On September 6, ambitious and powerful emerging leaders and mentors gathered at Oracle for the 2012 TechWomen Welcome Orientation. Many of the attendees live worlds apart, however, they encompass one vision—to share knowledge and change the way conversations are had.
Trish Tierney, Executive Director at Institute of International Education, and Liz Snyder, VP Human Resources at Oracle, welcomed the participants. Sheila Casey, Deputy Director, U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Office of Citizen Exchanges, gave opening remarks and presented the TechWomen with a letter from Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton. “This month, we all get to be diplomats,” said Sheila. She went on to emphasize that the TechWomen program pairs Secretary Clinton’s vision of, “smart power diplomacy,” with “ 21st Century Statecraft”. Sheila then went around the room and introduced each of the TechWomen and their Professional and Cultural Mentors to the audience.
Hosted by Oracle Corporation and the Oracle Women’s Leadership (OWL) group, the attendees listened intently as keynote Meg Bear, VP Cloud Social Platform, shared her experience and offered words of wisdom. “Reaching your potential is not an aspiration, it is an obligation,” said Meg. “To build your aspirations, you need to help others.” Meg has been a technology professional for approximately 20-years. She has experience being both a mentor and a mentee. “You achieve the most when you are not comfortable. You have to take risks and accept that failure is part of the journey. Wherever your comfort zone ends is where you should start pushing.”
The TechWomen are doing just that, pushing far beyond their comfort zone to gain both experience and knowledge that they can then communicate with others.
Mimi Hills, Director Software Localization at Research In Motion, has served as a mentor for both the 2011 and 2012 TechWomen program. She said, “The mentorship program is about us providing the TechWomen information and also about us learning from [the TechWomen],” said Mimi. She continued by saying she is happy to be participating in something that is, “changing the world.”