Recently, two powerful and successful women invited several other women from around the country to participate in a virtual conversation and to unveil what they termed: Yes! Now Is The Time, a virtual reality artwork and discussion. The women shared their thoughts and ideas and discussed how women have made a difference in business and the world, and how they can continue to make a difference. Here are several thoughts from some of the participants.
Using Hope to Overcome Obstacles Creates Change
Brooke Ellison, who is an author and motivational speaker, became a quadriplegic as a young girl after a car struck her in the seventh grade. But that didn’t stop her from becoming the first quadriplegic to graduate from Harvard. Now a professor at Stonybrook University, Ellison shared how she combines resilience and hope to preserver through hardship.
Finding Your Inner Artist
Martina Welkhoff, Founder Convene VR, and one of the two women who helped organize this event told the group to “Discover your inner artist & inner entrepreneur. Open up how you are thinking about yourself and the world.” Welkhoff, who serves as board President of Seattle Women in Tech, calls herself a serial entrepreneur.
Be Inspired By Empty Spaces
Drue Kataoka, a technology artist who was the driving force behind this event said: “What’s more important than the names are the spaces in between. They symbolically represent the nameless, faceless, voiceless contributions of women who we will never know. Today similarly we are building the foundation for something later. In VR we are building that foundation for the future.”
Picture Yourself As a CEO
Frederique Dame, who was one of the driving forces that helped Uber scale from 80 to over 7,000 people, asked an important questions that she thinks all women should ask themselves. She noted that another participant, Sheryl Sandberg asked: “‘do you see yourself as the CEO of the company you are working at right now?’ Few raised their hands.” Frederique said all women should ask: “Why not me?”
Be Bold, Be Brave and Be the First
She has spent more than 20 years as an engineer at Microsft, but Tammarrian Rogers worked very had to get to where she is now. She was the first person in her family to attend and graduate from an Ivy League school. Since her graduation, she has continued to stand up as a vocal advocate for underrepresented voices in technology. Being an African American woman working as an engineer in the software and technology industry has helped Tammarrian become a strong and vocal supporter of inclusivity in the industry.
Moving Forward Is More Important Than Success or Failure
Lastly, Dame also told the participants “there is no such thing as failure or success. It’s all about building momentum.” She said if you fail you can keep going, but if have a success and then stop after that, then that is a failure in itself. “Whether it’s a success or failure you need to move forward. The momentum is what is critical.”