More than 65 women attended a special lunch as part of Rocket Software’s annual Leadership Summit in Boston this week. I was privileged to be one of them. Attendees joined from across the company and were certainly an accomplished bunch: developers, engineers, patent-holders, designers, writers, financial analysts, attorneys and some of the top sales producers in the company. And while the majority of us hailed from the U.S., we also enjoyed the opportunity to mingle with our colleagues from Rocket offices in the UK, Germany, China, Japan, Australia, and more!
Each lunch table featured a moderator and note-taker to keep us on task and document our thoughts for future sharing. Discussions centered on how women became interested in technology and how we came to Rocket. Not surprisingly, a majority of the women at my table were math whizzes who excelled at numbers and engineering and knew at an early age exactly what they wanted to do. Another table mate reinforced this determination, describing her experience as a 10-year-old playing with a video game and deciding right then and there that she “could create that too.”
While the discussions originated on why Rocket Software is a good place for women, we all came to the conclusion that Rocket is a great place to work for anyone, period. Rocket’s family atmosphere, flexible work/life balance, autonomy and ability to move freely within the company to a range of positions are what brought us here and what keep us challenged and motivated. Everyone is looking for more ways to contribute and for additional leadership and skills training. Several tables talked about the value of “mentoring,” as well as inspirational bosses who believed in the employee to the point that the employee believed that she too was ready to take on a new challenge. Either way, having a forum to exchange tips and compare experiences is a nice break from the usual workday.
We left, sated with good food and with good company, vowing that the dialogue would continue.
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