SO lets see… (searching in my memory)
When I sometimes (still) get to talk about my motivation to spend quite a lot of my free time on volunteering I always start with: I’ve been volunteering since I started University. I’ve been involved in different communities since 2007, for more than 11 YEARS!
When I get asked WHY?… Honestly, nowadays, it is simply because: this is what I know to do! In my free time, I am used to. going to organizer meetings, be volunteer responsible at a conference, take care of conference registration, make sure speakers are introduced or evolve partnerships and bring in sponsors and most important mentor/motivate/empower people… (these are the usual, these days).
However, I want to take this opportunity and present my volunteering CV (which I was postponing for years to do) and ALL the trainings and skills I gathered in 11 years. These are points, which in my CV, land under hobbies or I mention only maybe 25% of them as social skills. Why? Because a CV should not be longer than 1-2 pages, maximum 3! Also because, too little, HR people looking for developers/engineers are interested that you live a double life. Usually this is mentioned, by me, in face to face interviews when required. Do you have better suggestions?
My volunteering CV (about my second life) 😉
2012 Nov. – present days – member of GDG Vienna
- My biggest achievement in GDG Vienna is creating the Women Techmakers Vienna community. This is the 6th year since it exists and a lot of people appreciate us and like what we stand for:
Equality & diversity in STEM regardless of gender. Community builder, people empowering and networking are key skills that helped me achieve this together with like-minded people I met through GDG (locally and globally).
- I was organizer of DACH level tech conference DACHfest.
- I was 6 times organizers of DevFest Vienna.
- And I organized numerous meetups and delivered tech and social content.
2011 Oct. – 2014 May – member of BEST Vienna
- Vienna Summer Course 2011 project – I was main organizer of one of the biggest projects which bring, yearly, to Vienna, around 20-25 European students from other different technical universities to share culture and knowledge. I was leading a team of 6 people making sure the event happens on time and in the budget and that team members, participants and professors are happy (all stakeholders).
- Board member – HR responsible – board membership is a year long engagement. Along with 6 other dedicated persons on dedicates roles, we devised and executed the strategic plan meant to create and leave a local sustainable organization while leading by the European level vision: “Empowered diversity“. My responsibility was recruiting, motivating and empowering community members.
- I was involved in numerous other local projects over the years and towards the end I was more in a mentor role. Now I am proud BEST Vienna ALUMNA.
2007 Oct. – 2011 June – member of AIESEC Cluj-Napoca
- IT Challenge project – while in AIESEC I was a participant and main organizer of IT Challenge. The project was bringing technical students closer to tech companies who offered case-studies to be solved by participants. At the 3rd edition of the project I was leading my own team of 5 people and making sure we are reaching our goals. I learned project management, team leading and about motivating volunteering student. It also brought me my first tech internship at NOKIA R&D in Cluj-Napoca.
- I was also an aspiring trainer and “graduated” while delivering content at the biggest Romanian intercultural preparation seminar conference, which had over 400 participants (if I remember correct, were probably even more..)
- On my road of becoming a ‘change agent‘ I took part in a AIESEC internship done at the Technical University of Graz, Austria. Which changed my life!
- Now I am proud ALUMNA of AIESEC Cluj-Napoca
In the next post I will mention the numerous trainings and content I had the opportunity to be exposed to due to these volunteering opportunities.
The second edition of Women Techmakers Vienna took place on the 7th March 2015. For this one day event me and my team worked voluntarily 4 months. Rather short organizing time and still the event was a full success! This was due to our driving motivation and commitment to the topic. Read more about the composing team on our website.
The success of the event was due to a combination of different factors. Fist of all was probably the motivation of the team, the wonderful venue at the Microsoft Vienna Office and the interest in the topic of the event which came from the community and the participants.
The agenda of the day was split in 3 tracks: talks, adult workshop and kids workshops.
We tried to invite speakers from each STEM field. The only one we didn’t manage to find was someone with Mathematical background. Instead of this talked we decided to go for a social aspect talk which was the first one opening the conference. We also looked to keep the talks rather technical but combined with personal experiences. The final Panel Discussion was intended for more sharing and QA session with our speakers. The Discussion Panel session exceeded my personal expectations because we managed to create a comfort place where our participants also started to share, ask questions and add advice. It left me personally with an inner satisfaction about the community in Vienna which is interested in gender issues. A lot of positive energy was transferred and exchanged at the conference day.
Some statements from our participants:
- “my kids loved the children workshop!!!”
- “Was a great event, much more than I expected, will definitely like to be part of the next event.”
- “it was a very nice event to network”
- “great job! I had a great time, met wonderful people, and there was a lot of food for thought. I am looking forward to WTM 2016!”
For this event we decided to try something new: offer workshops for children. I met Horst Jens a while ago and he offers programming courses for children. He teaches kids how to program through games. Read more on his website spielend-programmieren.at. We had a round 17 kids at the morning and afternoon workshops and a lot of positive feedback.
At the main event we had 78 people attending. We were trying hard to attract a 50%-50% gender balance. Talking to the participants we understood that the name of the event had a lot to do with the higher number of females attending. There was a bias from the beginning such that people thought the event was female only. The goals we set out to reach, from the gender perspective were:
- 100% female speakers
- 50%-50% gender balanced participants
- at least some girls in the children workshops
You can read more about our Vision, Mission and Values we created for our event on the dedicated Women Techmakers Page on my website.
WTMVIE in the Press:
About Women Techmakers
Women Techmakers Vienna is part of an international event series initiated by Google whose goal is to make women in tech more visible and to help build a better understanding community. (read more on www.womentechmakers.com) The consequences of gender discrimination in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers are often overlooked, despite them affecting men and women equally. Gender differences very often lay at the core of gender issues in STEM, and so it is important that these differences are understood and embraced by both genders so that we can achieve equality. Right now gender discrimination is a topic mostly consumed by women and discussed most of the time only between women, thus we would like to shift this conversation so that men are also included. Through this we will be able to create the right environment, programs and policies where women in technology can thrive. Fully committed to the cause and in conjunction with International Women’s Day (8th of March) each year, Women Techmakers event series is back in Vienna to address such topics, and moreover, offer presentations and technical workshops from renowned people in STEM.
Women Techmakers Vienna
The first event Women Techmakers Vienna (www.womentechmakers.at) was successfully held in March 2014. Each year, since then, we have one big conference in March where our growing community is meeting.
The content consist of presentations from role models in STEM and technical workshops. We aim to have a diverse participant profile in terms of gender, age and background knowledge.
WTMVIE would also like to act as an intermediate, presenting actively engaged Viennese communities focused on empowering women in STEM. Their events, workshops or other similar gatherings will be gladly promoted on our channels. The WTMVIE community can make use of it to improve their overall knowledge in one of the STEM fields.
Vision”Equality & diversity in STEM regardless of gender”
“Raise awareness of gender equality & diversity issues in STEM through the power of example. We create an open environment where challenges can be understood and means to overcome them will be provided.”
- Embrace differences
- Sharing & Supporting
Online community followers covering main social media channels
Interesting blog posts