What I Learned at the 6th (and My First) Women in Electronics Annual Conference

This week, I attended my first Women in Electronics conference in sunny (and humid) San Diego, California. I heard the stories of the event and the anticipation to be there in person was exciting. Although it was my first time attending, I can say with absolute certainty it will not be my last.

The tagline for the conference is of key importance to my takeaways: Listen. Learn. Lead. To me, this meant I was not merely there to listen and learn from these incredible people, but also, to take that knowledge into what I do daily and in the future to be a better leader. 

Here are my 3 key takeaways from the Women in Electronics Annual Conference and the value it has added to my personal and professional development: 

1) The next step should be on your mind

  • Amy Keller took us through the Golden Ticket Framework (Willy Wonka anyone?) It is important that we as individuals find our golden ticket that identifies what is our next step. You can use this framework to think about why you do what you do, and define your motivating factor to move forward. For me, my golden ticket is seeing a small business grow with the support of our team and the technology we create. What’s your Golden Ticket? 
  • It’s okay to move backward in order to go forward. Looking back on ancient times allows us to analyze historical characters for the wisdom to help us take the next step.  

2) Professional and personal confidence is key

  • You own your own career. Advocates are critical for your professional and personal growth and it is important to have individuals in your life to tell you what you don’t want to hear. But as Allison Sabia said, “If not you, then who?”
  • The importance of confidence is derived from how you feel and that can come from how you look. This was an interesting session from Tara Hooper on why you should identify your personal brand and create a confident professional identity. Hint: don’t be afraid of color! 

3) A shift in mindset can add value to your business and team

  • In professional and personal life, self awareness is critical. Looking into your core beliefs to identify what is serving you and what isn’t can help you make better decisions. Cassandra Rambo had one of the most influential workshops to help individuals look inwards.
  • Genein Letford explained her definition of Intercultural Creativity, the combination of cultural competence and creative thinking, and how this affects teams and businesses. There is an importance we should put as business leaders on changing our mindset that allows for more inclusion. “If you have no strategy for inclusion, you have no strategy for innovation.” 
  • We have a lot of work to do when we look at the importance of women in leadership. There is statistical evidence that adding women to the C-suite increases business profitability. Changing business mindset and closing the gender gap could increase GDP by an average of 35%, shared by Yageo CEO Advisor, Bill Lowe

I give all credit to the amazing women of Women in Electronics, especially to the speakers! Connecting with the women in the electronics industry was invaluable, and I’m excited to continue to meet leaders in the industry in the upcoming months at SMTAI, Electronica, and APEX Expo 2023. 

by Kaitlyn Dotson, CalcuQuote COO

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