It’s been an amazing year for the AspenTech Women’s Leadership Forum. We’ve run more than a dozen exciting and well-received events, made new connections both within the company and with other women’s groups and held our first elections! We’ve even expanded our vision and mission statements to reflect the many things we’ve learned over the past few years.
Sessions focused on hot topics like imposter syndrome and unconscious bias, both of which we still talk about long after those initial sessions were held. There were lots of great takeaways and some solid, practical advice about handling one’s own insecurities and being aware of the unconscious ways in which we judge or classify others.
We hosted coaching circles in collaboration with Women in Technology International (WITI) which provided attendees with the opportunity to sit in on four unique sessions, including one on negotiating skills and another on finding your purpose. Each session was run by professionals who are part of the WITI “family.” (Since it was an evening event, I thought I’d sneak out early, only to find myself one of the last ones there!) This event was so popular, we are planning to repeat it in 2020.
Our largest and most engaged event of the year was International Women’s Day (IWD) in early March. It’s always a blast for the WLF and its supporters to get together to support women’s leadership at the international level. This year’s theme, Balance for Better, focused on gender balance. We shared message cards provided by the IWD organization and a pop-up banner photo booth so folks could take photos sharing their favorite messages. As part of a now annual tradition, our CEO Antonio Pietri took a selfie with the group, which is always a thrill.
The Women’s Leadership Forum had a few firsts in 2019. In February, our Latin American team kicked off their first Mexico City Town Hall and WLF meeting with opening remarks by our CEO. In March, our International Women’s Day celebration also marked our first women’s leadership event in Shanghai. And those were just the firsts. Our teams in Houston, Texas and Reading UK also ran many successful local events on topics like work-life balance and breast cancer awareness.