Women Talk Tech Episode 58: The Power of Finding Your Community
The Power of Finding Your Community
Welcome to the show, Jen Capstraw.
On this week’s episode of Women Talk Tech we are joined by Jen Capstraw. Jen is a speaker, consultant and self-proclaimed #emailgeek who helps cool, under-the-radar companies build visibility and credibility in the email marketing space. She’s best-known as President and Co-Founder of Women of Email, an association of 5,000+ aimed at promoting leadership and cultivating professional growth.
Before Jen held such a significant role in the tech sector, she worked in television and radio for many years, and later made a transition into working in print, layout, and digital marketing for an art trade association. While working for this association, Jen built their first ever website and contributed significantly to the digital marketing and technology space of the business. While Jen held an important role in tech within this job, she never considered herself a member of the technology sector until she was hired by a tech company 15 years later.
“I didn’t know I was working in tech, I knew I was utilizing tech. I didn’t think of digital marketing as technology. My husband at the time was working in tech. He was an IT guy and then got into a sales engineer capacity […] I thought he was in tech, I didn’t know that I could even have a career in tech. That sounded very foreign to me.”
Women of Email
When Jen established herself as a member of the tech sector, she attended her first large email specific conference. For Jen, this felt like a debut and an opportunity to stand before the peers in her industry and present herself as a fellow thought leader.
An article was written about the lack of gender parity in the speakers at the conference, and an online discussion began in the following days. It was through this platform of online connection and advocacy that Jen connected with a group of likeminded women and decided that she wanted to do something about gender inequality at conferences in the email industry.
“I looped in three of the women I had been speaking to [in private messages]. And said ‘we’ve all been talking separately about this problem but I would really like to do something about it, do you want to join me in that? Do you want to create an organization that tackles this and helps women get those speaking opportunities in the email industry?’ Everyone instantly said yes.”
Through Jen’s work as the President and Co-Founder of Women of Email she has reached over 5000 members across the globe and has seen gender parity be achieved among the speakers at email conferences.
Jen’s biggest piece of advice for women in the tech sector is to find and be active in online community groups that align with their industry. For Jen, finding thought leaders who inspire her, have driven her to become an active thought leader in her own online communities.
To learn more about how you can harness the value of mentorship and sponsorship, along with the four other pillars to combating gender disparity in the tech sector, check out our Women Talk Tech Taking Action Plan.
Connect with Jen on social media!