On August 10, 2016, I attended a tech open house event at the Nest office in Palo Alto. The event was amazing for a lot of reasons: beautiful office with delicious food, the entire event was incredibly efficiently run, and had wonderful speakers and attendees.
The panel was filled with women at Nest in technical roles (managerial levels and independent contributors) at various stages in their careers. It was really helpful to hear about how they came to tech and then Nest specifically.
I learned a lot, but these were the three main things I’ve retained:
- One of the speakers recommended having people in your corner who are looking out for you. And she said that men can make great allies in your career trajectory. In her personal history, a lot of men looked out for her success; pushed her into roles they knew she was ready to tackle, even when she didn’t yet believe in herself. (She noted that they tended to be men with daughters, which made me think about Darrell, the UserTesting CEO, who has daughters and is very supportive of women’s issues.)
- Impostor syndrome came up a lot. It’s not like I felt like I was the only one who sometimes felt like an impostor, but I’ll go ahead and admit that it feels good to not feel so alone in the world. Apparently this is a thing but you know what, keep doing what you were going to do anyway, despite feeling like you don’t belong. Eventually you’ll let yourself belong.
- That Nest would host such a large event in support of women in tech says a lot about the company’s priorities, which definitely elevated this particular company in my eyes in terms of wanting to consider working there as a woman in tech. Yay, Nest! 🙂