Happy 1st Birthday TechStylers!
The TechStylers May 2021 Inspirational session marked TechStylers 1st birthday. It was the groups first anniversary, and there was definitely a party atmosphere!
To mark the event, we had invited a whole host of VIP guests. Each one of them had played a special part in bringing the group together. The welcome note for the session came from our host for the month, Michelle Wong. Michelle recalled how she had been at the very first session, and had stayed ever since. We then watched a short celebratory video created by another one of our members May Alhajri.
Bringing a dream to life ...
Michelle was followed by the co-founder of TechStylers, Foyin Olajide Bello. Foyin introduced the rest of our guests, starting with Keith Whatling. Keith had helped Foyin make her TechStylers dream a reality. Foyin also mentioned Samuel Adreyani, who supported Foyin. Even to the extent where he created the TechStylers logo. Finally Foyin gave thanks to the co-founder of TechStylers, Olujamike Toriola.
The power of community ...
While working in the US, our next speaker Sam Adrayani had realised the connection available through community. But after relocating from the US to Africa, he noticed there was nothing like that in the African continent. It became one of his priorities to build that community out. Having self funded his first MCT Summit in Nigeria, Sam has since succeeded in getting Power Platform going in Ghana.
Sam is hugley impressed by the woman power and love amassed by TechStylers across the continent and the globe in just one year.
Meet people where they are ...
Keith Whatling was our next speaker. Keith was responsible for setting up the global #PowerAddicts group. Additionally, Keith advised and supported Foyin when she started out with TechStylers. Quoting another community great, Dux Raymond Sy, Keith advised us to ‘meet people in their onlyness’. Rather than assuming everyone will be like us, or share the same experiences, we should meet people where they are.
Next up was the amazing April Dunham. A self confessed super nerd, April works as a Power Platform Developer Advocate at Microsoft. Having overcome numerous hurdles during her career, Aprils passion was ignited by using Power Apps to help her local community.
Three simple steps
Following April was Alan Chai, a business applications MVP and Head of Transformation at Schlumberger. Alan is very well known for his ‘special agent’ mentoring programme. This helps people with almost no experience become Power Platform specialists. This is so effective that several of Alans mentees have gone on to become MVPs themselves. Alan says there are 3 things that everyone can do to support women in tech.
- set a gender balance goal: if you don’t have a well defined target you won’t get anywhere. e.g. minimum 30% women in team
- preserve credibility: invest in women with mentoring, coaching, training. Show the world that the woman is in her place because she is capable.
- be authentic: don’t try to change anyone, instead amplify the benefit the woman can bring to the team.
What she did ...
What happened next was a total surprise to all of us. We had a very special birthday gift from Sameer Bhangar … a poem inspired by an individual in the community! It was entitled ‘What She Did’ and was very moving.