The second day at BlogHer ’13 was filled with inspiration. This final day at the conference gave me the opportunity to hear the stories and thoughts of incredible women that I look up to – female figures that inspire me for my own career and even my personal life.
The first talk was given by Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg. Sheryl Sandberg is an individual that I look up to for several reasons: she is an intelligent and poised individual who has worked hard to climb up the ranks in the field of business; she has inspired many women out there – both young and old – to take risks and shoot for the stars, no matter how scary it may be; she has remained humble and grounded throughout her successes.
During her talk, she spoke about her book Lean In and what inspired her to write it. She explained that when she started creating the concept for this book, she asked herself and other women the following question: What would you do if you weren’t afraid? For Sheryl, she admitted that one of the things she would do is author a book on feminism and women’s empowerment, hence why Lean In.
Overall, Sheryl Sandberg’s message is encouraging. I admit that after reading a lot about her over the last few months, her message even convinced me to start my own blog! Her supportive power of women rang true at this conference, as many shared how Sheryl’s outlook has encouraged them to do several things – ask for a raise at work, start their own company, be more assertive, launch a new blog or even get a giant tattoo without shame.
At the end of her talk, I was lucky to get a copy of Lean In signed by the woman herself – an item I will truly treasure and look to for encouragement as I move forward in my career.
In the afternoon, I attended a panel discussion which included one of my other female tech favourites – Randi Zuckerberg. Yes, her brother may be the founder and CEO of Facebook, but Randi can definitely hold her own in the industry. During her time as the Director of Market Development of Facebook, Randi created unique strategies involving video marketing and dialogue. She made huge waves by running the largest online town hall meeting for the U.S. national midterm elections – the first of its kind.
Since departing from Facebook in 2011, Randi has truly worn many hats. She established her own company, worked as an executive producer for a reality series showcasing work life in Silicon Valley and has authored two books and a children’s book, which will be released in the fall of 2013.
Randi has been another female figure that I have followed for a while. She is inspiring because she is consistently delving into areas of technology and media that are unknown to her at first, then dedicates herself to becoming an educated and hands-on expert in the area. What amazes me about her is how she has stepped out of her comfortable zone several times (sometimes at the wrong times, she openly admitted at the panel discussion) to take risks and try new things, no matter how frightening it can be.
Sheryl Sandberg and Randi Zuckerberg both left me with a lot of food for thought. Their words have helped me to view risking taking in a different way. Instead of being afraid, it made me see that risk taking needs to be a part of the overall strategy – without taking the full jump, you may have to wait a long time for something spectacular to happen. You must leave the fear of failure at the door, execute your plan and learn quickly from everything you experience – the good, the bad, and the ugly. After that, you will truly have something to be proud of… and to call your own.
To read more about my Blogher ’13 journey, CLICK HERE