Hosting Our First Seattle Girls Geek Dinner Event

The idea of SAP Concur hosting a Seattle Girl Geek Dinner started as a casual hallway conversation between a software engineer (Gauravi Kulkarni)and a product manager (myself) about tech events for women. This conversation, led us to ask ourselves a simple question: “Why hasn’t SAP Concur hosted a Seattle Girl Geek Dinner yet? We can host it!”

Armed with this idea and our determination to make this happen, we started our planning and hosted the first Seattle Girl Geek Dinner at SAP Concur last week.

 

About the Seattle Girl Geek Community

The mission of this community is “to create a community where women at any stage of their technical careers can network, share best practices, and empower other women to pursue or continue their professions in tech”. The SGGC has a Facebook group of ~3K female members who are part of the local tech industry. These Dinners have gained quite a lot of popularity and many tech companies have been hosting them: Zulilly was the last to host (Dinner #70). Other companies who have hosted include: Microsoft, Amazon, Snap Inc, and Nordstrom.

In order to sponsor or host an event, a company has to follow these guidelines.

SAP Concur hosted dinner #71

Planning an event of this nature takes effort and team work to turn it into a reality. We had the support of many SAP Concur employees and/or teams to make this happen:

  • R&D provided the funding for the food
  • Product provided funding for miscellaneous items  
  • Brand Marketing provided the swag
  • 10 SAP Concur volunteers were in charge of badging the dinner attendees
  • 24 SAP Concur female and male tech leaders were in charge of facilitating the 12 different topics discussed during the dinner

The invite received 130 RSVPs within less than a day, and the attendees were a mixture of entry-, mid- and senior-level tech ladies.

 

What we learned after hosting this event

We chose to have a different format for the SAP Concur hosted dinner, so we had 12 different topics that were discussed among the attendees. The topics ranged from career development, networking, work life balance and leadership skills among others.  The attendees and SAP Concur facilitators had one hour to discuss each topic and afterwards 3 main key takeaways were shared with the whole group.

This type of setup promoted engagement and conversation between all of the attendees and our SAP Concur leaders. This is really what made this dinner quite unique!

The feedback from the attendees included phrases of this nature: “inspirational," “engaging," “glad to see female executives," “learned so much from this conversation,” and “thank you so much for hosting."

This type of response is really what we wanted to accomplish. Women are not the majority within the tech industry, so many of us feel it is our duty to encourage and share our knowledge with other women in the field.

We are glad to be part of SAP Concur where these types of activities are welcomed and supported!

Special thanks to our sponsor and volunteers

Facilitators:

  • Michelle Grover & Noah Addy
  • Saroj Motwani & Melissa St. Michaels
  • Kathleen Marzahl & Kelsey Steven
  • Keith Moffatt & Chelsea Behrens
  • Joe Dunnick & Claudia Myers
  • Ekta Aggarwal & Sally Yan
  • Ria Delamere & Joanne Phillips
  • Shivani Patel & Kate Tronvig
  • Carol Russell & Kunal Kishore
  • Nirala Tuladhar & Howard Dierking
  • Amy Van Hollebeke & Ashlyn Leahy
  • Yovka Pencheva & Jessi Alva

List of Internal Volunteers

  • Gauravi Dudhbhate
  • Jenna Badanowski
  • Truc Ly Le
  • Sara Stiltner
  • Suchitra Sundararaman
  • Mobina Imtiaz
  • Tracy Grover
  • Natalia Ramirez
  • Hannah Van Seeters

Major Sponsors:

  • Michelle Grover & Saju Pillai (R&D)
  • Cherri Fowler (Brand Marketing)

 

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