I was selected to attend Bay Area's Girl Geek Dinner at Mozilla last week. I love Girl Geek dinner because they find awesome companies in the area to host women in tech. The concept is simple: companies buy dinner and drinks for girl geeks, and give away a piece of co-branded swag (to extend the lifetime of the event). They invite female speakers in areas of their expertise, from well-known names to the up-and-coming. They always encourage networking amongst women and recruiting by the sponsoring company. It's an awesome program and I give a lot of props to the organizers. Each dinner gets so many applicants that they have to hold a lottery to register.
Mozilla is on the same street as my startup but there are so many technology companies in SoMa, I never would have guessed. The office was, unsurprisingly, really cool. It was all decked out in orange and Mozilla pride.
After mingling for an hour, Mozilla kicked off the night talking about their values, especially for women in technology and how important their open source community is. I was amazed how closely the engineers work with volunteers everyday, Not only do volunteers contribute a lot but some of them even create their own features.
It was also amazing to hear all of the unconventional ways the employees found their way to Mozilla. My favorite was a former ad exec, "I was a vegan yoga teacher selling slim Jim's to 18 year old boys. I knew it was time to make a change." What was even more amazing is that Mozilla's 2012 revenue ($311 million) is the amount that Google makes in advertising in a town in the UK in a month.
After capping off the night with an amazing cake and demos of what the team is working on (I really liked Open Badges with sounded a lot like the program in Dave Egger's book, "The Circle"), I felt pumped to find a way to contribute to Mozilla.
Oh, and my Mozilla socks are the best swag I have ever gotten. Thanks, Mozilla!