Following are some helpful tips I picked up from the Girl Geek Dinner that Dave and I went to at Google a few weeks ago:
Find your voice – don’t be afraid to speak up and dissent if necessary. Even if you agree, speak up. You may feel like you have nothing to add because you’re simply agreeing, but speak up anyway just to be heard. Your opinion matters.
When you put yourself out there, there will always be people who have something negative to say. Sumaya Kazi from Cultural Connect gave an example saying that a Business Week article in which she was mentioned was posted on Digg. Most of the comments were negative even as far as to criticize how she looked and to point out that she looked tired in her photo. Despite the negativity, they got ~300 subscribers from Digg in about one hour. Even bad press is publicity. You have to develop a thick skin and don’t worry worry about what people think.
After leaving I thought more about these tips on a personal level and resolved to remind myself of two things if (more accurately, when) this happens:
For every negative comment there are always more people who are thinking something positive, but people will often decline to comment unless they have something critical to say.
Try to imagine the author of the comment as a pasty sad cynic with a few equally cynical pathetic friends who lives in his parents basement with nothing to do but play video games and make mean comments on others’ sites to cope with the fact that he feels inadequate. Remember that you are the one who is putting herself out there and accomplishing something.
2 thoughts on “Girl Geek Dinner was Geekalicious”
Nice! Sounds like you got important things out of this dinner. Looking forward to seeing you!