Reflections From the 2019 PBWC Conference
Last month, the Professional BusinessWomen of California (PBWC) brought together more than 7,000 women in and around the Bay Area for its 30th annual conference in San Francisco, where more than a dozen of us at Delphix had a chance to attend.
Hear our top 6 takeaways from this year’s conference.
Stand Out for Success
This was my first time going to PBWC, and I really enjoyed hearing from a variety of female leaders beyond the tech industry. I was most inspired by the speakers who shared their stories of how they overcame fear (of being the only female in the room at times) and persisting through the various challenges they encountered at every level of their career. But what I found to be the key to many of their success stories had to do with promoting themselves to the right people, at the right time. Even though it can feel unnatural at times, self-promotion is all about strategically letting managers and team members know about your ongoing efforts and successes, which ultimately helps you gain more visibility and demonstrate your leadership.
Lindsey Nguyen, engineer, Development Engineering
Disagreement ≠ Unkindness
I’ve attended the PBWC conference for the last 20 years, and this year Amy Gallo’s session on how to navigate conflict at work was one of many that stood out. One of the most interesting stats she shared was that people spend an average of 2.8 hours a week dealing with conflicts, which in turn is $356 billion in lost hours! For a manager, it’s even more. Oftentimes, people perceive conflict as negative or bad, but it actually disagreement at its core. Amy argues that disagreement leads to more diverse viewpoints. From a manager’s perspective, we should consider disagreements as a normal, productive, and healthy part of human interactions, and if we’re able to handle disagreements with compassion, empathy, and kindness, it can have a lot of positive benefits.
Manju Abraham, senior director, QA & Engineering Ops
Increase Positivity & Productivity
Spread love at work through GIFT (generosity, initiative, forward momentum, and transparency). First, generosity is about sharing time, information, resources, and working collectively to be better together. Next, take initiative — many , if not all, will greatly appreciate it when you’re able to take charge and lead the pack. Third, always think about what’s next. When a milestone is achieved, immediately start planning for the next step and create that forward momentum. Last but not least, transparency. When a problem arises, flag it quickly and use that opportunity to build trust with your manager and team.
Nupur Agrawal, engineer, QA & Engineering Ops
Becoming Fearless Over Fifty
Oftentimes, it feels older women in the workforce continue to face obstacles and constant pushback even through perseverance. As the office linebacker at Delphix, I found the KPMG panel discussion that focused on professional success was most surprising and intriguing. I learned only 8 percent of women who believe that being a risk taker was a contributing factor to their accomplishments when in reality, it was those women who took a “leap of faith” that proved most triumphant. The takeaway is go ahead and jump!
Judy Czeropski Homen, facilities operations manager, Human Resources
Have the Courage to Succeed No Matter What
PBWC was an eye opener! Just seeing more than 7,000 women in one arena was powerful. I was most impressed by Chetna Gala Sinha, the founder and chairperson of Mann Deshi Bank & Mann Deshi Foundation in India. Her entrepreneurial spirit and passion for helping other women has had such a huge impact on so many women in India. My biggest takeaway was the importance of zeal and persistence can get you a long way in life. With all of life’s blessings, the women who are Unstoppable today are those who put their best foot forward despite the odds.
Indira Jambulingam, technical writer, Customer Education & Experience
Be Unstoppable Together
PBWC 2019 was an incredible experience for me. Many of the speakers described their tough upbringing and experiences, but despite that they built up the resilience and inner strength to overcome those obstacles and make their dreams come true. But what’s more impressive is their willingness to empower other women to do the same. I wanted to thank all the women whose courage and persistence has paved the way for young females, like myself, to push past our comfort zone and live out our full potential.
Zhiyun Zhang, training coordinator, Customer Education & Experience
At Delphix, we believe our greatest work and most rewarding experiences come from teams of people with diverse perspectives and backgrounds. Learn more about our commitment to diversity & inclusion and how it ties into our company's core values.