BTG's Newest Team Member, Elizabeth Lam

Elizabeth Lam, Program & Events Coordinator for Breaking The Glass

Elizabeth Lam, Program & Events Coordinator for Breaking The Glass

After four exciting months at Breaking The Glass, I can safely say that I’m out of the training period. As the not-so-new Program and Events Coordinator for Breaking The Glass, I come to the office each day excited to work with an amazing team committed to improving the workforce. Breaking The Glass is an intrapreneural program sponsored by Computer Futures.

We partner with technology companies to provide programming about workplace Diversity & Inclusion and Women’s Career Development. My friends and family say I landed in the perfect role since I love entrepreneurship, networking, technology, women supporting women, and ally-ship! Between panel events, webinars, leading workshops, traveling for conferences, writing curriculum and coffee meetings, I have learned so much about the varying intersections of Diversity & Inclusion

I never thought I would be formally working in the Diversity and Inclusion space. To be honest, I didn’t even know it was a possibility. Before moving to Austin, I worked for a social media conference in Charleston, SC. My main responsibility was to book panelists for a two-day, three-track social media conference. Having an inter-sectional, diverse line-up of speaker was a main goal of ours. My team and I understood the value of inviting a diverse set of voices to speak to our attendees. A few months after the conference, the opportunity to work at Breaking The Glass became availability. Naturally, I had to jump at the opportunity.

Getting involved with the Austin Diversity & Inclusion community has been amazing. Networking is never a chore when you get paid to hear inspiring stories from incredible people! It might be my favorite part of the job! You can now find me at a different community event at least once a week.

I’m so excited for our upcoming programming. We’ve added a bunch of new programs to our calendar. I would love to see my network come out and support Breaking The Glass. Be sure to follow the Breaking The Glass on LinkedIn and join our Meet-up pages to see our upcoming programs! We are located in Austin, Houston, New York and Washington DC.

If you want to get involved with Breaking The Glass, please email me at e.lam@computerfutures.com.

-          Elizabeth Lam

Top Left - Power of No at Anaconda  Top Right - Inclusion Webinar for Women in Cable Technology Rocky Mountain  Bottom Left - Unconscious Bias Webinar at Anaconda  Bottom Center - Reluctant Champions Panel at Retail Me Not  Bottom Right - Women in Cable Technology: Spirit of the Midwest in St. Louis

Top Left - Power of No at Anaconda

Top Right - Inclusion Webinar for Women in Cable Technology Rocky Mountain

Bottom Left - Unconscious Bias Webinar at Anaconda

Bottom Center - Reluctant Champions Panel at Retail Me Not

Bottom Right - Women in Cable Technology: Spirit of the Midwest in St. Louis

Computer Futures Delivers New Inclusive Programs Through Breaking The Glass

In its fourth year under Computer Futures’ management, Breaking The Glass is continuing to grow community and client engagement in the US tech industry by expanding to more inclusive, intersectional topics for their community events.

Teaming up with companies like Visa and Big Commerce, they have recently hosted community discussions on “Women of Accessibility” and “Inclusion – What Does It Mean To You?” Both events featured diverse speakers who are considered leaders of diversity in tech, as well as recognized experts in their technical field – such as Stephanie Herrera, who joined SThree as Global Vice President of Salesforce Practice for Computer Futures this year.

BTG Inclusion event panel

At “Inclusion – What Does It Mean To You?”, co-hosted by Computer Futures and BigCommerce, Stephanie shared her story as a young woman of color growing up in rural West Texas, the adversity she faced in school, the challenges she experienced in finding suitable work, and her journey to financial independence with a career in the tech industry. She cites her involvement with inclusive communities as crucial step in her personal and professional development because she was able to gain access to affordable Salesforce skills training with like-minded, accepting individuals.

“Because of these inclusive communities – WIT, Salesforce Saturday, Merivis Foundation, PepUp Tech – I finally found where I effortlessly fit in, my tribe, and where I truly belonged… and now thanks to Danny Cohen and Computer Futures, I’m able to help others do the same on a massive scale.”

At the “Women of Accessibility”, event co-hosted by Computer Futures and Visa, panelists discussed accessibility technology, the increasingly important role accessibility compliance plays in workforce, business, and industry-wide development, and why many women-identifying professionals are uniquely linked in the history of accessibility in tech.

BTG Accessibility event

Breaking The Glass Program Manager, Mary Chauvin, explains that as internal diversity and inclusion initiatives become more common within Computer Futures’ clientele, hosting Breaking The Glass community programs provide a valuable opportunity for these brands to gain exposure for their commitment to diversity and inclusion. Therefore, it is imperative for Breaking The Glass programs to be topical, unique, and engaging to the widest possible audience.

“It’s not enough to talk about Diversity and Inclusion for the sake of it; the candidate market, clients, and industry we serve demand authentic dialogue on a wide variety of intersecting interests. I’m proud that our events always feature speakers who represent a variety of races, genders, backgrounds, and abilities. We focus on topics through the lens of women in tech, but our community events are welcome any and all people, resulting in diverse, engaged audiences,” says Chauvin.

If your company is interested in partnering with Breaking The Glass to host a community event or learn more about our programs, visit the Partners page or contact us directly through the Get Involved page.

Summer Series Wrap Up

Breaking The Glass communities in Austin, New York City and Washington D.C. enjoyed a summer filled with engaging panel discussions and professional development events.

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Although the network primarily exists to serve the advancement and development of women-identifying professionals in tech, group membership or participation is not exclusive to women. In fact, one of the largest events of the summer was June’s panel event in Austin, titled “Male Allies At Work!”, which was moderated by VP of Computer Futures, Danny Cohen, and hosted in partnership with RetailMeNot.

The conversation featured four panelists, all who are considered community influencers and ambassadors of inclusion in their work environments. Panelists shared advice and lessons learned from their own evolution as allies, explored a common vocabulary and toolkit for becoming a better sponsor to female colleagues, and answered questions from some of the 120+ audience members.

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RetailMeNot hosted a second Breaking The Glass community event in July, which was also a panel conversation, this time moderated by Breaking The Glass Program Manager. The panel discussion, titled “The Power of No” focused on best practices for professional women when they need to engage in hard conversations or negotiations.

The diverse panel of women were praised for offering detailed perspectives and sharp takeaways on a difficult topic. “This engaging discussion left everyone in the room inspired and ready to seize any opportunity they could,” said one RetailMeNot employee in their personal review of Breaking The Glass programming.

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Meanwhile in July, Computer Futures consultants on the East Coast presented the first Breaking The Glass panel event in New York City, hosted in partnership with Bloomberg. The event, moderated by Krishna Nadella, Head of New Content and Regulatory Sales at Bloomberg LP, featured a panel of prominent tech leaders and Diversity & Inclusion experts, and they discussed ways to foster a culture of inclusion in the workplace. The event was followed by a happy hour with senior business leaders from Fortune 500s and startups in NYC’s tech industry.

Finally in August, Computer Future’s Washington D.C. consultants hosted a panel discussion on Work Life Balance at Common Securitization Solutions in Bethsada MD. This program was hosted in partnership with Byte Back DC, and was moderated by Senior Principal Recruitment Consultant, Jacquelyn Vinnedge.

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If you work for a tech company and you want to get more involved with Breaking The Glass or host one of our community panel discussions, contact our program manager, Mary Chauvin at m.chauvin@computerfutures.com.