Many of TSAChoice’s management and administrative staff, the women team members specifically, recently attended the Asheville WomanUP 2017 Celebration and Awards Ceremony. The WomanUP events are the best of the Asheville Chamber of Commerce’s networking events in which I have had the pleasure to participate. These events are extremely well-organized with a particular goal in mind for each session.
From the Asheville Chamber’s website: “WomanUP is an initiative from the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce focused on women in business who wish to build a strong network of women intent on inspiring one another to achieve individual potential, supporting each other in business endeavors, and creating a legacy through mentorship.”
The female staff on our TSAChoice team enjoyed this opportunity to get out and network with other women — especially since our normal workday is shoulder to shoulder with a bunch of fellas.
BY THE NUMBERS
Two are senior management positions: Kerry LaPierre is Vice-President of Finance and Alecia Knight is manager of the Voice division.
IT’S A GOOD THING
We enjoy the industry in which we work; we also enjoy our teammates. We face many of the same challenges other women experience in male-dominated industries and have learned that by supporting each other, we can often turn obstacles into opportunities.
This team of women brings excellent coordination and communication skills, different perspectives, dependability, empathy, and even a nurturing quality to our workplace.
WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED
“Never let any male co-worker, or female co-worker for that matter, make you feel inferior to them. Whether they like it or not, they are no better than you are.” – Kerry LaPierre
“We all need to work as a team because we are stronger and smarter that way.” – Kerry LaPierre
“Learn how to give a handshake. Look them in the eyes. Speak clearly and slowly and precisely. Always get it in writing… And smile! ” -Jennifer Silver
Often in the technology industry, clients requiring assistance assume they need a male for assistance. Donna Buckner’s word of advice: “Don’t let stereotypes get to you. When people try to look over you to get a question answered from someone else, don’t take it personally. Do your best to assist, and the next time they will know you are the one they can depend on for the info they require.”
“Don’t sit in the corner and sulk; sit in the middle and speak up.” – Lynn Lowdermilk
Some of us attended the WomanUP event last August and were blown away when we walked into the Crown Plaza room filled with more than 300 smart, successful, motivated females. We felt so energized; we went back to our office, shared highlights with the rest of our women co-workers and made a plan to attend all together for the next event.
We registered early to secure a table for team TSAChoice at this November’s WomanUP celebration. For several of our teammates, the main draw was retired NASA aeronautical engineer Dr. Christine Darden, one of the women in the book Hidden Figures. But ultimately we got a 2-for-1 with two great speakers. Dr. Darden was followed up by keynote speaker Troylyn Ball of Asheville Distilling Company with her incredibly moving personal and professional story.
Both speakers overcame considerable obstacles, and both have achieved so many milestones along their very different journeys. They conveyed passionately to us their no excuses powerful message: Work hard to reach your goals; your dreams are there for the taking.
-Submitted by Lynn Lowdermilk