The Massachusetts Conference for Women

Friday, December 11, 2015

Myself and a few coworkers attended the Massachusetts Conference for Women in Boston this week. I didn't know much about it before getting tickets, but our company was paying so I wasn't going to say no.  It ended up being a very interesting day and (as cheesy as it sounds) it was pretty empowering.

Despite there being 10,000 attendees, the whole day ran very smoothly.  We started with a few opening keynote speakers.  The most recognizable was Tim Gunn, but my favorite speaker was Adam Grant.  The part that really stuck with me was when he was comparing the different types of people in the workplace- the givers, the takers, and the matchers.  It's very clear who is each role in any office.  I know I'm a giver.  He made a great suggestion about setting aside a specific amount of "giving" time. We all have our own work to get done and as much as we like helping others, we can't let it affect the rest of our work.  It may not have any immediate effects in my current role, but it has given me a lot to think about for the future.
After the opening speakers we broke out for the morning sessions.  My coworkers and I chose to sit in on Moody Bitches: The Truth About the Drugs You’re Taking, The Sleep You’re Missing, The Sex You’re Not Having, and What’s Really Making You Feel Crazy by Dr. Julie Holland.  I loved this one.  It was pretty much about how women are too often trying to "control" their emotions (specifically in the workplace) by medicating themselves.  While women definitely go through waves of emotions, they aren't something that should be repressed.  It's usually through these emotions that we know when situations are not right or they are what gives us the drive to push ourselves for more.  The idea of just always feeling content with life sounds really nice, but if that came at the expense of motivating myself to do better, I don't think it would be worth it.  Luckily I feel like I'm on a pretty good track and Dr. Holland would approve of my choices, but it's good to get a little warning of what could happen if you forget to check in with yourself every once in a while.
After that we went to our second session: Tips on How to Become Your Own #Girlboss with Sopia Amoruso.  Unfortunately the setup of the room wasn't great so we couldn't hear or see most of what was going on.  We stayed for probably the first half of the session and then decided to head down to the vendor booths.  We really just wanted to visit a friend (and former co-worker) who was running a Chloe & Isabelle stand.  It had been a while since we last saw her so it was great to catch up even if we could only steal her for a few minutes.

After that we headed back into the main hall for lunch.  It's hard to imagine preparing lunch for 10,000 people but they somehow managed to pull it off.  There were several speakers during our lunch but the two highlights for me were Ellen Pao, who has very publicly fought against sexism in the tech world, and Shonda Rhimes, the television powerhouse. They spoke very candidly about their experiences and the struggles they had to overcome.
Overall, it was really a great time.  It gave me a lot to think about- what I need, what I want, and how I need to go about getting those things.  

No comments:

Post a Comment