Contentful showed up en masse to the European Women in Tech conference in Amsterdam. All 25 of us were looking forward to spreading the good news about our headless CMS, attending presentations, and making new tech friends.
While we were expecting more knowledge swapping and skill-building, the event focused on careers. Companies treated it as a recruiting event, with the vibe reminiscent of your old school careers fair — that is, if you went to school in Silicon Valley. We made the most of it, though. We enjoyed telling fellow attendees about life at Contentful while developing friendships and cheering on our colleagues running a workshop.
The Contentful team
People from across Contentful came to the conference, all enthusiastic about hiring more women and fostering greater diversity in our company. People working in engineering, sales and marketing departments helped by recruiting potential candidates and telling everyone about Contentful.
“It was great to have all different people from different departments of various nationalities and genders come together around this shared topic," says Melisa Cingilli, senior tech recruiter. "We all really care about empowering women, and this conference gave us the opportunity to spend time together while supporting equality."
“I think, I maybe, might want to be a manager”
Two Contentful managers gave a workshop on a topic they know well: how to consider becoming a manager. Simona Stanescu, director of customer support, and Eoin Crowley, director of platform infrastructure, helped their audience carefully think about the transition.
Simona and Eoin spoke honestly about what their lives are like as managers, suggested questions to ask if you’re thinking about becoming a manager and recommended alternative paths for those who decide that managing people isn’t for them. Becoming a manager is a great option for some people, but career advancement shouldn’t depend on it.
Simona talked about the challenges she faced that her male colleagues didn’t in the process of becoming a manager. You can read more about the fantastic work done by Simona’s team, the Contentful support team.
Finding role models and allies
As women in tech, we spend our lives in space dominated by men. Men we respect and appreciate — but we still live life in the minority. There isn’t anything deterministic about being born female; however, the world does tend to treat men and women in startlingly different ways.
The EWiT conference flipped that ratio on its head. Women were the majority. I saw women everywhere I looked: on stages giving presentations, in booths discussing engineering and design, and in networking areas sharing insight and encouragement.
This is exactly what a Contentful developer wanted to see:
“The conference left me asking what I'm looking for from professional spaces centered around women. At this point in my career it's either inspiration and role models or bonding with people who share a similar experience with me.”
Jo, editorial manager for the Contentful blog, found the concentration of women encouraging.
“It was inspiring to be in a room full of women eager to learn and grow their careers. While the tech world might be run by men at the moment, they have something akin to an army coming for their heads. Well, maybe not their heads, but definitely their seats at the boardroom table.”
We may be in the minority now, but it won’t stay that way for long.
Contentful is looking for more awesome people to join our team. Think you might be a great fit? Visit our careers page to learn more.