Guest Editorial: Shining a Spotlight on Women in Communications

Enterprise Connect continues its commitment to fostering the careers of women in enterprise communications/IT with first-annual Spotlight Award, and more. In my five-plus years with Enterprise Connect, one of the most gratifying moments came late one afternoon after I’d co-moderated a couple of general panel discussions at the 2017 event.

As I walked down the conference hallway, a trio of attendees stopped me in my path to tell me how excited they were to have a woman up on stage in such a capacity.

Yes, they were women — longtime attendees and, it follows, seasoned enterprise IT professionals.

Needless to say, these women were used to having to fight to get their voices heard, let alone to find a place in the spotlight. I was happy to represent, even as I recognized that my career experiences as a woman in the publishing and event businesses were not at all comparable to theirs in IT. That’s to say, I’ve not encountered the sexism that has plagued these women and so many others in IT for years on end.

Beth Schultz is the editor of No Jitter and the program co-chair of Enterprise Connect.

Beth Schultz is the editor of No Jitter and the program co-chair of Enterprise Connect.

My taking the stage for the first time at EC had other consequences, too. Fast-forward to the run-up to EC 2018, and another attendee sought me out. She wanted to know if we had any women-specific events planned for the conference. It was the prodding we needed; we launched our first women’s reception at EC18, a small affair but one that served as the launchpad for bigger and better plans for EC19.

That first intimate gathering of a handful of women IT professionals led to a packed luncheon that drew 150 attendees for an opportunity to network with their peers and hear how speakers from Boeing, Brown University, and Yum! Brands established their places at the male-dominated IT table. Additionally, Cisco sponsored an evening women’s reception, as well as an EC Theater session discussing the challenges and opportunities of being a woman in communications.

Our commitment to foster the careers of women in the field of enterprise communications/IT has grown only stronger for this year’s event, taking place the week of March 30 in Orlando, Fla. Not only will we be offering opportunities for learning, exchanging ideas, and creating connections, this year we’ll be recognizing excellence among women in enterprise communications/IT.

Recognizing Career Excellence

I’m proud to announce the creation of the Enterprise Connect Spotlight Award for women who have exhibited leadership within enterprise communications/IT, promoting innovative ideas and sound strategies that move their businesses — and even industries — forward. Through their achievements, these women advance the profession; through their actions and leadership, they serve as role models for a new generation of women seeking to likewise excel.

So, the big question for readers is this: Who will you nominate? Yourself… somebody else? Anybody can submit a nomination (or two!). So, what women do you know deserving of the spotlight for the accomplishments they’ve achieved in their careers as technologists or technology leaders in the enterprise?

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to submit your nominations for the 2020 Spotlight Award. The deadline to submit your entries is Friday, Feb. 14; click for more details and a nomination form, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions about the Spotlight Award.

We’ll evaluate nominations and honor award recipients on the EC20 keynote stage. In addition, honorees will receive a plaque, an invitation to participate in program sessions, a complimentary Entire Event admission to the event, and a three-night stay at an EC-affiliated hotel.

Learning & Networking

As mentioned above, EC20 will also once again provide opportunities for learning, exchanging ideas, and creating connections. The Women in Communications programming will take shape in two formal ways this year:

  • Town Hall — On Monday, March 30, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., hear from a panel of women in IT/enterprise communications and collaboration and participate in an open forum on issues at the heart of careers in this field. What’s going right? What still needs to be done? How can everybody make a difference?
  • Networking Reception — Immediately following the Town Hall, join us in a celebration of women in enterprise communications. This networking reception will take from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.; come mingle and enjoy some cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.

Mark your calendars and line up those Spotlight Award nominations. We hope you’ll be joining us in Orlando! (And, note, if you haven’t registered yet, do so soon receive the best pricing. And, use the code FINCOL to save an additional $200 off this rate.)

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