Don’t call it a comeback! Women in Media pulled out several seats for their second annual “A Seat at the Table'' event on March 25, 2021. The uncertainty of the COVD-19 pandemic last March forced the executive members to cancel the 2020 event, but in true WIM fashion, adjustments were made for 2021 and the magic continued virtually in partnership with UGA's Women in Tech.
A Seat at The Table is WIM's annual spring conference meant to empower women. They host several panels and workshops for the next generation of women professionals where those who came before them discuss overcoming obstacles in the workplace and embracing diversity to earn a seat at the table.
WIM hosted a full week of events from Mar. 22, 2021-Mar. 25, 2021, to keep members excited for the main webinar. At the start of the week, they hosted a tabling and photoshoot at Tate Student Center where members could pick up ASATT swag bags, take photos and get to know some of their fellow WIM members. Jess L’Hommedieu, WIM’s photographer, took headshots on Grady’s lawn on Wednesday and gave members the perfect opportunity to spruce up that Linkedin profile picture they may have been meaning to change for months but never got around to doing.
The same day, members were given the chance to attend four different workshops in discussions on networking and mentorship, establishing boundaries, career development in technology and creating meaningful content.
Alise Crittendon, president of WIM, said a virtual setting made planning easier and more organized.
“We were able to source speakers from different states and time zones, the budget was much lower and more students from other schools could attend,” Alise said.
However, the virtual setting made it harder to engage attendees and there were less accessible networking opportunities for students, she said.
But that didn’t stop some members from gaining true insight into how to navigate the professional world as a woman. Kayla Chanthavisith, a third year entertainment and media studies major and a WIM member, said her biggest takeaway from the main panel is that everyone has a different pathway to success.
“All the women speaking on the panel were incredibly successful, and yet none of them had the same journey,” Kayla said. “It’s important to not compare yourself to others but instead surround yourself with women who support one another.”
The main conference panel had six wonderful speakers: Mita Mallick, head of inclusion at Carta and the host for the panel; Danielle Hall, project manager for Women in Tech campus; Megan Shannon, the communications manager at RaceTrac Inc.; Geraldine White, the head of diversity and inclusion at Publicis Sapient; and Liza Dunning, former creative director and writer for Airbnb.
The women talked about the importance of diversity, burnout, some misconceptions in the workplace as a woman, imposter syndrome, and supporting other women.
“When we empower other women, we empower ourselves,” Mallick said.
WIM member Christine Yared, a sophomore entertainment and media studies major, said the entire discussion was incredibly uplifting and motivational.
“My favorite part was simply being able to hear each speaker be honest and vulnerable about their experiences in their fields and how they were — and are — able to overcome the odds,” Christine said.