Tag Archives: Silicon Valley

Word of Mouth, Social Media Expand Silicon Valley Networking with a Purpose

Networking with a Purpose

A professional development collaboration among Cisco, Citrix, eBay, EMC, Ericsson, Intel, Oracle, and other Silicon Valley technology companies using the IEEE model of “Birds of A Feather” discussion topics was introduced in a previous blog post.


Anna Van Rijswijk, formerly of Cisco, developed this program based on survey data indicating that unstructured professional networking can feel awkward, stressful, and uncomfortable to many potential and actual participants.

Anna Van Rijswijk

Anna Van Rijswijk

Networking with a Purpose format provides structure and focus found in Speed Networking, Tom Jaffee’s business-focused adaptation of Rabbi Yaacov Deyo’s Speed Dating to enable members of his congregation to meet potential life partners. Yaacov Deyo

A Columbia alumnus, Jaffee noted that “at business functions, people often find themselves spending too much time with a small group rather than establishing multiple contacts throughout the function.”

Tom Jaffee

Tom Jaffee

To provide a solution, he built a company that offers events to increase chances that participants will make valuable business connections, much like the no-cost, self-organizing alternative, Networking with a Purpose.

Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM) and social media mentions on Networking with a Purpose LinkedIn Group, Twitter (#SVBOF), and Facebook dramatically increased demand for registration at Silicon Valley Networking with a Purpose in-person events, and no-cost tickets typically “sell out” within minutes of posting the event invitation. WOMMA

The fifth Networking with a Purpose event is scheduled for Wednesday 20 November 2013 at eBay in San Jose, California, with popular discussion topics including:

  • Enhancing Personal Brand
  • Communicating Upward
  • Career Planning and Accountability
  • Design Thinking
  • Sketchnoting and Graphic Facilitation
  • Think Big, Play Big
  • Work Life Integration
  • Salary Negotiation
  • Office Feng Shui
  • iPhoneography

Silicon AlleyOrganizers have received strong post-event ratings from participants and have been contacted by colleagues in Silicon Alley – New York City – who wish to replicate this approach to professional networking.

-*How do you expand, cultivate and contribute to your professional network?Networking with a Purpose Best Kept Secret

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©Kathryn Welds


Equal Pay Act’s Fiftieth Anniversary: Progress but no Parity

Equal Pay Act 1963

Equal Pay Act 1963

When U.S. President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act in 1963, women earned 59 cents for every $1 earned by a man.

Today women are up to 77 cents on the dollar, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Chair Jacqueline Berrien.
She noted that the wage discrepancy is even larger for African American women and Latinas.

Jacqueline Berrien

Jacqueline Berrien

Women MBAs graduating from top U.S. business schools in 2012 fared slightly better than the national average, with 2012 Stanford alumnae earning just 79 cents for every $1 earned by a male grads, according to Bloomberg Businessweek’s annual surveys of 24,716 recent MBA graduates from each year’s top 30 U.S. business schools since 2002.
Given the substantial investment of time, money, and effort in obtaining these advanced degrees, women graduates may question this Return on Investment (ROI).

Women from the MBA classes of 2012 averaged 7.3 percent less than their male counterparts with average salaries of $105,059.
This wage disparity is more than triple the 2.2 percent gap women MBAs experienced in 2012 on average earnings of $83,404.

The survey considered pay differences by industries and found women lagged behind men in pay in eight of 11 sectors in 2012, including accounting, finance, marketing, and operations.
The gap has increased across industries since 2002, even in non-finance fields like information technology and entrepreneurship.

The largest pay differential was in highly-compensated financial fields like venture capital and private equity field, where women earned only 82.5¢ for every dollar men made — about 10 ¢ less on the dollar than in 2002.
In contrast, consulting offered the closest pay parity in 2012, with women earning 99¢ for every dollar of male classmates’ salaries.

Women earned more than men in three industries: human resources, non-profits, and investment banking.
The first two industries tend to attract more women and be lower-paid than other fields.

EEOCBerrien, of the EEOC, opined that with the current backsliding in parity progress, the gender pay gap is predicted to close in another 44 years, in 2057 — provided that there is no further deterioration of pay equity advancement.

CB Insights reported that in California from January-June 2010:CI Insights Founder Gender - 2010

  • 89 percent of series A and seed-funded companies had all male founders, compared with only 8 percent that had founders of both genders, and just 3 percent of businesses with all female founders
  • 82 percent of company founders were white, compared to 18 percent that were Asian or Pacific Islander

Equal Pay DayThe 2013 Silicon Valley Index, compiled by economic think tank Joint Venture Silicon Valley found significant income disparities by race in addition to gender from 2009-2011:

  • African-American residents’ income dropped 18%, compared to a 4% decrease across the U.S.
  • Hispanic resident’ income decreased 5%, similar to the rest of California
Catherine Bracy

Catherine Bracy

Catherine Bracy observed that the average woman in Silicon Valley, California’s “economic powerhouse”, earns 49 cents for every dollar men make in Silicon Valley, when averaging incomes of African American and Hispanic women residents.

NerdWallet analyzed data from the U.S. Census for 366 metro areas to determine the lowest pay gaps for women in small, medium, and large cities, and concluded that on balance, Silicon Valley was one of the “best places for women to work.”

Wage discrepancy in one of the U.S.’s most economically viable areas, whether around the national average or well below, demonstrates that 50 years after the Equal Pay Act, the average female worker in the U.S. is far from earning an equal wage.

Happy Anniversary, Equal Pay Act of 1963, and Many Happy Returns of the day for at least 44 years, until women’s pay may be equal across industries and geographies.


Twitter:    @kathrynwelds
Blog: – Kathryn Welds | Curated Research and Commentary    
LinkedIn Open Group Psychology in Human Resources (Organisational Psychology)
Facebook Notes:

©Kathryn Welds

“Birds of a Feather” brings together Silicon Valley women for Network Development

CiscoWomen of Cisco, Citrix, EMC, Intel come together on Thursday  17 January 2013 at Cisco Systems in San Jose, California, for the first of three “unconferences” to build professional relationships across technology companies. Citrix

EMCEach firm has an Employee Resource Group (ERG) focusing on career development and advancement for women in technical and non-technical roles, and each recognizes the value of building cross-organizational business networks and relationships.IntelWomen of Cisco-Citrix-EMC-Intel

Women of Intel (WIN) has been a leader by hosting annual events that bring together women from other local technology firms, and occasional efforts have brought together women from Google, Applied Materials, EMC, Intel, Yahoo, Cisco, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Citrix, Symantec, Adobe, and other Silicon Valley technology companies.

Marylene Delbourg-Delphis

Marylene Delbourg-Delphis

In 2012, EMC and Cisco collaborated on an event designed to encourage longer-term relationships through small-group discussions of a talk by the versatile Marylene Delbourg-Delphis, serial tech entrepreneur, philosophy professor and fashion journalist.

Anna Van Rijswijk

Anna Van Rijswijk

Anna Van Rijswijk of Cisco, member of the EMC-Cisco planning team, expanded this concept to a multi-session series  and incorporated  a “Birds of a Feather” format, developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to denote initial meetings of members interested in a particular issue.

Olivia Shen Green

Olivia Shen Green

This  “Birds of a Feather” structure was  successfully launched in Cisco’s 2012 one-day event, Women in Technology Forum, attended by more than 1200 Cisco employees worldwide, and led by Cisco’s Olivia Shen Green, who shared principles for conducting an “unconference.”  Women In Techology Forum

The goal of the multi-company, multi-session “Birds of a Feather” networking event is to increase insight and resource-sharing on topics crucial to professional women’s career advancement in technology firms, while establishing and developing stronger cross-company resource networks.

Unconference GuidelinesDiscussion topics, facilitated by members of multiple sponsor companies, include:

  • Developing “personal brand”
  • Practicing superior communication skills,  “Executive Presence”
  • Striving toward Work – Life Balance
  • Establishing Peer Mentoring and “Greenlight Groups”
  • Developing technical skills
  • Best practices in design, innovation, and creative processes

Upcoming sessions in the spring of 2013 will hosted onsite at Citrix, EMC, and Intel, and will continue these themes.

-*How do you expand your professional network across companies in your industry and across professional roles?

Twitter:   @kathrynwelds
Blog: – Kathryn Welds | Curated Research and Commentary 
LinkedIn Open Group Women in Technology (sponsored by EMC)
Facebook Notes

©Kathryn Welds