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Taking ACTION with Women in Cloud

The morning of the Women in Cloud Summit, Chaitra Vedullapalli, architect of the Women in Cloud initiative, sent an email asking the speakers and organizers to walk into the event with intention.

She encouraged them to contribute to the power of community and collective action. To be intentional about contributing to economic access for all; seeking out opportunities to serve and partner; and breaking down inequalities and barriers.

Chaitra shared a Brené Brown quote that echoes the event's focus on collective action:

"At the end of the day, at the end of the week, at the end of my life, I want to say I contributed more than I criticized."

That intentional focus was evident throughout the event. Womxn and allies connected around a common goal of changing the industry narrative and create economic access for women in the cloud economy.

We are proud to sponsor the Women in Cloud Initiative. Here are some of our team's takeaways from the event:

Best practices for access to ...

In the spirit of access, our founder & CEO, Lisa Hufford, spoke on a panel alongside Dina Grimstead (Microsoft), Gillian Muessig (Outlines Venture), and Margaret Dawson, (RedHat) on best practices in access to investments, customers, and talent.

Change the narrative

“We must continue to strive to achieve parity. Greater diversity leads to greater outcomes, greater innovation, and a greater world. This is not opinion, this is borne out in data. Be brave. Be bold. Be heard. It’s time to change the narrative.”

- Catharine Gately, Sr. Exec Comms & Strategic Storytelling Lead @ Simplicity

Pay it forward

"There were many great takeaways, but this one sung the most to me. It was short, but a powerful reminder that we need to be intentional and take action to continue to drive change:

'We need to adopt a "pay it forward" mindset. When we make investments in women and women’s business, we are voting for our value.' - Wendy Garcia, Chief Diversity Officer, NYC Controller's Office

- Michelle Cartmel, Client Success Manager @ Simplicity Consulting

Shift from fit in to stand out

"The first half of my career, I just wanted to fit in. Now, I just want to stand out."

"I loved this message from Gretchen O'Hara.

It takes all of us to work together to support women entrepreneurs. We have made progress, but we need more focus on women in STEM and prioritizing ally sponsorship and mentorship."

- Lisa Hufford, Founder & CEO @ Simplicity Consulting

Access now

"I was so pleased to be a part of this inspiring event. Tucker Stine, chief strategy officer for the Idea Collective, had a message that really resonated with me.

He spoke about HOW we grant access, via the power of sharing your story. How a moment of engagement can create deep personal connections and grow relationships. He outlined 5 ways for granting access:

  • Invest in your voice
  • Let go of expectations
  • Inspire leadership
  • Ignite movements
  • Create new cultures

- Sheryne Cadicamo, Client Success Manager @ Simplicity Consulting

Allyship starts now

"I so appreciated each of the speakers who showed up with authenticity, transparency, and in some cases, vulnerability on the panel led by Barry Russell, VP of Cloud at F5. What does it mean to be a great ally? Reach out and connect with Dave Willis, CVP at MSFT; Brandon Lee, Consul General Global Affairs, Canada; Evaristus Mainsah, GM, Cloud PAK Ecosystem IBM; and Dan Langille, Global Director, MSFT.

As I shared on LinkedIn on the day of the summit:

Allyship starts now! Women and men coming together to create parity, unity, cohesion! Every voice should be heard. Every human should be seen. Mom moment: I am raising two young men (15 year old twins), and I’m asking for support. Let’s start now! By teaching boys and young men how they can show up in the world as supporters, and allies. Let’s create a better world!"

- Carrie Morris, VP of Client Services @ Simplicity Consulting

Entrepreneur lens

"Can’t believe I waited so long to attend a WIC Summit! This past weekend provided amazing connections, practical, and inspiring tips for entrepreneurs like me, an impressive line-up of speakers who were not only humble and approachable, but actually made themselves available to visit, and the 80% vegetarian food was delicious! And, it was FUN!"

- Heidi Metz, Marketing consultant @ Simplicity; Founder & CEO of IMANI

The little things

"I learned a ton, loved all of the conversations, AND one of my best moments of the conference was getting pretty blue nail polish in the swag bag.

Do you know how long I have been planning and attending tech conferences? Let me tell you: Since 1997, and this is the first time I received something personal that I love."

- Linda Bookey, Marketing, people ops & DEI consultant @ Simplicity

Lessons from the court

"I loved the conversation between Gavriella Schuster, Microsoft CVP, and Dawn Trudeau, co-owner of the Seattle Storm, centered on reframing challenges and building community.

Gavriella reminded us to:

'Surround yourself with people who believe in you. Who lift you up. Who make you feel powerful.'

And though she's enmeshed in the world of basketball, Dawn shared a baseball analogy:

'The best baseball player in the world hits the ball 30% of the time.'

Here's to taking action, giving ourselves some grace, and making the most of our time at bat."

- Stephanie Chacharon, Marketing Director @ Simplicity Consulting

Keep the momentum

We'll leave you with a call to action from event co-founder Gretchen O'Hara:

What action will you take today for tomorrow?

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