Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Silicon Valley Women in HR...& Friends Mailing and Event Announcement

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year! I hope you’ll have a healthy and happy year, and that your work challenges will be fulfilling and provide you with the personal and professional growth you desire.

I start my posts with a few personal notes and then delve into upcoming events. You can skip down to event announcements if you like, but you’d miss out on a personal story and observation. I hope you read it! There are links to three books at the bottom of the page.

If you missed it, I have formally closed our Forum. It served a great purpose and many people found jobs and attended events as a result, but most of us are in the LinkedIn group and announcements can be managed there. I wrote about this closure for quite some time but it was still hard to take down!

At our holiday party, I had the chance to speak with a small group and learned something important from one of our young members. I don’t know how old she is, but the subject was enlightening: had we read the book “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” by Sheryl Sandberg?

I have to be honest and say I was almost dismissive because the topic and discussions I’d heard surrounding the book were very old news to me. Although I have been very impressed by the discussion and the groups that were formed to help women learn to “lean in,” I wondered what was the big deal. Wasn’t this something we already understood?

I was wrong. The feminism I learned about years ago has been taken for granted by many, so when this book arrived, it did stir a lot of discussion and enlightenment.

Here’s a true story about my family. Decades ago when Dad died (he was 45 and I was almost 13 with two older sisters) Mama applied for life insurance. The agent came over to tell her the application was denied. The insurance company had determined that Mama was not the head of the household. I remember her asking that if she wasn’t head of the household, who was? What would happen if she died?

I didn’t know the name for it, but I became a feminist that day. Who was anyone to deny Mama any rights? Who was anyone to deny any person any sort of rights?

Now let’s put this into historical context. This was the 1960’s and swirling around us were the Civil Rights Movement, Women’s Lib [“Liberation”] and later Gay Rights.

What I learned from this recent conversation was that people can “gain” rights, in other words, get the rights they should have had all along, and later have to remind people again and again what those rights are and why they are important and precious.

In case you missed my last note sent around the holidays, I sent a Year-End Thank You to our Volunteers, Speakers and Hosts. Without all of these wonderful people, where would we be? We’d be an online presence and you would not have had the opportunity to hear these speakers, ask questions, meet peers and have an enjoyable evening out. You can find that post by clicking here.
     This email covers the following topics:
     1.      Volunteer Planning Event 1/14 1/28
     2.      Our First Event of the Year
     3.      Location Survey for 2015

1.      Volunteer Planning Event 1/14 1/28
Would you like to volunteer for 2015? I’d love it! We’re meeting Wednesday, January 28 in Mountain View. I apologize for the changed date. Please see details and the form here. It’s a chance to work with other people in our group and give back to our community.

2.      Our First Event of 2015 
Our first event will be held Tuesday, January 20, and will feature Angela Szymusiak of Adobe. Her topic is "Life After the Annual Review ~ Adobe’s Move to Check-in.” The invitation and response form are here.
3.      Location Survey for 2015
We’re a free group and need a free space to meet. Attendance varies from 14-50 and our meetings are in the evening, usually the 3rd Wednesday. Ideally, this would be between San Jose and Palo Alto near 101. If you have an idea, please click here.

Meeting each other in person and forming relationships is so important for professional growth, resources, networking for the future, and meeting new friends. I hope you have the opportunity to come to some events this year.

Have a very Happy and Healthy 2015!

All the best,


Marcia Stein, PHR -
Author: "Strained Relations: Help for Struggling Parents of Troubled Teens" and "Recruiters on Recruiting"