This was my first SWE conference that I’ve ever attended. I really had no idea what to expect. I was open to a new experience, and hoped to learn something that could help me. I carpooled there with three other Honeywell employees, and the car ride alone helped me connect with people that I’d worked with, but didn’t really know outside of work. So that was really great! Our first agenda item was to attend the Busch stadium tour. We got there 30 minutes late due to St. Louis construction crews that stopped traffic to repair pot holes for 40 minutes. Needless to say it worked out fabulously because we got our own private tour with Jay! He took us to see places that the normal tour didn’t go. For example, we got to see the owner’s suite, the TV monitor room, radio announcer’s room, locker room, practice batting cages, and the dugout. It was a great time!
There are many things that I’ve taken from the conference. I was encouraged to hear from Ed Purvis, COO of Emerson Electric, Inc., that Emerson sees the value of having women engineers and leaders in their company and has taken action to retain them, which is showing to be successful. I’ve taken many notes from Sunita Lavin’s presentation about the WBF, Women’s Business Foundation, in which Garmin has created. She took us through their mission, growing pains, lessons learned, examples of events that they have, and their successes. I took a lot from that and plan to bring these ideas to Honeywell FM&T.
I also took away some learning points from Dorothy Tannahill-Moran, aka the Introvert Whisperer’s, presentation, “How to Authentically Self-Promote Without Being Obnoxious.” She mentioned five methods to help promote yourself.
1) “Seed” a conversation. In other words, in everyday conversations mention what you can provide for the team or your manager, like, “I have done xx in my past, and I can that for you.”
2) Start with your results, not your title when you introduce yourself. What does Technical Manager really mean??
3) Give updates to your manager. They don’t have to be formal. They can be as simple as when you pass them in the hall.
4) Make others a hero. Make it a point to recognize others when they do something great.
5) Volunteer. Use your capabilities and skill.
I plan on incorporating some of these steps in my daily routine and also will share them with my team.
Finally, the most important thing that I got from this conference was a chance to meet other women from the Kansas City area and broaden my network of professionals. It was a great experience, and I look forward to attending in the future.