SheSays Chicago Event ReCap: Be Confident and Know Your Value

Did She Just Say She Wants to be a Bad Bitch When She Grows Up?

I am in a room full of color—summer reds, blues, pinks. This must be where the creatives hang out. There is 312 beer, wine, coke, and empanadas. Professional head shots are downstairs. Aurimas Adomavicious, CEO of DevBridge, the company sponsoring the event, is taking them. (Note: He is also the funny panelist for the night). He is also the guy who handed out beers two thirds in the middle of the discussion when we were deciding if we wanted to be the bad bitch at the office. (Must thank him for that). Welcome to SheSaysChicago.

Before the panel discussion began, I found a seat and talked to a few girls individually. The night was nicely broken into three parts: 1. Drink and chat. 2. Open panel discussion. 3. Meet the people who said something interesting in the past hour and a half.

The discussion was about confidence and women, which is fitting because SheSays’ goal is to help and empower women to get to the top and be successful in their careers.

Before the talk even began, the woman next to me disclosed, “I was about to turn around and leave.” She saw everyone in the room and was intimidated. I could relate. When I got in, I wanted to leave. Everyone was chatty, but in cliques, and I was Ms. Bright Blue Dress drinking a Coke for caffeine.

So, here we were about to listen to four successful individuals. The panel included: CEO of DevBridge, Aurimas Adomavicious (@needoptic), Interaction Designer at DevBridge, Alyssa Low (@alyssalowww), Group Creative Director at Digitas, Trina Uzee (@trinau), and Chief Strategist at Compass(x) Strategy, Nancy Goldstein (@NancyAGoldstein).

We were in for a treat because us women, who love to talk, got to. Trina put together topical slides and we all got to chime in with stories and questions. Slides that were inspired by Sheryl Sandberg’s book, “Lean In”. They included: “Confidence is not the same as arrogance,” “Are we posers,” and “This isn’t charity”.

We talked about salary. About the difference between being a man and a woman. About being authentic to ourselves. Nancy disclosed a great anecdote about working with a bunch of jerks. She mimicked them and found that she is not that person. She would rather do things with humility than bullying someone into work. “If you cannot be who you authentically are, then that’s a problem,” she said.

The discussion was better. Aurimas encouraged the audience to be able to justify why you are worth a certain amount. “Know your market value,” he said “The work you do has value.”

One audience member was told by a recruiter to go on two interviews a year to check-in on your skills and value and determine if they are where they should be to grow into the next position.

We ended the night (going a half hour over because girl’s do love to talk and the discussion was just that good) with power poses. Note: before doing anything we are intimidated by, we should go to the bathroom, smile in the mirror like an idiot and do a power pose according to the witty and candid, Trina and Aurimas.

The best perspective from the audience was “Creative professionals always think about what is missing. Then we turn that around to ourselves and only see what is missing.”

And about being the bad bitch – though some of us admire her, some despise her, we realized in the words of Trina, “That it’s much better to be highly respected and reliable. You don’t want to be the bitch.”

Notes:

Event Location: DevBridge (1659 W. Hubbard, Chicago, IL)

Event Host: SheSays Chicago

Event Date and Time: Wednesday, July 17, 2014, 6-9 pm

Discovered Through: Email Blast

Bonus: Women were able to get professional head shots (2 to be exact)

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