Spacefem (spacefem) wrote,

survived conference

phew, that was a weekend.

my two speeches went well. My "breadwinner mom" session was lightly attended - only one other breadwinner mom with a stay at home dad was there. the others were interested forward-thinking college students and a some others who probably just walked into the wrong room, but who cares, we had fun! I got out and someone from the room in the session next door asked me "what was all that laughing we kept hearing? must have been a good session!" Some interesting ideas were aired that I will write about in further entries.

I went to a session on work-life balance, a panel discussion. A younger engineer asked the panel what she should do if she knew she wanted to have a baby... tell her supervisor, look for opportunities that would balance well with that? the reply from the panelists warmed my heart, without skipping a beat one of them was like, "You don't know how a baby will change you... so what's the use in trying to change anything in advance? Nah, do what you're doing, work hard, hell it took me three years to get pregnant, and pregnancy lasts a LONG TIME after that, you can get all sorts of accomplishments under your belt, and can you imagine if I'd told my supervisor I wanted to have a baby and then didn't have one for four years? Everyone would be like 'hey - thought you were having a baby!'"

oh, and there were multiple references to Lean In this year... everybody's read it. It's made a big impression on not just me. that's a note for the time capsule.

my five minute breakfast speech about my company to everyone went well too! nobody cared too much that the other companies who sponsored the conference sent VPs to speak to us. they spent a lot more time talking about their companies' mission and values and that sort of thing. I told personal stories, because I like talking about myself and I think college kids like to hear about what engineers do.

Oh, and I didn't have to give my speech to 300 people. More like... 100, or 75, or so. It snowed this weekend. Snow, ice, sleet - awful. So a lot of people left conference early, which was fine by me!

I got nervous before they called my name but I remembered sometimes I calm down if I think about windmills. Still works.

When I practiced my speech last week and failed, it was a part with numbers that first tripped me up. So I cut out as many numbers as possible. Nobody cares that we have 47 service centers or whatever... instead I said we had "a lot" and that they were in places like singapore and germany. I think that proves that we have a lot. moving on.

another upside of the snow - so many people bailed on the closing night banquet dinner that my section told me to invite marc, someone might as well eat a meal that was paid for. and I was like "Well Josie's at the YMCA but he's got the baby tonight!" and they said I could bring my baby, libby is bringing her baby! and I was like uh, libby's baby is seven weeks old and in a carrier and just lays there, my baby is big and loud and pulls up on stuff and wants down to crawl, they were like oh what's the difference!

so Olive got to go to her first SWE regional conference. the banquet is pretty formal... but at one point we'd set Olive with her feet on the ground, hands on a chair, and she got down and started crawling up the aisle towards the stage, just TAKING OFF. she headed straight for a "reserved" table for sponsors and important people at the front of the room who suddenly looked down like "is that a BABY?" and Olive sat there, we realized she'd made off with a spoon too and was waving it around, I ran over and scooped her up and everybody was laughing.

and all my SWE friends got reminded of the difference between a seven week old and a ten month old.
Tags: travel, women engineers
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