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Women's Leadership Forum

"What's the best thing about NIWeek?" "3000 people at one event and no line for the ladies room". I see there is a "Women's Leadership Forum" this year. NI continues to not show any true leadership in promoting diversity. Tacking on a forum at the end of the program when everyone is already out the door or hoping to be out the door, charging an extra $250 plus the cost of staying an extra day, forcing us to try to justify to our bosses why they should shell out even more money. It's like all things being a woman - you have to pay more.

Last year there was a table at the expo for some organization promoting girls in stem or something. Every time I walked by the table there was no one working at it. CLD, CLA,CTD,CTA I've had all of those certifications. They hand out shirts when you certify. As long as you are a man you might get a shirt that fits. How about only having women's shirts available for certified professionals. I'm sure in this day and age men won't mind wearing a shirt available only in women's sizes.

Time for NI to step up and truly encourage more diversity.

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Message 1 of 7
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I'm not defending one way or the other, but NI is catering to the majority when it comes to what they offer.  You already mentioned that a large majority of those at the conference are men, so it would only make sense that if NI only offered shirts for one gender, that they would offer it to the larger majority.  Clearly NI should offer in both sizes.

 

I don't agree with your comment about tacking it on to the end after people have left.  I leave on Friday and I know a decent amount of people do as well.  Historically some closed door sessions take place on Thursday, and people really relax and unwind more, after they know they don't have any more presentations to give.

 

I predict NI Week attendance will be down this year for several reasons, and having an additional barrier to entry of $250 is only going to drive attendance down more.  I highly encourage anyone that does attend to inform NI about their experience.  Clearly they are trying something new and aren't sure how it will be received. 

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Message 2 of 7
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The Women’s Leadership Forum (multi-day agenda shown below) is a new event for us and it seems like there may be confusion. The cost is included with your NIWeek registration. For those interested in only attending the forum (and not NIWeek), the cost is $250. Thanks for the feedback about shirt sizes as well. We’ll pass that along!

 

Women’s Leadership Forum Agenda (Room 10A/B, Level 3):
Thursday, May 25
8:00 am − 9:00 am Breakfast served in Exhibit Hall #1
9:15 am − 10:15 am Women's Forum keynotes
10:30 am − 11:30 am Round table discussions
11:45 am − 2:00 pm Lunch presentations

 

If you are attending NIWeek, there will be additional opportunities to network and a happy hour to celebrate our collective achievements:
Monday, May 22
3:30 pm − 5:30 pm Welcome and introductions (Room 7, Level 3)


Wednesday, May 24
4:30 pm − 6:00 pm Women’s Forum Happy Hour Location: Carmelo's, Austin

 

 

Message 3 of 7
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Hoovah, the shirt thing is an annoyance to me, but I certainly don't lose sleep over it. I have been asking for ladies shirt sizes for 10 years from the days of the "Boy Scout shirts" (told by an NI person that that is what they called them). Those shirts started in size medium and you could easily fit 2 of me in them. So the shirt became more of a slap in the face. "You don't look like us so too bad. If you look like us you can meet a customer in one of our shirts, showing your affiliation to us, if not you are on your own. We really don't care that you passed our tests." If it was the first time I brought it up I wouldn't consider it an issue but I think I have brought it up at least 10 times over the last 10 years.

 

This year things seemed scaled back (last year they seemed that way too). There is no keynote on Thursday. My experience is the last day the sessions are very limited.

The women's Leadership Forum runs until 2 on Thursday. Which means you would have to schedule a flight out in the evening. If you are flying east that limits your options and may push you into Friday which for some of us is hard to justify - another night in a hotel, meals, lost time at work. Why not schedule the sessions in Tuesday between the keynote and the afternoon sessions. The forced expo time. Considering women are small in numbers anyway the missing numbers from the forced expo time for those few hours wouldn't have much of an impact. This wouldn't conflict with any technical sessions and there are plenty of other times to view the expo.

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Message 4 of 7
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Jeannie, on the main page it shows "women's Leadership Forum - $250". Nowhere does it say it is included in the regular price. All it says, is to go to the registration page and select it as an add on. While you have clarified it here, for anyone not reading the message Forum (which is probably a majority), that message won't get conveyed. Certainly if you didn't just tell me that, if I only saw the main niweek page, my reaction would be exactly what it was - I'm not paying (or asking my boss to pay) an extra $250 for this.

if there is a way to clarify it on the main page - I think it is worth you guys doing a little editing.

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Message 5 of 7
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@TrueDiversity wrote:

 

This year things seemed scaled back (last year they seemed that way too). There is no keynote on Thursday. 


Yes I've noticed the scaling back the last couple of years.  This year I at least see a conference party.  No keynote Thursday is a bit surprising too.

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Message 6 of 7
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Good point - we'll get that fixed on ni.com/niweek

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