Last night I felt the true power of woman working together through networking at a dinner aimed to empower, connect and encourage the female troops to be the best we can be. My first experience of the Girl Geek Dinners in Johannesburg was a truly superb social event and is just another reason to love the power of twitter. The tickets sold out in a matter of hours and heres why.
My R170 investment has seen returns that are quite honestly priceless. I was nervous and excited for the evening. Nervous, because this was another event that I would be attending on my own and I had no idea what to expect or what kind of people I would meet. Would they be friendly and open to engaging or clicky, closed and exclusive? Excited because anything that champions “girl geeks” gets my vote. Working in a male dominated IT industry often leaves me craving female company. This was the perfect opportunity to overcome my social fears and #justdoit.
We were greeted by the friendly hosts and given our name tags and sent on our way to the roof top where Estee Lauder were doing beautiful after work touch ups while the ladies sipped on their delicious welcome cocktails. I chose a refreshing strawberry daiquiri, which quickly turned into two!
After a touch up, we headed downstairs to our seats which also happened to have our goodie bags hanging on them. I was thrilled to get a packet of yummy biscuits from @lucybakerza with a bottle of my all time favourite ice tea from Bos.
The room was filled with an excited buzz and atmosphere and we could sit wherever we chose. There was no seat keeping or excluding gals, all the ladies were welcoming guests to their tables. After all, this was a networking event so meeting new people comes with the territory.
I met some lovely women from all walks of life at my table, some newbies to the social world and some more acquainted fellow girl geeks. The one common thread for all of us was our love of doing new things and meeting new people and of course we all have a geeky side. I met working moms from the steel industry , an import and export specialist, a fashion designer, a warrior race advocate, a bride to be and her bestie as well as a seasoned girl geek attendee. We exchanged stories of what we do and some of our interests before the prize giving started that was sponsored by Samsung, Uber, Estee Lauder and ColCachio’s. I also got to meet you, baby and I in person after we had been chatting for a while on twitter and I even got to catch up with an old high school friend.
Cell C have partnered with @GGDJHB for 2014 and showed us a short clip of why they are keen to empower some of the smartest talented ladies in Johannesburg. Basically Cell C think we are kick ass and want to be on our team! So much so, every attendee will be receiving a 3GB sim card and dongle to share the power! @Melattree was the guest speaker and fueled with humour, gifs and years of experience in the media and social space, Mel delivered a speech that truly encouraged us to empower ourselves and other woman around us. The biggest lessons I took away from Mel, were the lessons of the day (because we should be learning every day):
- Support does not = sugar coating. True support is not cheerleading, it comes in the form of true friendship and advice. A person who truly supports you will tell you when you are seeing things incorrectly and be honest with you.
- Asking for help is ok. It takes true strength to let down your guard and admit when you need help.
- Don’t compare – comparing ourselves to others only leads to unhappiness, be the best you can be.
- Get a clue – if you want something, go out and get it! Nobody is going to hand it to you on a silver platter. You have to get out there and make it happen.
- Bring your “A” game – in whatever you do, why would you bring anything less?
- Say no so you can say yes- don’t say no to all things, but choose what you want to say yes to, make your yes mean something.
- Dream – Having dreams is what makes us ambitious. Be ambitious and live the dream.
- Don’t ever accept the status quo – do it better. If we keep doing things the same way we always do them, we would never be doing them better.
- Be curious, be humble and be authentic – be true to ourselves and others
- #OMGMelRocks and so do GIFs
Meeting new girlfriends who are like-minded and open to helping others was a truly refreshing experience. My inner *feminist is itching to help and join women who empower themselves and through this, empower myself! Bring on the girl power.
*Note: Feminism does not mean disliking men; in this case it’s about empowering the femme!
Till next time. XOXO