on lady tech events

I recently had a colleague ask me about women in tech events, and I wanted to adapt my response into a blog post.

Women in tech events and long-term mentoring can be very fulfilling, especially when the audience is narrow enough. That said, I'm always hesitant about female tech mentoring because it seems like there is so very much of it, both soliciting mentors and mentees, so it's easy to commit to more than you actually want to do.

It's important that every individual takes a step back asks themselves: How much time do I want to dedicate to networking and mentorship? What kinds of interactions are most valuable to me? (What have I enjoyed about other events I attended?) Plan the big picture first, and then use that as a roadmap to make the smaller choices.

In the end, these are personal choices about you and your career. For me, going to WiML every year is enough. But other people might want more support or networking. Still others might not care at all about things like this—again, this is totally personal. It also varies depending on where you are in your career, because our needs and preferences evolve with time.

As a one-off, these kind of things won't make or break you, but it's the aggregate of multiple events over your career. If you're not certain about a particular event, it might be worth going, just to see how fulfilling these kinds of events are to you, so you can make informed choices going forward.

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