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Talks from FemTechConf 2023 Day 1

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I attended FemTechConfs Q1 Summit, here are my notes on some talks I thought were great...

On Mental Strength in the Workplace by Bella Riemer

Resilience is somewhat a trigger word for me, after working in a challenging workplace some time ago. Resilience is a great skill for dealing with natural set backs for sure, but if your resilience is being challenged or heavily utilised, you should be removing yourself from that situation before you find out where your limit is.

Bella's talk explained how you can avoid going through a similar scenario.

You can always learn from other people

Identify if you have plateaued, e.g your work is not being recognised, you are not growing or getting new opportunities. Mental strength allows you to remain positive, persistent, and to focus on your self-improvement. It allows you to make difficult decisions and persevere for your own gain.

Develop mental strength

  1. Identify your goals
  2. Make a plan
  3. Break it into achievable pieces
  4. Tackle them one by one
  • Step out of your comfort zone & challenge yourself
  • Be forgiving & learn from your mistakes
  • Accept that some situations will be out of your control

Listen to your body

If you're receiving the same feedback over and over again, there may be some truth to it

If you have negative feelings or emotions every time you get off work, you should do something about that. Do a self-check, be real and objective - that will allow you to make the right decision for yourself.

Overcome setbacks

  1. Deal with realty and accept the consequences of your choice(s)
  2. Listen to your body and self-monitor
  3. Self-correct what you can control
  4. Make an objective plan and look for resources to help you
  5. Try to pull something positive out of past challenges; that's what makes you grow

Top tips from How to be Heard in Meetings as a Woman in Tech by Iveta Zaklasnikova

Ditch the fear of judgement.

No matter what you do in your career, there will be those who like you and support your decisions; those who don't care about you, maybe they don't even know you work with them; those who always judge you not matter what you do, if you speak up, or don't speak up.
That fear or judgement is endless so ditch it!

Embrace that you were chosen.

You didn't get to your position by mistake. You're there for your skills, personality, experience, and you went through the interview process. There's no need to think that you're an imposter: draw the line, and say "no more".

Calm your nerves.

Our emotions are reflected by our breathing patterns, so tap into that; use deep, slow, regular breathing to immediately calm your nerves.

Be prepared.

Who are you talking to?, Who is in the room? What do they care about? Prepare for the right audience.
Prepare answers for what questions they might they ask you

- I would add here, be aware of who to defer to on topics outside of your expertise, and it might be wise to invite them too.

Lower your pitch.

Lower voice pitches make you feel more confident, and listeners interpret more power from you. Practise this!

Avoid saying please and using words of uncertainty

We're all in a power game, and using the word 'please' can put you in a lower position of power. You can still be polite, 'what can I do to support you...' 'I'd would appreciate if you do this...'

Choose words with certainty and conviction to project control. Instead of saying 'I think' or 'I guess', say 'I know' or 'I'm sure'. 'Based on past experience, I know we can do this.'

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