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March 24, 2017

What we learned from Harvard’s Women Engineers

Lucid is dedicated to diversity and inclusivity in the workplace. We’re looking to student organizations who support our cause, so we took our recruitment efforts to WECode (Women Engineers Code) at Harvard University last month to learn how to better support equality in the workplace.

Lucid is dedicated to diversity and inclusivity in the workplace. As the class of 2017 prepares to graduate (let that sink in), we’re looking to student organizations who support our cause. We took our recruitment efforts to WECode (Women Engineers Code) at Harvard University last month.

A handful of female Lucid employees attended the inspiring and energizing event. It got us talking about what it means to support equality in the workplace, and how we can rally around women who pursue “traditionally male” roles. We prompted WECode attendees with a few questions for some key takeaways and career advice as they reflect back on the event.


Laura
Team Lead, Proof


Katy
Senior Manager, Partner Ops


Kate
Manager, Partner Ops


Coco
Analyst, Partner Ops


Catherine
Analyst, People


Hannah
Tech Consultant,
Tech Ops

What was the most powerful take-home message from WEcode?

Coco: I was empowered by the college students themselves. It was amazing to see such a large crowd of women come together to support each other in their technological career goals and to see so many incredible students who were so passionate about shaping the future for women in technology.

Kate: I was inspired to see such a large group of college students and professionals come together to support and empower one another. The dedication and confidence that the young women demonstrated was incredible.

Were there any common themes among the keynote speakers (Lili Cheng, Natalie Glance, Julie Elberfield and Latanya Sweeney)?

Laura: I think the most common refrain was that change will not happen until more people push for it. They all had common themes of getting involved, mentoring, sponsoring young female scientists, etc., that I think were very meaningful.

Catherine: A common quality among the keynote speakers was to encourage women and girls to stay in Tech. This starts with tech engagement from a young age and teaching girls to challenge the status quo.

Hannah: Involvement. There was an overwhelming focus on getting young women involved with the tech community via mentorship, internships, and an inclusive and supportive environment.  

At the Opportunities Fair, what made a candidate stand out and why?

Laura: I felt that candidates who openly approached us with an idea of what they were interested in, or even better, an idea of what our company did stood out the most at the conference. One young engineer handed me a business card that she made herself with strong, powerful adjectives and contact information—that rocked!

Coco: The candidates who stuck out most to me were those who were confident in themselves and not afraid to ask questions. Many handed over their resume, asked for our contact information and came up to us before and after the fair to say hello. I found it very commendable when each candidate approached us and initiated a conversation, because I don’t think I would’ve had the confidence to do this at their age.

Kate: A few of the girls I had met at a networking event the first night, and they approached me later in the weekend to say Hello and ask more about Lucid. There’s something to be said for consistency and confidence!

Catherine: The women were very confident in their abilities and what they could bring to the table, while still seeking advice on how to better themselves for future employers. This balance was very appealing, as this is a common thread with current Lucid employees.

Katy: There were so many impressive and amazing women at WECode. The candidates who stood out the most were the women who made it a point to come speak to me more than once.  

Hannah: Curiosity. We were one of a few companies that are not household tech names. The young women that came up and simply asked about our company and then were able to start a conversation around how they saw themselves working with us were the most memorable.

What’s your advice for students who attended this conference? (follow ups, other conferences, advice, etc)

Laura: My biggest advice would be to follow through with emailing, LinkedIn, etc., for contacts you made at the conference. When I was in college, I was my own worst enemy and would often let the fear of failure keep me from trying. Don’t do that! Even if you let a few weeks go by, you’re always better off reaching out than not.

Coco: Talk to as many people as possible about their interests, goals and careers. Find something you’re passionate about and work hard until you’ve made an impact. Keep working at it and share your passion and your knowledge with others as you go.

Kate: Stay involved in this community: attend workshops, bring friends, seek mentors, and continue to do what you love.

Catherine: Don’t be scared to put yourself out there, whether that is your personal or professional life. Sometimes the best experiences come from stepping outside of your comfort zone.

Katy: Continue to network, network, network! Stay in touch with those you meet – both peers and seasoned professionals.

Hannah: Follow up in a personal way with the people you meet – if you got a business card or contact information, use it! Connect in a more long-term way, like LinkedIn, and keep in touch. If you connected with people in New Orleans and happen to be there on vacation a few months later, be sure to reach out. The networking you do at one conference isn’t just for the short term, long-term connections can help with job hunts, mentorships, and all sorts of opportunities down the road. And stay hungry – if you enjoyed this conference seek out other opportunities to attend conferences like it.