The Microsoft Women Think Next event of 2012 was one of the most progressive Women’s conferences I’ve been to yet, most of all because of the appearance of Sara Clemens, General Manager of Strategy & Development, Entertainment & Devices. It wasn’t bizarre in the least to find Microsoft had improved their 3rd Women’s event this year in a vast way.
I noticed that many at my table had been in the industry for 20 years and up, and I was the only single women there. The topic of Work and Family, Work and Life-Balance, which is close to my heart was at the forefront and I really did connect with this, once again, much more than the long Technology session.
Microsoft definitely gave the feeling everything from Parking to Healthy Food and HealthyLiving was provided for.
Only a handful of people I recognized had been there last year, and I was surprised by this as it was the second time I had attended. This year, the age group of the women had matured, and this was a definite factor which assisted in making the ‘sharing session’ at the end of the conference more meaningful.
Dana Weiss – Channel 2 TV – Introduced the program and event, giving a talk about the challenges of women to take their rightful place in whatever it is they want to do. Whether you work in Technology or News the same principle applies – if you don’t say what you want you won’t get there.
Sara Clemens – General Manager of Strategy & Development, Entertainment & Devices – from New Zealand, was the first Microsoft speaker and told us that in 2008 she had traveled on work related assignments, 45 weeks of that year… her key points about Innovation were lost on me in relation to her personal story of growing up as a Women in New Zealand a very Egalitarian society where the top 5 places in Public Life is held by women. The model, being very different to Israeli life was fascinating but foreign to local women, despite them having served in the Military (a topic nobody mentioned at the conference).
Prof. Yoram Yovel – Psychoanalyst, Psychotherapist & Brain Researcher – The first male on-stage brought a startling fact to the fore regarding research relating to what women really want to do; I don’t want to spoil it in case you ever get to see his presentation which was really worth while – but as it would be, the Professor showed hard evidence that even though women think they want to take care of children as their number one priority, in actual effect, in real life, this priority is right down their, together with house-cleaning. This fact would probably shock mothers, but I am yet to know the guilt involved with child-rearing as I don’t have any. Another important topic he skillfully unfolded is that actually, Sex, and not Child-rearing or Husband was number one priority – However, I can’t help wonder it the reason for this is that the research was done by a man!
After the first section of comic entertainment I was ready for a break. Believe it or not I was hungry again. While the next speaker Keren Master (Senior Program Manager @ Microsoft Innovation Labs) was getting warmed up into her talk, I really started thinking of another warm drink and eventually found my way outside for some networking. Again I liked it that Keren’s lifestory was so interesting and would have preferred to hear more about that, directly from her. Yes she takes her work passion home with her and shows the kids what she does, but it was lost on me, not because I wasn’t interested, but because I envisage having a product in my hand to test out if it is really THAT sexy.
Just when I thought I was going to have sugar depletion due to there being no food or drink to be had, plates of lovely desserts appeared and I once again could breath and think at the same time, memories of last year, far behind….
The event was held at Q Events at Kibbutz Glil Yam.
About Mor Getz:
Mor Getz has been a Technical and Marketing Writer for more than 10 years. She believes in synthesizing traditional and new media skills to generate creative signature copy for companies worldwide, assisting companies to establish their Social Media Presence. Counselor and Mentor of Women in Business via PROWomen Meet. http://about.me/morgetz