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PASS Summit Day 2 – Women in Technology Live Blog

Jes Borland Hosts the 2011 WIT Luncheon

Click here to watch today’s WIT luncheon live. For information on today’s luncheon and speakers, see the SQLPASS.org page on Keynotes.

12:00 Geoff Hitten, BOD member and WIT dude (okay, I don’t know his official title). Introduced Jes Borland. This is the 9th annual WIT lunch at PASS Summit.  Sponsored by SQL Sentry.  WIT chapter is not limited to women! Jes thanks volunteers and organizers.

AspiringGeek (Jimmy May): At #passwit @grrlgeek asks #sqlkilt men to stand. I’m drawing the line if asked to curtsy #sqlpass

Please fill out your evaluations, either on paper or online.

12:04 Introducing panelists: Yanni Robel, Dale Clark, Karen Lopez, Sharon Dooley. Topic today is how to make yourself heard, how to ask for what you want. I’ve been having this coversation a LOT lately, with both men and women, so I’m particularly interested in this year’s discussions. 

12:05 Yanni talks about getting the opportunity to go to SQL Connections for the first time; she said she was the only woman to volunteer, and the others were very reticent. “It’s very important to ASK… In order to get what you want, you need to start asking.”

12:09 Dale says it’s a big issue between technologists. “We’re not necessarily wired the same way as everyone else. …  We have a tendency not to communicate as well with people around us, to help us move forward. I recommend you set up continuous communications with people [who can help you].”

12:14 Karen: “Surprisingly, I have an opinion on this. … We were taught to be good, work really hard, and you’ll get rewarded for it. Unfortunately, most of us women believed that the world really works that way. … As a manager what I’ve noticed is that women don’t ask for what they want.” Karen quotes this stat: Only 7% of female college graduates negotiate the offered salary.

“It’s important to be your own best marketing officer. When someone recognizes that you did good work, take that as a compliment” before you also say it was a team effort.   Karen is speaking some really excellent truth, and this five-or-so segment of the broadcast should be required viewing as orientation for EVERY woman.

12:18 Sharon agrees with Karen, that we do have that hard training to BE NICE. “Don’t worry that they’ll call you something bad!”  Don’t be afraid to say I, to take credit.  “I’m supposed to be a team player, I’m supposed to sit quietly. It’s hard to break through that.” 

I really like her, and what she’s saying.  The word that comes to my mind is “pushy”…we have to resolve ourselves to be pushy, because what that really means is “determined.

@AliRazeghi : #PASSWIT Sharon Dooley sounds VERY experienced! It’s an inspiration to hear some of her wisdom. TY @sqlpass_de @sqlpass!

12:23 First comment from the audience is Kalen Delaney (@SQLQueen on Twitter): “I’ve had a lot of success in my career … but I still do findm yself thinking that I have to be nice, and if I’m not nice (and sometimes I’m not), I feel really really bad about it.”

Second questioner: What is something you’ve learned that can help us empower ourselves, to get the confidence to be able to ask? Yanni: Uses a personal board of directors, she runs ideas by them to get their objective opinions.  I definitely agree…you need a TEAM to go to and say, what about THIS?  And this is definitely not just for women; I’ve been part of many people’s crew (as we call them), men and women.  Karen: Act confident, and the feeling will follow. Also great advice.

12:30 @Kendra_Litte: How to prepare to ask for a raise?  Sharon: Sit down quietly and outline what I’ve accomplished since the last pay increase.  Yanni: Do your research, do your homework!  Dale says to ask your HR department for the salary range for your position, but I think that’s a lousy piece of advice. Not only will HR absolutely NOT answer that question, but it gives the impression that you’re jobhunting.

12:36 Sean (MY Sean) gets up to say that companies don’t understand the value of DBAs, so what do you do to help educate the upper echelon (decision makers) that this personis worth keeping, because not all DBAs are equal. Yanni: I keep a list of my accomplishments.

Nicole Phillips says that you have to prove yourself over and over again. How do you deal with that? Sharon: “I don’t think you ever get out of having to prove yourself over and over again. I haven’t found that nirvana state.” Ohhhhh, this woman is full of #WIN.

Comment by a young lady: It’s important to say thank you to managers in appreciation of training, and a summary of what was learned.  I rather like that, I think I will.

Comment: What would you do for a Klondike bar? Would you endure a 5 minute awkward conversation? That’s all it comes down to. VERY nice.


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