WWT, along with partners (Pure Storage, Dell, Cisco, VMware and Netskope), hosted our first "Grit with Grace" event for executive-level, female customers. The goal was to bring together female leaders in our male dominated tech industry to huddle. Women in our tech community rarely have the opportunity to build relationships with other female leaders because there are so few.

World Wide Technology has an employee resource group called LEAD (Learn from each other, Empower those around us, and Amplify voices to Drive opportunities for women) that fosters an inclusive and engaging environment focused on the growth and development of WWT women employees. This program inspired our WWT women to bring this conversation externally to our customers and partners. When looking at the customer events WWT has hosted, we realized that women attendance was at an all-time low. So our women huddled together and Grit With Grace was born. We approached this event as a new way to engage those female leaders to build deeper relationships with them and secure a strong "community" bond of women helping other women within our network. The focus was on collaboration, empowerment and strength.

Shay Gillespie, WWT's very own dynamic diversity leader, emceed the event. The event was kicked off by going through the WWT "WISH" exercise. Each table participated in a roundtable discussion and shared their 3 wishes:

It was a powerful moment hearing the wishes of our employees, customers and partners. A couple of examples:

  • The importance of mentorship and bringing the younger generations into the conversation.
  • Recognizing our own strengths and abilities.
  • Being unapologetic for our success.

Following our WISH exercise, we were honored to have Brooke Baldwin, former CNN news anchor and author of "Huddle: How Women Unlock Their Collective Power," deliver her message around the power of women coming together.

It was a powerful story telling session that showed vulnerability and courage. Brooke spoke about her experience working in a male dominated industry and her lack of a huddle during that time. She shared how important it is to huddle and to huddle with women that don't look like you. 

Ann Marr, WWT Executive VP of Human Resources, joined the fireside chat with Brooke and Shay afterwards. A question-and-answer session took place with many engaging conversations around grit and determination. Brooke graciously spent time with each customer individually chatting and personalizing a message in her book as a gift. The energy in the room was overwhelming! 

WWT, partners and customers left feeling inspired and energized from the engaging conversations and the ability to connect with other women in the industry. We are committed to empowering women in the technology industry and look forward to the continued conversation around the impact and power of women coming together. Be on the lookout for the next Grit With Grace event as we continue the expansion of our "huddle."