Yesterday, I had the opportunity to meet and chat with several strong women who are successful in each of their own fields. They spanned all ages from a wide-eyed 24 year old tech CEO to a 50 something who built a tech business when computers were still as big as a room. What struck me about the conversations was that these individuals seemed to have a gentleness about them even if it was obvious that they were tough as nails. You don’t want to mess with them but you also know that they will nurture you so you can grow professionally.
This was the sense that I got and it gave me so much comfort. I am usually ill at ease when thrust in a situation where I have to network and initiate conversation. But being surrounded by girls in tech allowed me to let my guard down and relax a bit more. I did not have to flex my hustle muscle so much. These women are my tribe and with them I am in a safe space.
The highlight of this event was meeting the lady who heads Girls in Tech Malaysia. She was one of the panelists and she touched on a topic that I feel strongly about. She talked about the guilt that we feel as women and as mothers when we spend our time growing our professions or pursuing interests outside our family lives. She mentioned how her children grew up to discover their own interests and identities too as she discovered hers. It is refreshing to hear these same sentiments articulated with such grace. There is power in this. But this strength may be further magnified if we continue to build this tribe of girls who empower others.