SugarSync CEO Laura Yecies and Board Member Paula Long host a Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner.
By Deboshree Dutta (Software Development Engineer, Alcatel-Lucent)

After a long day at work, I always find it refreshing to meet with my girl friends, grab some food and catch up with each other. Last evening was just like that, only a lot more fun, because it was with a room filled with enthusiastic women I’ve never met before, talking about their lives, goals and challenges, which I learnt are not very different from my own!

How often do we women ever take a moment to think about what it takes to step out of our shells, own the podium and speak our minds out? A lot of us tend to be timid, talk shyly about what’s playing on our minds in the shadow of a corridor and go back to being the exact same person, only a day older.

At the Girl Geek Dinner sponsored by SugarSync, I got to meet women who have actually done exactly what I shy away from – being assertive, being a leader, and expressing opinions so as to be heard!

Paula Long, co-founder and Vice President at EqualLogic, and CEO of SugarSync, Laura Yecies, some of the most enterprising and successful women I’ve had the fortune to meet, talked about how they would like to see more women leaders in this male dominated technology industry, and what worked for them to get to where they are today.

Paula Long spoke about the time she decided to move to a startup back in ‘93 and was posed with questions about taking on a career challenge and being there for her 3 year old son as well. Maintaining a work-life balance mostly involved figuring out a plan that worked for her and her family – and interestingly for her, that entailed bringing her son to work.

She joked about how she made her son co-founder of the billion dollar company, while he was just a toddler, kept him busy while he accompanied her to office, and that he was doing QA by age 12!

Laura Yecies, reiterated the importance of work-life balance emphasizing that that balance is directly dependent on support from one’s family. She and her husband have a wonderful partnership that allows her to successfully handle being a parent to four children and being an industry leader at the same time.

Hearing them talk about their lives at a forum like this Girl Geek Dinner, I discovered that we’re probably all dealing with the same questions – am I ready to take a career risk such as moving to a startup? How will my family cope with the change? Am I capable of leading a company of men and women that depend on me to make decisions? Even if I am, will I be heard? How do I express myself such that they’re is willing to trust me and my skills?

Girl Geek Dinners is a wonderful platform to bring together all of us women to help and encourage each other to explore what’s beyond our comfort zone. SugarSync had a great idea for a networking game – which actually got all of us to actually walk around the room and interact with everyone around us.

While at it, I got to speak to SugarSync employees to tell me a little about the company and how it is different from competitors Sharepoint and Dropbox. SugarSync is a great product that allows you to back up your local files on the cloud.

Any changes made to these local files is synced to the cloud storage so when accessing them from a different device connected to the internet, SugarSync ensures you have the most recent version of the file. I can’t wait to start using the freebie I received from SugarSync, which is in fact a one year subscription to 30g of their cloud storage service!

I can’t thank Angie and Sukrutha enough for introducing and popularizing Girl Geek dinners in the Bay Area. It’s the perfect ground for us girls in technology to get together, share a few stories, learn and help each other grow. Can’t wait for the next dinner!

This article was originally posted at Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners.