108 Women and (1 Guy) – Women in Industry Conference

Guest Blog by Susan Burris, Atlatl Software

There’s nothing like gathering a large group of people in the same room that all have a couple of things in common. We all love the material handling industry and we are ALL women…with the exception of the fine gentleman Mr. Gerard Biasutto of Blue Giant Equipment Corp that joined to find out what all the buzz was about. The Women in Industry Conference left me feeling like I was on top of the world, even on a Monday morning! Here are my key takeaways from this exceptional event:

1. Staying Right Side Up When Everything is Upside Down

Thanks to Linda Larsen of Linda Larsen Communications Inc., we laughed our way through the session “Staying Right Side Up When Everything is Upside Down”. She taught us several ways to ensure that we stay in control of our day, lives, actions and emotions. Harnessing the power of happiness is one of the key ingredients! Living in gratitude helps us focus on the RIGHT things. Feeling a negative emotion or thought coming through? We learned to use the STOP technique:

  • -Notice you are experiencing a negative thought or action
  • -Stop and say aloud that you are aware
  • -Replace that thought with a positive thought or action

These simple steps will help you get back on track. Remembering also “what you name the thing, the thing tends to become”. Linda helped us see the power deep within each of us and how to channel that energy for the greater good. The final 2 keys of staying right side up were to remain unflappable and find the funny! When something goes wrong, fix it, rename it and move on! Getting over things quickly is crucial to recovering the moment.

2. Networking with Women that Share Common Goals is Incredibly Valuable

We were all there for a common goal: craft our professional skills and to build lasting business relationships. The Panel of Peers discussion showcased how women in MHEDA and MHI world face challenges such as work/life balance and gender discrimination. They also discussed the importance of a mentor/mentee relationship throughout one’s career. Thanks to my fellow members for being so transparent and sharing your stories!

3. Have Confidence

We (women) work in a male dominated industry. Understandably, confidence is sometimes hard to come by. Women constantly struggle to fit in with the “good ole boys network”, negotiate for higher pay, and move up the ladder with work ethic and merit alone. Ellen Schnur of ImprovTalk reminded us that we need to stay on our toes, face challenges head on, and confidently recognize WE BELONG! She encouraged everyone to make a running list of accomplishments and review them often. Constantly think about the positive inside of you!

She reminded us of the greatest superpower we can use as women: our ability to LISTEN. Listening ensures that we connect with the other person at a level that allows us to fully understand the problem. Listening empowers us to collaboratively craft an appropriate solution. When we are trying to think ahead and already answer the question or statement being made by the other person, we lose part of the message that is vital to understanding the dialogue as a whole. Our brains can process up to 400 words per minute (the average person speaks at 125 wpm) so it is tempting to begin formulating our response before another person is done communicating. Resist talking and LISTEN. Don’t be surprised when opportunities in your personal and professional life start flowing directly to you!

There were many other great moments at Women in Industry, too many to mention, so it is definitely my recommendation that you join next year! The next Women in Industry networking event will be held at Modex 2018 in Atlanta Georgia and hope to see you all there!

If you plan on attending any of the upcoming MHI, MHEDA or WIM events, send me a note or connection on LinkedIn. I’m looking forward to continuing the conversation!


Originally posted at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/108-women-1-guy-susan-burris/