Most of us living in the Bay Area have heard the buzz about the Google campus. What a cool, fun and even magical place to work (and play!). The buzz had also spread to the 41 TechWomen participants early on during their time in and around Silicon Valley. They were all looking forward to October 2nd – the day they would get to experience Google firsthand.Google graciously hosted the TechWomen Emerging Leaders for a day of learning, sharing and exploring last Tuesday. The day started off with a workshop focused on mentoring girls. The Emerging Leaders heard four presentations from U.S.-based organizations that are using innovative models to engage more girls in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Female leaders from Techbridge, MAGIC (More Active Girls in Computing), Telecentre.org Foundation and Iridescent offered techniques and approaches for the Emerging Leaders to get more girls in their home countries excited about these typically male-dominated sectors from a young age.
After the morning workshop, the TechWomen had the chance to speak with representatives from Google’s Emerging Markets team and hear about particular Google tools that have been useful to entrepreneurs in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as other regions outside of the U.S.
The highlight of the day for many was the visit to the Google store and tour of the campus in the afternoon. Many of the TechWomen were already impressed with Google simply from their daily use of their notable tools and web-based applications, but nothing impressed them more than the perks that were offered to Google staff and guests – the indoor 2-story slide, outdoor beach volleyball court, fanciful office decorations, colorful bicycles and delicious food and drinks. Some of the women declared that “this was even better than Disneyland!” (which several of them could say from firsthand experience after a trip to Los Angeles one weekend during their stay in California).
It was truly a fabulous way for the Emerging Leaders to spend their very last day in the Bay Area before traveling to the East Coast for the close of the 2012 TechWomen program.