In 2019 I had the opportunity to attend my first IGEL Disrupt and TBH I had no idea what to expect from this event as to me IGEL seemed to address a very specific demand in the EUC market.
As their software defined endpoint approach did intrigue me, I was eager to learn more and Disrupt seemed the perfect place to do just that.
The cool thing about the EUC community is that almost every vendor event feels like a family reunion and IGEL is one of those vendors that really understands the community ecosystem and works hard to support it in any way they can. So when I arrived I already saw a lot of familiar faces, joined some nice tech discussions and learned that IGEL created a very active community themselves. If you have not already joined the IGEL Community, check it out at https://www.igelcommunity.com.
The first day I was lucky enough to join the ICE training session to get a speed course on all the products IGEL carries and how to not just deploy and configure the endpoint, but also how to get the most out of your virtual desktop connection. The training zoomed in on specific Citrix and Horizon optimization settings and prepped me very well for the exam. So with just one day in, I already grew my technical skills by attending not just the ICE training session, but some cool sessions from community leaders, like Benny Tritsch, Ruben Spruijt, Thomas Poppelgaard and Simon Binder. So if you want a quick update on the latest technical improvements and community best practices Disrupt definitely is the place to be!
But my truly Disrupt(ive) experience in Munich last year was not just tech related but triggered a personal growth as well.
As some of you might know, I’ve been actively promoting the Women in Tech mentorship program that was started by me, Theresa Miller, Jo Harder and the Citrix User Group Community. We strive to create a platform for women in STEM related workfields to share their experiences and mentor other women to reach their personal goals, whether they are technical or personal related. So at each event I do strive to extend my network to meet new tech women and learn from their experiences and stories. So I was thrilled to see a keynote session with Eva Helen on the agenda.
For me the keynote, given by Eva Helen, was an eye opener as she addressed one of my fears for the Women in Tech mentorship program. Speaking from personal experience I have seen minority groups position themselves outside of the (mainstream) group they want to integrate with as they get too focused on finding kindred spirits and creating a ‘safe haven’ to freely talk about personal experiences. Don’t get me wrong, I really value a safe haven, but when shared experiences and stories focus too much on the negative you do run the risk of isolating yourself and missing out on opportunities to integrate all the same. Having seen this happen in my past I was set on not letting that happen to the mentorship program as it was solely focused on tech women, mentors and mentees.
So you can imagine my excitement when Eva shared a similar experience in Silicon Valley where she found it remarkable that most Women in Tech initiatives had a strong focus on women, but seemed to complete forget to include any men. So she immediately got my attention as I was eager to learn how she ensured that feared isolation did not happen. I loved the different types she used to help women categorize our male colleagues and their eagerness to help, sponsor and promote us. But even more importantly her simple remark to include men in the discussion opened my eyes and gave me the opening to start up a discussion in our own mentorship program too.
So thanks to Disrupt I ended up inviting Eva to be the hostess of a webinar that focused on the men that are out there in the community that are eager to help. And she created the perfect setting to introduce new male mentors to the Women in Tech mentorship program, which allows not just the mentors, but the mentees as well to start including the men into the discussions.
Even though we are starting with only a few male mentors that I know to be great sponsors, I’m pretty sure this is just the first step in bringing the discussion to our male colleagues so we can all get the conversation back to our shared passion for tech instead of these gender labels that do not qualify or quantify the technical skills and enthusiasm we all bring to the table.
So if you are ready for your own Disrupt(ive) experience, track me down at Disrupt in Munich, because I’m always up for a chat on the latest technologies and sponsoring women in tech!
Feel free to use my personal code during registration for an additional discount: EstherBartelDisrupts