I had the opportunity to attend the Connect the Dots PJ Party on Thursday, November 12th and I’m glad I grabbed it. According to the website, Connect the Dots “is designed to connect all leading women’s networking groups in the Ottawa Region and provide an opportunity to NETWORK, COLLABORATE, BE INSPIRED and GET MOTIVATED”. The event kicked off with the PJ party on Thursday night (yes most of us were wearing pyjamas) as an alternative to a traditional networking event, and the conference workshops were scheduled for the Friday. I was not able to attend the conference on Friday, so I went into Thursday’s event expecting to network with other women’s groups in an informal setting and get some perks on the side, but I found that I was so busy with all the activities going on, that I didn't have much time to network except through an old friend I bumped into and enjoyed catching up with. As it turned out, I didn’t run into many people in the science and tech fields anyway, and most of the participants seemed to have come as groups of friends and weren’t really there to network, so that was a bit of a disappointment, but otherwise it was lots of fun.
The PJ Party theme, IGNITE your inner GODDESS, was about relaxing and getting pampered through booths set up from local businesses (spas, caterers, etc), presentations by a comedian and a sex therapist, a pole dancing lesson, and lots of door prizes. For me, the night turned out to be more about connecting with my feminine side than connecting with others, and I experienced several things for the first time: I had my first facial, my first hand massage, and my first pole dancing lesson. It was amazing to see successful business women and entrepreneurs jumping into character and strutting their stuff as soon as they got near that pole. My feelings of total embarrassment and inadequacy did not stop me from giving it a try. Talk about feeling like an impostor! As I’m a bit of a tomboy, sometimes I wonder if I’m more comfortable emerged in the male dominated science and tech world than the “girly” side of things that sometimes gets forgotten. I know I’m DEFINITELY more comfortable in my sweats and sports bra than in high heels and makeup, but every once in a while it’s fun to play dress up and hang out with the ladies, and that’s precisely what this night was for me.
While it wasn't exactly what I was expecting, I did have a lot of fun and I love the idea. I think this sort of event would make networking at the conference the next day a whole lot more fun. - ”Didn’t I see you swinging from a pole last night?... Why, yes you did, and I seem to recall you were the one with the gold pyjamas!”
I'd like to thank Natasha D'Souza, one of the speakers at the event and a CU-WISE presenter, for giving me this neat opportunity to participate in Ottawa's best girls' night out!