Tag Archives: Girl Geek Dinner

Girl Geek interview with Geek Node

Geek Girl Dinners – Empowering Women in Tech
Written by Harlequinn

Do you love food? Do you love tech? Are you into geeking out with other women? Then you are going to want to be all over Geek Girl Dinners. I recently caught up with the Johannesburg founder, Leigh-Ann Fowle to find out all about what to expect at one of their events.
GN: Let’s start at the beginning, how was the idea for Geek Girls Dinner born?
LF: It was started by a woman who was tired of attending tech events and being the only woman there. It has now spread around the world.
GN: Where do Geek Girl Dinners happen?
LF: They take place around the globe in 99 cities. The Johannesburg chapter was started in November 2011 by myself and Kirsty Sharman.
GN: What typically goes down at a GGD event?
LF: The events are held every second month, at different venues around Johannesburg. Ladies arrive, have an opportunity to network, eat fabulous food, listen to a phenomenal guest speaker and stand a chance to win great prizes. They also leave with a stunning goodie bag.
GN: What topics can girls expect to be discussed at the dinners?
LF: The topics relate to being a woman in business e.g. leadership, inspirational stories or specific tech i.e. email security or social media law. We look for topical issues that we can find experts to speak on.
GN: How can girls go about starting a chapter in their city?
LF: You can contact Girl Geek worldwide (girlgeekdinners.com) and apply to start a chapter.
GN: I noticed that some pretty big tech brands like Mimecast have sponsored dinners in the past. How can a business go about sponsoring an event?
LF: Contact the organisers via email info@girlgeeksofjhb.co.za We are always looking for brands to partner with!
GN: A little birdy told us GGD also offers corporate training as well, what is that all about?
LF: We offer training on social media that is customised for each client. So for example, how to use social media for sales, social media training for employees, social media policies etc
GN: How has being a part of GGD affected your career path?
LF: I have learnt so much from the amazing women that attend our events. That is what Girl Geeks is all about – connecting women.
GN: What do you think companies can do to encourage more girls to join tech?
LF: I think it’s important to demystify tech and show the many wonderful opportunities that are out there. This is one of the reasons we run these events.
GN: Who do you look up to in the tech industry?
LF: Sheryl Sandburg. Her book Lean In has had an amazing impact on the women that I talk to.

What goes on at a Girl Geek event?

Girl Geek Dinners – A TechGirl Review

A few weeks ago we hosted the second dinner for 2016 of the Girl Geek Dinners Johannesburg. Tech Girl was invited, at the beginning of the year, to come on as the official media partner and I’ve spent a considerable amount of my free time hunting down goodies for our goodie bags and sourcing interesting speakers. Leigh-Ann Fowle and Kirsty Sharman started the dinners in Johannesburg a few years back and are still very much involved. We all dedicate a considerable amount of our personal time to the dinners, as do so many others (shout out to Jade here who always offers to help! Thank you!).

Girl Geek Dinners
Leigh-Ann, Kirsty and me!
Our more recent dinner took place at Hard Rock Cafe on Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton. This is one of my favourite local restaurants, predominantly because of the gorgeous collectors items they have gracing the walls. If you’re a music fan you’re in for a real treat! The food is also rather delicious. Think sliders (mini burgers), yummy Tacos and Cheesy nachos. I think anyone in attendance can agree that the food at Hard Rock goes down as some of the best.

Girl Geek Dinners
All the blur when getting ready to start!
While the ladies in attendance enjoyed a wine tasting arranged by Van Loveren Wines, I was manning the entrance desk. We had a section of the restaurant dedicated to the dinner but the bar and outside area was still open to the general public. Two men at the bar came over to me and asked me what was going on. They’d been listening to our wonderful speaker, Lori Milner, who recently co-authored Own Your Space. Lori was discussing how we, as females, can better function in the corporate arena and, ultimately, own our own space. The gents announced to me that they thought the dinners were sexist.

Girl Geek Dinners
Registration
I had a good chuckle because the dinners have never specified that men cannot attend. Over the last few we’ve had a few gents added to the guest list and they’ve all had a great time (ask them!). While our focus has always been on uplifting women in the tech space, over the years I think the Girl Geek Dinners have grown to encompass something more. They’ve grown to represent the coming together of positive individuals (yes, mainly females) and sharing information relating to the corporate and tech space while just giving attendees a great night out and opportunity to meet new friends.

Girl Geek Dinners

Sexism is defined as (pulled from Merriam-Webster):

1 : prejudice or discrimination based on sex; 2 : behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex.

I think the very thing the Girl Geek Dinners do is go against sexism. We don’t discriminate and we try counter those typical stereotypes placed on women in the corporate sector (specifically industries like technology) while also encouraging open dialogue and education. It’s an interesting discussion that has touched a cord with me. Recently I was made aware that a few of my (male) colleagues in the industry had verbalised that Tech Girl, as a blog, was anti-feminist. That the content I was producing went against everything it should stand for. It’s an interesting thought really. This blog was built by me from the ground up and anything it stands for is what I stand for. What should it stand for? Blogs are an extension of ourselves and so they can only really embody our own thoughts and feelings. Unfortunately (or fortunately), I’ve always felt confident in my space as a woman crafting content in the gaming and technology space. Because of this confidence I’ve also been able to embody a sense of humour and been able to take a tongue in cheek look at certain aspects of the industry. I like that about me and, I hope, others like that about the blog. I’m proud of what I produce and proud of the spare time I’ll happily sacrifice to hunting down sponsors for an event like the Girl Geek Dinners or helping a fellow woman fight a Tinder battle.

I think this is what the Girl Geek Dinners are about.

Girl Geek Dinners
Our speaker Lori Milner
They’re not about sexism, or discrimination of women in the tech space or about one upping your social network. They’re about a group of women helping each other love who they are. They’re about us supporting and uplifting one another in a space that is fun and friendly. They’re about all the good we sometimes miss.

It’s a special organisation and one I’m proud to be apart of.

Girl Geek Dinners

So to answer the initial question: no, the Girl Geek Dinners are most definitely not sexist.

They’re a fantastic opportunity for us to uplift one another, women or men, in a fun space over a good glass of wine. You also get to take home a really great goodie bag packed with some great products. This last dinner saw a voucher from AlwaysOn (I spent mine in the airport on the way to rAge), a sample can of Batiste dry shampoo (my go to after gym), funky socks from ToePorn, a Cadbury PS bar and vouchers from Take Charge SA, Placecol, Poise Brands and the Blogger workshop happening in Johannesburg later this month.A

Mums on the Run Workshop – Review and Win

At Girl Geeks, we are passionate about education. Whether that is sharing knowledge through our events, or educating the next generation of women to enter the tech field. Of course, we know that there are enormous challenges surrounding education, which is why we were thrilled to attend the Mums on the Run workshop, hosted by A to Z tutoring.

The workshop has been developed by Raquel Nielson. Raquel has a BSc degree in Molecular Cell Biology, a BSc Honours in Biotechnology and postgrad certificate in education with honours in mathematics and further education and training. She’s also taught for a few years. You could not find a person more passionate about education than Raquel and it is wonderful to see.

The idea behind the workshop is to teach parents simple skills that they can use in everyday life to help their children learn.

For example:

  • Baking: when you are baking with your child, show them what each ingredient is and how much it weighs. As they get older, you can ask them to get the ingredients themselves and even start to weigh them out for you.
  • Every day shapes: as children get older, they need to master geometry. A good way to give them a head start is to use something simple like a cereal box. Look at the size, shape, surface area. Show them the vitamin and nutrient breakdown.
  • Time management: a good tip is to spend a portion of time each day to going through schoolwork, even if there is not any homework. This gets children into a good habit and will hopefully keep them from pretending that they don’t have any!

The workshop is R250 and is well worth attending. They also offer classes to companies. The next workshop is on 13 March and we have 1 ticket to give away! If you would like to attend, all you need to do is comment on this post and tell us why you would like to win a ticket. The lucky winner will be announced on 2 March 2015.

 

We tried out Daily Dish!

Tired of eating the same meals all the time? Don’t have the time and energy to buy all the necessary ingredients? Perhaps you would just like a bit of inspiration. Enter Daily Dish, the perfect solution to the eternal dilemma of what to cook for dinner. We tried out the service last week – here is our review.

DailyDishLogo

Daily Dish is incredibly easy to use. You simply sign-up and select the menu of your choice (classic, low carb or vegetarian) and then wait for delivery the following week. You will receive a box of fresh ingredients and recipes for the next four days. The beauty of the system is that there are no contracts – you can pause or cancel your subscription at any time.

We tried out the low carb box for 4 people.

The meals were:

  • Gammon steak salad
  • Marjoram and tomato chicken
  • Quinoa BLT salad
  • Thai chilli beef stir fry with spinach wraps.

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They were all really tasty and easy to cook. The portions were great, you certainly did not feel hungry at all. As someone who gets bored eating the same food all the time, the variety is wonderful. Also, the meals are all cooked pretty quickly – in about 30 minutes or so.

The downside of this service is that you actually have to cook the food and everything arrives fresh. So, if you decide that you would rather eat out or you don’t feel like cooking, then you will be wasting some great food.

On the whole we really enjoyed the service and we have signed up for another week!

Win tickets to Inspiration Indaba

At Girl Geek Dinners, we believe in inspiring women; to dream, to achieve their goals and have a lot of fun while doing it! That is why we were so excited to hear about the inaugural Inspiration Indaba brought to you by Citadel in partnership with Moneyweb. There is a fantastic speaker lineup, with inspiring South Africans sharing their stories of success.

There are two great female speakers; Lee Swan, a climate change strategist and the first South African-born woman to race to the magnetic North Pole and Lynette Ntuli, CEO of asset and infrastructure development firm Innate Investment Solutions.

Lee-SwanLynette Ntuli

 

The event will take place on 2 September 2014 and we have two tickets to giveaway, valued at R1 500 each! All you have to do is leave a comment on the post below. Winners will be selected by Random Results and announced on Friday, 22 August.

Congrats to our two winners – MeeA Parkins and Anuschka Richards. We hope you enjoy the event!

 

Places we love – RAIN Boutique Spa

As the founder of Girl Geeks, I am always looking for places that aim to spoil women. One such place is RAIN Boutique Spa, situated in Rosebank. The first thing to love about the spa is that it caters exclusively for women. This makes it a fabulous place to hang out with your girlfriends, or go on your own to enjoy some downtime.

The other unique characteristic about RAIN is that all the treatments are customised to your preferences. All you need to do is book your desired amount of time for a treatment and then the choice is yours.

I had a full body massage, which was heavenly. RAIN is beautifully decorated and the therapists are attentive and knowledgeable. If you are looking for a unique spa experience, go take a look.

PS In our last goodie bag, RAIN gave away vouchers to use at the spa – don’t forget to use them!

Enjoy!

Leigh-Ann

Founder: Girl Geek Dinners JHB

Technology in Education

As promised, here are the videos from our guest speaker, Michelle Lissoos.

 

Apple – Making a difference. One app at a time

Revolutionising Education: iPad in South African Schools

Our 1st 2013 Dinner!

Our 1st Dinner for 2013 was a wonderful success!

We had two lovely speakers for the evening – Dr Julie Taylor from Google and Melanie Minnaar founder of the Twitter Blanket Drive.

Melanie Minnaar and Dr Julie Taylor
Melanie Minnaar and Dr Julie Taylor

Julie’s talk was around technology, women and Africa. She looked at the opportunities available and what Google is doing to help women enter the tech space. Melanie spoke about using social media for good and the impact that the blanket drive has had, as well as how phenomenally it has grown since inception.

Our venue was the beautiful Gwefey. With a gorgeous view & stunning food, they were wonderful hosts.

Our Stunning Venue - Gwefey
Our Stunning Venue – Gwefey

Once again, thank you to our fantastic sponsors. Without them our event would not be possible! Sponsors for February were: Mowana SpaFred FeltonFair Lady MagazineHeavnly Handmade (they sponsored our stunning bags), Rainbow NationShoe Candy, Capzi, Nescafe SAStandard BankVodacom and Ki Fit. Thanks to Melanie for arranging a host of amazing goodies this month!

A special mention to VW who sponsored a new Golf 7 and Beetle to be driven by two lucky Girl Geeks!

Leana & Mr Shai Guy from VW
Leana & Mr Shai Guy from VW

Lastly, thanks to BrandsEye for sponsoring our tracking report.

Our next event will be in April – look forward to seeing you all then!