Have you ever been in a situation where your prejudices got in your own way, and you screwed yourself out of a great experience because of it?
I was at the lift06 conference in Geneva last week. The first day, there was a woman who stood out from the crowd – she wasn’t wearing jeans and black tee-shirt, or whatever the geeky cool look is now, nor was she in the business suit look of upper echelon academics and Real Business People. She was colorful, crochéed and clinking (apparently wearing bells somewhere).
After kind of wondering (but not much) hmmm, wonder what she’s up to here, I later found myself not too far behind her in the lunch line. She was kind of particular about what she asked for, took a little too long deciding this or that, not coming up with the right currency etc, etc. In an instant, all my what-a-bimbo clichés kicked in – and kicked me right in the butt.
So here I was, not striking up a conversation of any kind, not chatting and finding a place to sit down and eat together.
A couple hours later, the big Doh! moment: the NOT-a-bimbo-at-all was in fact Anina! She was one of 3 women in the Women in Technology panel. Geez. I should listen to my own babbling about her NerdTV interview. OK, her voice tends toward valley-girl. Get Over It.
Video and audio of lift06 talks, including the Women in Technology panel.