Datto’s First Women’s Leadership Lunch and Learn

May 24, 2016

Datto’s First Women’s Leadership Lunch and Learn

By: Sheila Lahar

Datto is typical of many high growth technology companies. We have benefits and perks galore for our employees. From free lunches every Friday to flexible working environments and tons of opportunity for professional growth, there’s a lot of amazing reasons to work at Datto. Where Datto also falls in line with other technology companies is the male to female employee ratio. It’s quite common that most tech companies have always been traditionally more male dominated. Software engineers coding away along with customer support tech reps are predominantly men. Women can be found on these teams in Datto but oftentimes it’s difficult to see them among a sea of men.

Given the disproportionate amount of women at Datto, I was excited by a recent opportunity to attend Yale’s inaugural Women in Leadership program back in April as part of Yale’s School of Management executive education. One thing Datto does really well - invest in their employees. Datto not only cares about educating employees on Datto’s technology but also about offering training that goes beyond a Datto device to give employees the chance to develop and grow professionally. This is significant. Not all companies are willing to provide employees with so many development opportunities.

At Yale’s Women in Leadership program, four women from Datto, including myself, participated in three full days of sessions on all things leadership taught by Yale’s top professors from the school’s MBA program (one of the best programs in the country). Immediately after taking the course, it was decided that the four of us should share our recent knowledge with our fellow colleagues. We set about organizing a Women’s Leadership Lunch and Learn at Datto and invited all of the offices to attend.

During our first ever Women’s Leadership Lunch and Learn, we presented four sessions to our coworkers directly from the Yale program including:

  • “SorryNotSorry” a session dedicated to improving body language and strengthening vocabulary for women in the workplace
  • “Decision Making for Leaders” a session discussing various leadership styles
  • “On Teamwork” a session designed to improve meeting efficiency and effectiveness
  • “Influence without Authority” a practical session on how women can improve their negotiating skills

The big takeaways? It’s critical to recognize certain areas, such as negotiation, where women still lag behind their male colleagues. We can however learn a great deal from one another and should continuously support each other. When we share what we’ve learned, tips for improvement, the best ways to manage various situations, our success stories, etc. the outcome will be more women in leadership roles and hopefully more women in leadership roles at technology companies.