Life moves pretty fast these days, even if you live in Missoula, MT. ATG and onX worked together to host a speed networking event covering diversity and inclusion, topics that are not always easy to discuss. This event was the perfect opportunity for attendees to be able to openly communicate and learn more about diversity and inclusion, as well as network with other professionals from a wide range of local technology businesses.
onX CEO Laura Orvidas opened the event with a reflection on her own journey and the importance of building strong networks and tackling diversity issues head-on.
Participants chose from 10 stations around the room that each featured a different topic relating to women in the workplace. For 15 minutes, groups discussed issues such as Gender Communication, Maternity/Paternity/Parental Leave, and Inclusion Tactics for Brainstorming with men and women.
Kym Corwin, ATG Director, Production Success & Expert Services, worked closely with Rachael Caldwell, onX Producer – Brand Team, to coordinate the event.
“This type of event aligns perfectly within atgSHE’s mission and focus. We want to encourage discussions around diversity and supporting women in technology so to have another local technology company come to us and say, ‘How can we do this at our company and in the community?’ We were immediately in.”Kym Corwin
After participants had a chance to visit three discussion stations, the open networking portion of the evening began. Employees from ATG, onX, LumenAd, Partners Creative, ChickTech, LMG Security, Audience Awards, AT&T, Montana High Tech Business Alliance, University of Montana, Submittable, ClassPass, and Women’s Foundation Montana mingled and often continued the discussions that had started at the various stations.
atgSHE sent out a post-event survey to understand the key takeaways of the event and received some great feedback.
“Everything from the connections that were created within the community and learning how other companies handle issues was something attendees really appreciated; the emphasis on how much a group of diverse people can accomplish; empowering women in meetings and through communication; that paid leave is not a women’s issue. It’s important to everyone, and that in general, these types of events do not have to be torture on anyone attending,” said Corwin.
Corwin elaborated that not only was having the conversation about the issues important but seeing so many people listening to each other and taking in new perspectives.
“I’d say my greatest takeaway was seeing how engaged everyone was. The conversations at each station were rich and inviting and I don’t believe I saw anyone sitting back and not participating,” said Corwin. “Everyone was so eager to hear what the next person had to say and to share their experiences. I was so happy that we could host an event that would bring men and women together and that helped foster the conversations.”
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