A few weeks ago I had an opportunity to take part in an event organized by a new, exciting Helsinki-based women’s network, FutureFemale. Going in, I had no idea what to expect. Women and networking? Embarrassing stereotypes on closed cliques centered around Tupperwares came to mind. Admit it, the image flashes before your eyes as well, dear reader. But alas, the stereotypes were bound to be cracked.
The event turned out to be a lovely evening of intriguing lectures on digital technology and communication. The theme of the day was “Smart online marketing”, and speakers such as Google‘s Jonna Toikka gave advise on the latest developments regarding this topic. No question was unwelcomed, and the atmosphere was warm and friendly. Technology, you see, is not just a man’s world anymore. Did you know, that Facebook today has as much global users (800 million) than the whole internet of 2004?
Fascinating, isn’t it?
Connections, power and networking. This equation has long been the playing field of professional men, and it has been believed that women are not even capable of such comrade pursuits. The cliches of women not helping each other on the stony road of career are abundant. But the fact remains that without connections in this day and age, it is extremely hard to pursue a professional path.
Established in 2010, FutureFemale is designed as a platform for women “to share, mentor, learn, connect, contribute and enable the next generation of excellence via informal and interactive get-togethers, workshops and seminars”. There are no age or title limits, if you are a woman and interested in technology, that is fine. Men have tried to enter these meetings, but this is prohibited. Even the speakers are ladies.
But the strict entry policy was temporarily abolished due to a joint pre-Christmas party with ArcticStartup on December 1st. The drinks were provided by the courtesy of rantapallo.fi, and they sure were fruity. But of course, Christmas coming or not, the main idea was to mingle, jingle and meet people. One new rising Finnish start up, Blaast, is eagerly accepting new talent. (Software engineers in need of a new and shiny job can contact them immediately.) Even some brave men were seen in the premises, such as Olli Oksanen from Heiaheia.com.
Although the drinks were fine, the location splendid, the people intriguing…
I was still missing the mood of the women-only event. Until next time, see you there, fellow FF´s.