TechWomen 2016

This September, Shaina and Rachel performed at TechWomen’s Annual Kickoff  at Twitter Headquarters in San Francisco. TechWomen is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and brings emerging leaders from 19 nations together for five weeks of cultural exchange, business training, and technical advancement. The following is a blog from Rachel about her experience.

Eclecta often performs for interesting and cool events, but rarely have I felt such a reminder of why I love to perform, and even deeper still, the power of music to unify and transform. Shaina and I walked into a room full of women representing 19 nations, many in traditional dress, who are innovators and leaders in the tech industry. Many had never been to the United States. The CEO of Twitter gave opening remarks that gave me goosebumps. He spoke to the hearts of women everywhere; being able to bring their brilliance to the tech world while still creating community and family life, truly respecting all that a woman is. We live is a truly phenomenal time in history, where women all over the world have opportunities that were not available even a generation ago.

Shaina and I were looking into the audience and the energy from these women was palpable. After a few remarks from U.S. Department of State representative, they announced Shaina and I with a short bio, and we went onstage to play an awesome 4-song medley that Shaina had arranged. Before too long, most of the women were clapping and singing along, especially to “Roar” by Katy Perry, which is definitely a female empowerment song! Yay, Katy Perry! Their reaction – and the fact that they were from all over the world! – gave Shaina and I the juice to express ourselves to the max, and we had such a fun time. The audience participation was so inspiring!

It was 6 minutes of being connected to one another, being connected to all these women with stories of their own and sharing a common language together, and we couldn’t have been happier to be there.