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Women and Thought Leadership

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Thu Oct 04 2012

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(From Forbes) -- The first day of the three-day Grace Hopper Celebration of women in computing kicked off with an afternoon of panels and talks about thought leadership, mentorship, sponsorship and more leadership exercises. Around four thousand women engineers and academics are in attendance, as well as women from tech companies recruiting Grace Hopper conference attendees.

On Becoming a Thought Leader

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“One thing a thought leader can be is a change agent,” stated Professor Janet H. Murray from Georgia Tech.

HP Product Manager Nina Bhatti said, “Creating credibility in an organization… to inspire others is to belive something is possible, and to invite people to join you in that quest to create it.” We remember Nina from a previous Women 2.0 event where she spoke on “intrapreneurship” – bringing traits of entrepreneurship to corporate environments like HP and big companies. She encouraged women to go outside of your own company or organization to build your network and gain more opportunities.

Nina Bhatti reminded us that “opportunity is rarely gift wrapped with a big bow. When people give you a mess, they are telling you to go do it the way you think it ought to be done. Don’t just fix the edges and stitch it up. Remodel it – and make it into something better.” She left the audience with a book recommendation – It’s Not A Glass Ceiling, It’s A Sticky Floor.

On Mentorship and Sponsorship

Catalyst VP of Partnerships Emma Sabin talked about the benefit of mentorship programs:

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“Mentoring programs increase commitment from staff, increase staff loyalty to the organizaton, reduce turnover, improve performance and created greater knowledge sharing throughout the organization. We know also that women benefited form those programs – decreased stress levels (you know you’re not alone, you have someone to work with), increased job satisfaction (you have a better sense of where your work lies in the organization), and increased performance (someone guides and works with you to improve your performance).”

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