The first Empowering Women in Industry event… being one of the first ones collaborating with you at the very beginning of this event was a great honor and also a very exciting moment for me. It always amazes me how well this event has grown and blossomed over the first years. The beginnings are always humble… looking for sponsors, creating content… I was very nervous that what if we don’t get enough people to attend, or what if … Again, so happy when I came to talk with my manager at the time about sponsorship – he said yes, just put it in your credit card and we will figure it out. It was an awesome moment. And there were many more to follow as we worked with the steering committee in building out different parts of this event: the speakers, industry awards, safety wear fashion show, headshots, motivational book, etc.
I also had an honor to be one of the keynote speakers at the big stage at the first event. It was another humbling, but also so amazing, and emotional moment for me. Getting goosebumps even when thinking about this now. Before that I only did professional presentations – talking about pumps and wastewater applications, and so on. But the Empowering Women presentation was different. That was about me and my journey, how I grew my confidence from an entry level engineer who wanted to blend in with the male colleagues, to the marketing executive I am now. Also I enjoyed the other speakers and their messages – change intelligence, growing your own brand, to name a few. It was memorable conference, first of a kind for me.
My journey is really the reason why I am very passionate about empowering women. My own example is to show how growing your confidence and finding your voice is really that makes a difference. Only after I had decided to overcome the stereotypes in the industry and show up as my authentic self, I was able to really grow my career and be successful as I always wanted to be. Fast forward to 2022 – happy to see that the event has grown to include more segments and many more speakers and participants. The steering committee has grown, and includes women from many different industries. When we started we were “women in pump industry”, which very fast grew into “women in industry”. And this is great! Being part of this community gives an opportunity to meet so many strong, smart, funny and just great women. I have learned so much. Also I always try to challenge myself to try something new – really enjoyed the fashion show where the models (volunteering attendees) can show safety wear designed and made for women. And one year I won the award for the Leadership in DE&I, which was another very humbling and emotional moment for me.
I am so thankful that I had an opportunity to be part of creating this event, contributing to it in many ways, and hopefully can continue to do so for many years to come. Thank you Charli and thank you Empowering Women in Industry!