By Sacha Robehmed
Berlin’s tech ladies turned up en masse yesterday at Google for the Berlin Geekettes July meetup, sponsored by Crowdpark.
With close to 100 ladies and a few men in the audience, an introduction by Jess Erickson started off the evening. She described how Berlin Geekettes has taken shape since its formation just months ago, and outlined future plans. Next, the audience heard from Lisa Lang, Head of Content for Campus Party Europe. Lisa encouraged the ladies attending yesterday’s event to get involved in the 10,000-strong tech conference, happening in Berlin this August. There will be a Berlin Geekettes women in tech panel at Campus Party Europe, and you can win tickets to the conference. Then, following the recent Rails Girls Berlin workshop, organisers Jocelyn Afful and Dajana Günther talked about their plans for further Ruby on Rails learning opportunities for Berlin’s women.
Having shared information about upcoming events for Berlin’s tech women, it was time to hear from inspirational founders.Caitlin Winner, cofounder and Chief Product Officer of Berlin startup Amen, shared insights about what she has learnt cofounding a startup - because of course, “Experience is the Best Teacher Ever.” Caitlin had everyone enrapt with her tales of weird online communities, press doesn’t equal success, a company is more like a sports team than a family, and that having a celebrity investor is fun.
Caitlin Winner’s decision to share general and not gender specific advice contrasted with Zoe Adamovicz’s talk. The CEO of Xyologic first described her background as one of very few women at Warsaw’s Technical University, standing out from her male peers. Zoe then shared her view that being a woman in tech actually allows you some advantages. With Alice in Wonderland references, she encouraged the audience to become Queens of their own worlds, and use their femininity to help them run a successful business. The questions that subsequently followed Zoe’s talk sparked heated debate on whether women in tech should be given preferential treatment during the hiring process.
These discussions carried on into the networking event. Sipping drinks and munching on snacks, it was a great opportunity to meet new Geekettes, and catch up with old.
Thanks to everyone who came along and made it Berlin Geekettes @Google such a successful evening. See you at the next meetup!
Also, our thanks go to sponsors Google and Crowdpark for helping host the event.
For more coverage on the event check out Silicon Allee.