A couple of weeks ago, one of my ex-managers, a computer science research executive and Fellow at my company, asked me to attend the “Women of Influence 2010” awards dinner with her and her other guests. I was delighted to have been invited. The San Jose Business Journal vetted out nominations down to 100 women in the San Jose area who have influenced other women and their community. The evening included a networking cocktail reception, dinner, awards of course, then dessert.
I got to the San Jose Fairmont Hotel just at the start of the cocktail reception. I wondered around a bit by myself, then found a nice cocktail table to camp at. One girl came up and talked to me about her company where they do voice to text transcribing. She said that they were working with hospitals and touted about how accurate the software is. Another lady came up and it so happened that I went to MBA school with her co-worker at Intel. Small world for sure. Then lastly, I met a Nordstrom’s salesperson turned tech headhunter. She has my business card now. Just kidding!
Before the dinner started, I recognized a woman at the table next to ours. She was on the panel at the Silicon Valley Young Professionals Speed Mentoring event, President of Mission College. She was an award recipient too. I went up to her and said that I saw her the week before on the panel. I don’t think that she recognized me although I did ask a question. That’s ok. I at least wanted to reach out.
Alright, the good stuff. So imagine 100 women accepting awards and all having 10 words or more for their thank yous. It went by kind of fast actually because there were some funny thank yous. One tall blond marketing woman started saying, “Thank you to the Academy for my Oscar…oh wait wrong awards event…”. It was actually funny. About 50% thanked their dads and 50% thanked their moms. Some women thanked their sexy husbands and so forth.
My biggest disappointment was not seeing Marissa Mayer from Google and the Chairman of the Board from Intel accept their awards. They both sent others to accept on their behalf. Argh! Oh, all the recipients received an engraved glass paper weight from Tiffany’s.
All in all, the event was fun because I got to spend time with my old manager and old friends from the research organization. I wish that there were more folks to meet during the networking hour. Maybe one day I’ll get a Tiffany’s box for being a woman of influence.