience chimed in, and by now the audience was pretty familiar with our personalities and some experiences. I wasn’t nervous at all for this event, but by the end it felt like we were just all out to coffee chatting.
One thing that I have to say about the content was that it was cool how truly fair all the conversation direction went. I wasn’t sure if there would be a “feminist" feel to the meeting but honestly the event seemed to empower everybody. At least that’s how I felt. We discussed how to be inclusive and accepting of everyone and to be careful not to group people or become hypocritical in our quest. That helps no one.
The importance of using everyone’s strengths, leading by seeking out those strengths, and being responsible for yourself were all themes. There were a few experiences highlighted that may have opened the eyes of many (including myself), but there were even more wonderful stories about succeeding and pushing through.
I went home inspired, and hope to keep in touch for years to come. I am sincerely grateful to Central PA AIGA folks for the opportunity.
To keep up with AIGA's Women's Leadership Initiatives, follow #AIGAWomensLeadership.