Discovering Stratexspire - CloudStratex’s women community
When you need inspiration, you look to a community to see what is possible and the ways to get there.
If there is one thing we do well at CloudStratex, it is taking gaps and needs and turning them in solutions for the benefit of the community. This is exactly how Stratexspire was born and how it intends to continue.
Stratexspire is a community for women in a dynamic third–time cloud consultancy start-up that embraces diversity but finds, unsurprisingly, that in the IT sector women are few and far in between. As a female graduate, I was inspired to talk to the experienced female employee who is now the leader of what is now Stratexspire simply by inspiration… literally. I had heard her name on sales calls, daily updates and reviews from respected members of leadership who gave glowing recommendations of her and thought to myself… well I must talk to her. I was hoping to ask a few questions about her career journey and the lessons she has learnt that may be similar to the ones I was working through.
Upon reaching out to her, she did what all good leaders do, she said “Of course, let’s bring in the others!”. This is the heart of the community we are creating. We are open to learning what we don’t know and to improve on what we do, and I for one will put my hand up and say that I certainly didn’t know that there were that many women at CloudStratex until we created a community for them.
A journey of discovery
If there is one word that could perhaps capture what we mean by the inspire in Stratexspire (we hope you get the link), it would be discovery. We are discovering the benefit of knowing each other and the value we can add to the company not only as employees but also as a community. A key part of that journey is first getting to know each other and volunteering each other to contribute to our areas of value. It is listening to each other share not just what we do day to day, but how we got there so that our journey of discovery can help others in theirs.
If there is one mistake we could make as female community– or to be honest any community– it is underestimating the impact that our stories can have on others – not just what we did but how we felt and the direction that we chose to take that makes us inspiring. This is always with the understanding that where we are is rarely where we thought was possible whether it is for any one or for us.
In our first meeting, our leader Lisa Hall, told us her personal journey of work which to her was ordinary but to us it was anything but. The truth is that those who haven’t been where you are will never see you and your journey as ordinary in the way that you may.
A journey of reality
Coming together as a community has its realities and its challenges. The fundamental challenge is… time. Finding a time to come together is a great part of our story that taught us to value and maximize that time by utilizing what we have learnt from our daily routines.
By the third week, we found ourselves creating excel sheets to track actions and make decisions, creating templates to plan events and make profiles. Agendas and “Can you take the meeting for me” emails were flying around as well as the classic “Sorry, I can’t make it L I’m stuck in a review”.
We expected it be a challenge, but we were determined to use the skills we were learning to come together for a cause we knew and believed in – inspiring each other. As you know, the more people strive to attend, the more the attendance will increase, because people mimic the energy of each other and that is where the team spirit starts though to it is annoying challenge.
It’s funny how an agenda changes things. There are women who would have never met each other outside of Stratexspire, but in the same way at least one of us had worked with another and through the event come to see each other in a different light. As women working in a very intentional and dynamic company, we intend to be just an intentional about inspiring each other by showing each other who are in different ways that we can inspire each other.
We are working on activities from hot seating each other to how to truly welcome every woman that joins CloudStratex and we want you to know– woman or not, that you can inspire us too.
We have funding from male leaders who jumped in straight away, so feel free to jump in too. If you have any ideas, questions, inspiring stories or encouragement please comment below. We at Stratexspire look forward to more inspiration every day.
Written By: Shalom Ononuju, Technical Analyst, CloudStratex.