When Personal Passions & Purpose at Work Pair Up
How one employee's volunteer work around supporting women in tech became a workplace initiative
By Benevity Charity Relations Coordinator Micki Mutch
A few weeks ago, I came home from a meeting at Chic Geek (a Calgary-based community to support women interested in tech) and opened my laptop to find an email from Benevity’s CEO, Bryan de Lottinville. At first, I thought it was an office-wide notice. Then I saw my name alongside a handful of female leaders from different teams, whom I admire. So I re-read the email carefully. Bryan asked us to put our heads together and see how we can partner with Chic Geek, the very same group that I volunteer with and had just returned from a meeting with! He explained how supporting Chic Geek aligned closely with Benevity's goals of improving our local tech landscape, especially for women.
As I added my resounding yes to the thread of positive responses (and ideas already being tossed around), I let them know that my heart was swelling. A few happy tears tumbled down my cheeks, and a gigantic smile radiated from my face out into the universe.
I don't know if I can describe the feeling of one’s passion outside of work and one’s passion at work colliding. But I think that the "hugging face" emoticon is incredibly accurate.
Chic Geek is important to me because it is uniquely a beginner-friendly tech community. As someone who was looking to get into tech from an unrelated field, there was a lot of intimidation and lack of diverse representation in the tech space. That’s where Chic Geek fills the gap — it provides programs for women in beginner level tech skills, networking, speaker training and mentorship. It’s a supportive community for beginners to ignite their curiosity in tech and not be turned away. Now, it’s a place that I come to learn, share, and to push my understanding of “possible.”