Last week I had the chance to attend the Ally Skills Workshop with Valerie Aurora and can’t recommend it enough. This was an enlightening experience on learning how to support women in their workplaces and communities and it should be given at every tech event or better yet be part of the training in tech companies.
Valerie is a very cool person. She presented herself very modestly but after reading more about her I think she could have bragged much more about her development skills. She gave a 30 minute introduction on the class and put us in groups so we could work on multiple scenarios.
Each scenario was about real life encounters that women have had at their workplaces and made them feel uncomfortable. We as men got the chance to express how we think we should deal with the situation in order to give our support.
There were also women in our groups which made everything more realistic because they could give us immediate feedback and share similar experiences. Once we were done we would share back with Valerie and she would give us additional feedback or correct us when necessary.
I’ve always felt happier and more productive when working in teams were people respect one another and I believe this kind of workshop provides the necessary tools and hands on experience to build such environments for women.