Eve’s Powerpoint summary of the women’s conference.

  To say that we are PowerPoint Monkeys (PPM) here at Microsoft Worldwide Enterprise Services & Support would be an understatement. To one of my pleas to the recruiting committee on news and articles they want to share with the rest of the world - This was Eve's entry summarizing the Women's conference held at Redmond. Yea - shez a PPM too!

Ø       5,000 participants (mostly women J yes! There were some few brave men)

Ø       3 days: Jan.10-12

Ø       Focus on Inspiration, Professional Development, The Whole You and Leadership

Ø       Lots of cool speakers: external (Denise Harrington, Patricia Fripp) and internal (Mich Matthews, Lori Brownell, Kathleen Hogan and Jeff Rakes)

Ø       Some key takeaways:

o        Use your natural strengths to your benefit (relationship building, collaboration, ability to communicate)

o        Be competitive but don’t compete with other women – instead depend on a network of women

o        Stop being “behind the curtain” – Be present and take a bold role

o        Dress for success

o        The road to success in leadership is not always a ladder (male paradigm) but a spiral (centered, builds momentum)

o        Characteristics of powerful females

§         Teacher / Coach

§         Mentor

§         Collaborative / Team Player

§         Intuitive / Vulnerable

§         Passionate


Comments (14)
  1. lexp says:

    total discrimination against men!

  2. user says:

    > Be competitive but don’t compete with other women – instead depend on a network of women

    >Use your natural strengths to your benefit (relationship building, collaboration, ability to communicate)

    If men declared something like this: "use your natural benefit – muscular power, precise logic and clear mind. Don’t compete with women – instead depend on a network of men" – every "women" "organization" will cry like a child: "DISRIMINATION!". If women are openly discriminating men, this is "normal".

    Hey, if we go further, maybe there is a strong need for "gays" and "lesbians" organizations like this one – "use your natural strength – anal coitus".

    TOTAL CRAP! If women can not fairly compete with men – they try to use discrimination that leads to very unprofessional work like this one:


  3. Eve says:

    To lexp:

    Well, it depends how you look at it really. Women still get paid less and climb up the corporate ladder slower than men, even in developed areas like the US and Western Europe.

    We have to provide them with skills and support and groom them as the next set of leaders at Microsoft.

  4. Eve says:

    To "user"

    I find your comments inappropriate. I think you misunderstood the whole concept.

    Collaboration and communication are things that come more naturally to women (according to one of the speakers). Therefore, she suggested that women should use them. These are well-sought skills that can balance out an agressive work environment.

  5. Beverly Ostrowiecki says:

    The conference celebrated diversity–in gender, color, ethnicity, and work style. Many of the sessions focussed on raising awareness of differences among people–mostly work style differences. Through increased awareness, individual can play to their strenghts, play off differences in a positive way, and cope better when heads butte.

    That the conference had a women’s perspective is appropriate because because female representation in corporations, technical fields, business schools has room for improvement. Ongoing socialization and reinforcement to women for female participation in all aspects of work and society can only strengthen cultures and organizations.

  6. user says:

    To Beverly Ostrowiecki:

    > The conference celebrated diversity

    What is a surplus value of diversity? "Show me the money"! (c)

    Let’s see statistics: women _statistically_ are physical weeker than men. This IS a fact. Women _statistically_ have more problems with precise logic than men. This IS a fact (just see the number of female scientists). If you try to change the things, you will end up with female preferences agains men -> overall performance (and surplus value) will be lower than in "gender-blind" case.

    If you segregate society and try to treat various parts in different ways, giving preferences to one group and ignoring another -> you WILL get problems.

    The only possible solution is to be "gender-blind" and don’t "celebrate" any diversity. I am white man (WASP if you will), I have friends of different race and gender, but I hate this "celebrations". If you can’t compete -> retire. If you don’t want to retire and still can’t compete -> it’s your own problems, I don’t care.

    I want to emphasize the total crap that has it’s roots in diversity "celebrations":


    > summary: most of the talk about being woman, personal experiences, etc and very little talk on topic: mobility – the business area of division, of which she is a VP

    > she makes impression of "career woman" who doesn’t particularly care in which division (area of business) she works, as long as it means high job position = no passion for mobility in particular, but just passion for career.

    This is obvious consequences of preferred treatment and "diversity celebrations".

  7. user says:

    To Eve:

    > Women still get paid less and climb up the corporate ladder slower than men, even in developed areas like the US and Western Europe.

    Maybe this has it’s roots in the fact that not groups of people are equal? Females qre not equals to males. ALL IS DIFFERENT. The role is different, the body is different, the mind is different. This _IS_ the fact.

    Look at pages:



    Did you notice that pages are completely different? Did you ever notice that males behave in different way than females? Did you ever notices that males are never pregnant? Did you ever noticed that males have COMPLETELY different mindset than females?

    Yes. You did.

    And you are talking about corporate ladder. The difference is MUCH, MUCH bigger than just a corporate ladder. And if differences are much bigger, why I have to be surprised that women climb corporate ladder in DIFFERENT way?

    For example. You have PocketPC. You have desktop. Desktop is more powerful than PocketPC. But PocketPC is more mobile. Can we compare them? NO! Roles of them is different. We can compare roles, not just numbers of CPU power! Do we need desktops? Sure. Do we need PocketPC? Of course. Is PocketPC better than Desktop or Desktop is better than PocketPC? This incorrect question, this depends on what are you doing.

    Just an analogy. The world is not just "numbers".

  8. Bob Keller says:

    I am a married middle-aged white American male.

    I grew up in Kansas.

    I served in the U.S. Army as a Tank Platoon Leader. The Armor branch of the U.S. Army is one of the last places in the U.S. military still male-only. I also served as a Company Commander in a Basic Training unit in both pure Infantry brigades and non-combat brigades (read mixed-gender). I was one of the lucky Company Commanders that got to integrate males and females into the first mixed-gender units.

    I have been at Microsoft for 8 years, and now work on one of the most diverse teams at one of the most diverse companies around.

    I honestly think you will never “get” diversity until you live it.

    Diversity is not a state of mind. It’s not static. It’s a dynamic condition that goes through phases. Everyone in a diverse organization has to learn each others’ strengths and learn to leverage across the organization.

    Part of this dynamic includes an inequity phase. Inequity based on race, age, origin, status, wealth, you name it. This phase can last centuries, decades, years, or months.

    If an organization doesn’t let those that truly are unequal, or think that they, stand up and raise themselves to a level of equity, real or perceived, then diversity will not be acheived and the differences that bring value to an organization/culture could be seriously marginalized or discounted.

    Over the course of several years I got to work with 16 hardened drill sergeants used to working with 250 eighteen year old males suddenly have to work with and mold 100 eighteen year old females during basic training. This was the most amazing dynamic to watch and be involved with. Males and females don’t work the same. Not mentally or physically. And the Army had to realize this and instead of trying to make soldiers into 100% the same and working with them 100% the same – embrace the differences and make everyone better for it. And ultimately it worked.

    Different cultures don’t think or work the same. Different races don’t think or work the same. Different classes don’t think or work the same. This is not something that should be “fixed”. It should be celebrated and leveraged. I saw a piece on TV a few nights ago talking about recent research/book on the intelligence of groups. Group decisions will beat individual decisions on average. Groups = diversity.

    Eve and Beverly are right to try to raise the level of equity of women in the work place. And if white American male wants to do the same we too have the right – no one is stopping us. Some have the perception we’d be stopped, but I’ve yet to see someone try and BE stopped.

    Do women serve in tanks yet? No. Primary reason is physical. The U.S. tanks like the M1A2 still use a human loader for the main 120mm gun (think really big bullet). Average female cannot throw that 120mm round into the chamber as fast as a male can. Does this mean they are inferior? No! There’s a former Apache helicopter pilot across the hall from me. I think she’d argue that point of inferiority pretty well. Does it mean we won’t switch to an autoloader someday and let women in tanks? Maybe – who knows when? I’d be all for it – although the tradition would be lost and we love tradition in the Army. But the way they think and that diversity would outweigh any weakness they would bring.

    If you’ve been married for over 5 years, a great and entertaining example that both lifts the white male up while demonstrating the need for diversity is http://www.cavemania.com/. I highly recommend it.

    So I’ll finish this mega-post with one final thought. Achieving equity enables diversity. And diversity is about leverage differences once equity is established (or even before). Until that "hits" you – you will always fear it, fight it, or misunderstand it. I used to, but I had to experience it first hand and "see the money".

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