Episode 51: Women in Tech Mavens Lise Rasmussen and Christina Gibson

Heather:  Hello everyone. Here we are again for another Mavens Do It Better podcast where we interview extraordinary experts who bring a light to our world. I could not be more excited today. I think you may be my first two-fer, two people on a podcast. Very excited. Um, I have, uh, the hosts of a wonderful podcast, the WIT Girls podcast. I have both Christina Gibson and Lise Rasmussen here today who are coming to you very late in their evening across the pond as it were. And so ladies, yay. Say hello and thank you for being on. 

Christina:  Thank you very much for having us. 

Heather:  You betcha. We've been trying to schedule this for how long? I don't even know. 

Christina:  Um, maybe like a year or something. Since the last ESPC conference in Copenhagen. 

Heather:  I think that's true. Oh my God. I was like, we're not waiting till Prague. We're getting this done for goodness sakes. Right? Oh my goodness. So, so where are both of you right now in the world? 

Christina:  Stockholm. Sweden! 

Heather:  Yeah. Me Too. Stockholm, in Hammarbyhöjden, which is in the city center almost. 

Heather:  Yeah. Wonderful. Yeah, I have been to both of those cities and loved them very much. So, uh, I think when I was in Copenhagen for the first time in 2004, I was determined to get another passport stamp. So I took the ferry over to Malmö just so I could say I've been to Sweden. 

Christina:  that's actually my hometown, Malmö. 

Heather:  Oh, it is? Okay. Yeah. It's beautiful. 

Heather:  I know, but you must come to Stockholm also, Heather. It's even more beautiful here I must say. 

Heather:  That's, yeah, I actually, I went to Stockholm for ESPC, goodness, three, when was it? Three years? Four years ago? 

Christina:  Four years, I think. Yeah. 

Heather:  Yeah. So that's, yeah, that's awesome. It was a European for the, for listeners, that's the ESPC is the European SharePoint Conference is what we're talking about. And um, yes, yes. We've all been going to that show and um, uh, love, you know, Tracy and all the folks who put that show on. So thank you. Love being a part of that. That's been great. I, I've had wonderful time being at the, um, I did the first keynote for the women in tech lunch there back, I think that was actually in Stockholm. So my first one. 

Christina:  I went to that as well. Did you Lise? 

Lise:  I think so. It was quite many years. I'm just thinking about the former with lunch we had at the ESPC in Copenhagen last year that you also held there, Heather, or you were, you were, yeah, you were there. So we tend to meet that ESPCs, right? 

Heather:  Yeah, pretty much, you know, I mean why not? I love coming to Europe at least once a year. So it makes me very happy. So 

Christina:  yeah. Are you coming to Prague also Heather? 

Heather:  I am, I am. My hotel is booked. Yay. So, and I've never been. Have you been to Prague before? 

Lise:  I've been to the city. I love it. I've been there several times. They are great at beer, chocolate, and just a beautiful city. 

Heather:  Oh awesome. I know, I love, I love the art deco or not art deco, Art Nouveau Movement. I can't, I want to see all the Alphonse Mucha stuff. I am obsessed so I, yeah, I'm excited to go check that out for sure. And I will definitely go have a beer with you ladies. Absolutely. So that is awesome. So 

Christina:  I used to be a flight attendant, so I flew to Prague, but I was too close to be holding a stopover because it was a turnaround, a fight for us, unfortunately. 

Heather:  Yeah. So It was a tease. 

Christina:  Yeah. It was a tease. 

Heather:  Oh my God. That's awesome. So you two have a wonderful podcast. Yeah, I love it. WIT Girls at and. 

Lise:  You too. 

Heather:  Thank you. Thank you. Ladies doing podcasts is awesome. Right? So, um, so will you tell me about the, tell me the origin story of the podcast and I don't know which one of you wants to go first, Christina or Lise, but tell me, tell me how it happened. 

Lise:  Yeah, so I guess I'll start, I'm the, I'm the guilty one in this. So, um, it all started with actually that Christina and I met at my former work, uh, in 2017 in the spring time. Christina, right? 

Christina:  Yeah. 

Lise:  She came for an interview there and I was the one holding the interviews and it ended up with my boss leaving the room so that she and I could talk because we found each other there. 

Christina:  Soul mate. 

Lise:  Yeah, it was really like a perfect match there. And uh, later that year, um, I have always wanted to do a podcast. I'd been blogging and so on. And uh, I think it takes so much time to blog. So I thought why not dig into podcasting and try to share the information out through a podcasts. So I always wanted to do that. So I started that in a, I think the Autumn of 2017 and then I literally forced Christina to join me as my co-host. 

Christina:  Not really forcing but I mean we are very different. I mean we are very alike but very different because Lise, she's so organized and she writes all the texts and every stuff, everything that we are going to talk about in the episode. And I have so much going on everywhere. So I'll just bump into the show and babble. 

Lise:  With grace. With grace Christina. 

Christina:  Thanks. But we can babble together. 

Heather:  Yeah, yeah. That's awesome. And we were just talking before we all jumped on. How many do you have, um, out in the world now? 

Lise:  Um, I, I looked at the list actually today, just the top countries in the last seven days. It's insane. It's like 24 different countries. These are all from Malaysia to Hong Kong to Japan, to Australia, to Canada, to India to all over the world. And the US of course. Um, I'm amazed how it has spread and it must be the same for your podcast, Heather. 

Heather:  Yeah, yeah. I, I think well, you know, you all live in Europe and stuff as well, but, but you know, but to get people in Asia, that's amazing, right? You know? And I think we all travel a lot, you know, around the world and speak and have clients and all of that stuff with our technology and all of the, with our businesses. And so, yeah, I think it's also because of that, that, you know, you get, you get a global audience, you know, and you know, I think you do it too. I host people from all over the world, right? On the podcast as well in many different industries and all of that. So yeah, I, I, I'm always blown away. You know, I'll get, you know, a DM or somebody from some, you know, somewhere that's, you're just like, wow, okay, awesome. Sri Lanka! 

Christina:  I just got the other day on Twitter, on Twitter, there was a girl from Norway, who said, oh, thank you so much for, uh, bringing up the struggles. I recognize them. I also have them, you know, with the things that we talk about because we, we want to share challenges and experiences and you know, struggles we have in our daily work as consultants and just share it and discuss it then it's so much, it's, it's very nice to hear the feedback that people recognize what we talk about. So that's really cool to hear. 

Heather:  Absolutely. And can I talk about your Instagram account for a second? First of all, I love it. 

Lise:  What about it? I'm so nervous. 

Heather:  No, It's wonderful. I love it. I love. Awesome. And so, everybody, um, so go on Instagram and it's wit w I t girls pod, p o d, witgirlspod. And then they have both of their handles up there too sharepointbabe and bananas. Banana Bananas. How the hell do you? 

Christina:  Bananvaskan. It's like the banana pouch. You know like the, the pouch you had on the, on your belly when you're out traveling a savings the money. 

Heather:  Oh my gosh. 

Lise:  From 20 years ago. Just kidding. 

Heather:  That's what it's called? Bananavaskin. I'm saying it's totally wrong. Say it again. 

Christina:  My kids, they call my stomach the banana pouch. 

Heather:  Wow. That's hysterical. We call those a fanny pack here. And I know that. I know. And the word fanny in many languages means another body part. Right? Cause you both laughed. I know. 

Christina:  It's not something you want. 

Heather:  Yeah, I know. Well and the fanny pack has come back. I like your word for it. Much better for goodness sakes. I mean, you know, cause I've been seeing all the advertisements because you know these front pouches are back, right? Because of all the rave culture and festivals and all that stuff, especially here and, and so like you see all the advertisements of fanny pack and anytime I'm with somebody who is not from the United States, they're all like, ha, ha, ha, ha, fanny pack, you know. 

Christina:  It's just extra funny. 

Heather:  Yeah. It's funny for sure. No, no, I love, I love your Instagram cause like you just, you both are so gorgeous and happy and always smiling. And I always see a lovely beverage in front of you too. So like, you know how to have a good time. the two of you in the mat or no, it's not both of you. But the one with the masks too. That's hilarious. But that's not real is it? And that's not you too. I was like, that's you and somebody else. Oh my God. Yeah, 

Lise:  It was of Christina and Christian, actually it happened by accident. Yeah. And so I took a picture of those too. And then we send, we sent that picture to someone who wasn't in the conference just to tease them a bit. And then the filter had automatically added, been added to make like small faces all of a sudden with a towel on their head. 

Heather:  Oh my gosh. That's hysterical. That's great. And the podcast is on all of the usual suspects, right? I think you are on SoundCloud. Yeah? 

Lise:  Yeah. SoundCloud. 

Christina:  Spotify. Stitcher and all those. Yeah. Every podcast platform you can think of. 

Heather:  I know, right. We got to get them on everything for sure. And you've got about 25, 27 that you have out in the world. Yeah,? 

Christina:  27 episodes. And I was like, what? Haven't we done more, we've been going on forever, but it's like we just release one episode a month, so be sure to subscribe so you don't miss out. Yeah, 

Heather:  absolutely. Everybody do subscribed. So once a month. Okay. That makes sense to me. Yeah. 

Lise:  We try to help to keep it down to 30 minutes. But it's hard. 

Heather:  I know. 

Christina:  It's hard, we can't stop talking. 

Heather:  Yeah, I hear ya. You know everybody's all like, I look over and I'm like, oh my God, we're at 45 minutes. Oh, and we still have things to say! Yeah. It's, that's hilarious. You know, and so it's a, the podcast is a combination of, you know, SharePoint and office 365, that's your focus, right? 

Lise:  Yeah. 

Christina:  True. 

Heather:  And how do you get your, uh, how do you get your folks to, to say yes when, you know, where do you get your, your guests from? 

Christina:  Oh, we hadn't had a guest in a while. Now we have lovely Sandy we've had and uh, we had some, but we, it was long time ago now, but that wasn't hard. I mean, people in this community loved to talk and share. 

Heather:  Well, and for the most part it's you two obviously talking about different aspects of technology. Um, is that, do you kind of see it's for that, like how do you choose that? Is it like something that's hot and new or something that you really love. And you know, I, I know some of this, but explain it to our, our listeners, if you will. 

Christina:  I think we try to talk about the new stuff that we see in the message center and whatever had turned up in our tenant. And also, uh, we talk about, uh, getting almost, I mean 80% out of the product, that 20% is not nearly as good as it should be. So it's the struggle. Struggles. Yeah. Because, uh, if, if, uh, there is a new feature release, there's always something that we need to tweak to get it, uh, the best for the customer. But we love, it's like having a Christmas every time we open a tenant really. 

Lise:  It's only in this world, we would look at it like that. No, but I mean it's like, you say, and we, I think what me and Christina often talk about is because we work with these products daily and we want to really discuss what have we been working on lately. Maybe someone who listens, can get some input or get some feedback for us to learn something. And that's one of the feedbacks we've also gotten is that people actually have learned things through listening to the podcast. So I think we, we try to mix that with a bit of a sense of humor. I mean, we joke a lot about things, but we can also criticize things, things that honestly, our honest opinions on what works and what does not. Like I said, the 80 20 is there is always a constant struggle. 

Heather:  Yeah, no, absolutely. You know, I, I, I agree with you and I, you know, I love it. It's always just nice to get a different perspective, you know what I mean? I think that, you know, and especially perspectives from all over the world, you know about, because you know, I guess so you both, uh, have, have, you know, you both are working and you have different jobs and you've had different jobs, you know, at different times and, but for the most part you're working with clients on architecting and all of that, right? For the most part, 

Lise:  Yes, correct. We are both consultants and I think we are quite similar in our work roles as Solution architects. 

Christina:  Yeah. Solution architects. And, uh, I'm always, uh, I'm working with government issue, and the governance and stuff like that as well. And Eh, you are better at the server world, Lise. 

Lise:  Yeah, but not, I think since, sorry you what did you say, Heather? 

Heather:  Nothing. 

Christina:  Server Admin, 

Lise:  yeah, I thought I heard Heather say something. Sorry. No, but I mean um, I'm not seeing some and obviously we're in the cloud so we don't need to focus so much on the server administration anymore and that I like that because now we can focus more on the product. What can we actually do with SharePoint, with all the other applications we had and Office 365 and the best part, how can we make people's days better and more like use these apps in an efficient and smart way and help their day become easier with these products. And that's something I burn for. I love that. And also working on prem of course. Um, because they all have hosting partners right. I'm not allowed to touch the server anyway cause I can just focus on the good parts. It's like building stuff and yeah. 

Christina:  And I've been working, I started out with SharePoint quite late or as a consultant because I've only been working as a consultant for about four or five years. And before that I was in business and I was doing a lot of digital transformation from paper based processes. And I've been seeing the demand, I mean, longing for something that would get rid of the papers, automate the processes and all of a sudden, I was working with a fantastic product, which is like a smorgasbord of automating stuff, flow, PowerApps. So yeah. So I like, yeah, because I can understand the businesses need and now I can even do something about it. 

Lise:  And I bet I've worked with SharePoint for more than 15 years now. So, I, I felt when the cloud came and SharePoint online, that was very welcome because for me it was something totally different than I'd been working with before. And all the new things constantly coming and I love change. Change is good. So for me this is a beautiful product to work with. 

Heather:  Yeah, absolutely. No, I love it too. I mean, I, I started at Microsoft, uh, in 2001 and we were still calling it code name. And I've always been a marketer first, you know, um, and technologist second and, uh, yeah, I've, you know, I got to watch it change over many years. And also when, when we were kind of a startup, you know, inside of Microsoft. We have a little bit more money than most startups, so I got to do all kinds of crazy things, you know. Um, but, uh, but yeah, it's been amazing to watch the journey of the product. And I think, I know you've, I'm sure you probably feel this too, but I, I think that the, I believe our community is just one of the strongest technology communities or just communities in general I've ever been involved with. Yeah. 

Christina:  Agree. Yeah. 

Lise:  And that's why it feels so good to contribute to something, Eh, I hope we do that sort of, that’s our goal with the podcast, at least. 

Heather:  Yeah, I think so. I mean, I think everybody has a voice and chooses to use it in different ways. Right. And I agree with you, you know, I love to write as well, but blogging, woof, you know, it's a lot of work and I give it up to people who do it. You know, there's some people out there who write the most amazing technical blogs and I'm always like, holy cats, that's all, that's a lot of work. Um, you know? 

Lise:  it's a lot of work because it takes longer time to make all the screenshots to write all the steps and to think about, okay, you can't miss out if you're going to do a good, a really good blog post, you can't like miss out on information. It needs to be packed with facts and it should also be fun to read maybe or something. So it's not that just points or something, it needs to be like readable. 

Heather:  Yeah, no, I agree. I mean, yeah. You know, and I think people do such a nice job with that. But we almost have too much information. Sometimes I'm like, who do I look at? What do I read? Like, where do I go? You know, I have my favorites, of course, but, you know, definitely it's super fun. So I want to go, I want to talk, I'm going to sort of go backwards a little. And you know, I was looking at, you know, it's so funny, you know, we've, we've talked a little bit, but like it feels to me like every time we see each other we're like, hi, oh my God! And we're like, hug. And then we all were like, okay, I'll see you sometime, you know. So I'm like, we're going to no, right. So we're going to sit down and Prague and actually have a like face to face Chit Chat, we're going to schedule it and everything. But um, so I was looking at your, you know, LinkedIn's and some of your bio stuff and I was looking at um, Christina and were you, so what's the to fly Nordic where did, where did that, what is that you are, do you, are you a pilot? Cause I've seen it cause you, you just like what's going on with that? Cause I was just looking at the other podcast and I was like, what's happening here? So 

Christina:  no, TUI Fly Nordic is actually one of the biggest charter companies in the world, I mean it's TUI really. It's a, it went from Germany, England, Scandinavia, all over Europe really. And, um, well it's a large company. And I started out as an airline hostess, well that was 1987 in Copenhagen and I was working as a flight attendant until 2000 and then I started to work in the office instead. And I was trying computer for the first time in my life. And I wrote, Word document with comics sans font. And I'm so ashamed. But then I continue onward in the company. And I ended up at the technical department and that's where one of my, uh, well sweetheart bosses, uh, sort of thought I could do something with a computer and he sent me to a course, uh, for Access database to start building databases and yeah, and Excel. And I, I, I've always been, uh, into logic stuff and know how to organize files in a certain way . naming conventions. They always had it inside on me. So having tools and the, and the skills like I got from the database, it was, um, I mean it's fantastic. I just loved it. So I built, um, a little database for our company, uh, keeping track on all the aircraft documents and, uh, the maintenance documents, uh, and, uh, the manuals and stuff that was all over the world and keeping track of them. And then I continued onwards in, Eh, for a couple years later I went on to flight operations and, and started to implement a digital occurrence reporting system and, uh, communication and Lotus Note. And then we had SharePoint 2010 and, and it went on and on. And all of a sudden I said to myself, maybe, maybe I should go back to school. So I asked my husband, can I go back to school? And he said, yeah, why not? And then I found this, um, it was a two year education where we had a lot of practice as well. And the tool was SharePoint, but it was SharePoint development. And then I fell in love with the product and I couldn't stop myself from work with for it. So after the school I went to, uh, uh, I got a job at Johann Husman. It's his place. Um, there, then later on I went onwards to consulting business and that's where I am now. 

Heather:  Wow, that's so cool. It's always, I always love the sort of origin stories. Cause I was looking at yours Lise and I was like, did you get started working on a help desk? 

Lise:  Me? Yeah, yeah. Oh yeah. Wow. I mean I went from theater school when I went to high school or what do you call it when you're like 16 to 18 or something. Yup. Yeah. And then thought that was gonna work within that. And then, um, I went on to working in the university world and then someone discovered I was good at computers just like with Christina. And I ended up in the help desk for Volvo for two years. I learned, you know, how to ping a printer and re reboot it through, all sorts of, you know, excel formula stuffs. And they had Lotus Notes, I, I actually studied and become a Lotus Notes developer. So I ended up building their intranet on that. And then, uh, I heard about this product called SharePoint and my boss said, you need to, you need to find out what that is. And I'm like, okie dokie. So I went to Stockholm and had the training at Jurgen Huisman again. His name. His name is famous here in Sweden. Yeah. And then I went on the training there and since then I've not looked back. I've quit. I change religion from notes to, to SharePoint. 

Heather:  That happens. Sometimes you convert, you know? That's awesome. 

Lise:  So, Yeah. That's the story. 

Heather:  Yeah. And I, you worked at for Carlsberg. Yeah. You both have had such interesting, that's so cool. How was that? 

Lise:  Oh my God. To hear my boss say let's go to the kitchen and a have beer and cookies. I was like, what? It's work. Everybody just ran to the kitchen. So yeah, we had free beer and fantastic workplace. I mean excellent developers there at Carlsberg, yeah, the SharePoint people who was quite a big team, were like 11 people or something. And the funny thing is I met some of them ESPC now in Copenhagen, of course they were there. I was so happy to see them. 

Heather:  Oh, that's so awesome. Very cool. Yeah. I, I've been through the Carlsberg experience, uh, in Copenhagen. That was super cool and yeah, it's nice. My first trip there was, I think it was in 2004 and, uh, we were producing the first road show in Europe and so we did a five city tour. Uh, it was London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, um, Madrid and Frankfurt. So that was my first trip there. Oh yeah, it was amazing. And, uh, Copenhagen, I mean, Copenhagen and Stockholm are such walking cities, you know, it's like, I love that you can just, you know, plop yourself somewhere and just walk around and see beautiful things everywhere you look. It's ridiculous. So, yeah, it's a lot of fun. I'm sure. So, yeah. 

Christina:  So, what time of the year were you there? 

Heather:  Uh, I've been in Copenhagen in April, I've been in Copenhagen in November. I've been to Copenhagen like five times actually. So, um,. 

Christina:  it's a favorite city. 

Heather:  Yeah, it's a good one. So I think for me it's been actually spring and winter, um, have been the times that I've been there. And then Stockholm was a kind of fall, I guess that was fall, winter. Um, yeah. Yeah, I know I have to get over there in the summertime. 

Lise:  It's Beautiful. 

Heather:  Yeah, absolutely. Um, so, uh, I think, you know, it's, I, I was in looking at all of this stuff, I was like, we're kind of, we're in, we're same, similar age. Um, as far as like where we came up in the world when we're, you know, actually talking about like Lotus Notes and printing pin, uh, pinging printers and all that sort of thing. Um, I guess you sort of being, you know, all of us gals in technology, um, how have you seen things sort of progress or change just in technology in general or things that you've noticed about either women in technology as well? Um, kind of over the years and like starting up in Sweden, were you encouraged to get into tech? It sounds like you both were at a certain point, but was, you know, as is, is that, I just asked you like 14 questions, sorry, but, um, whoops. You can handle it. Just this, what do you, what do you think about sort of the changes that’ve happened since you started and maybe, uh, Christina, maybe you start. 

Christina:  Uh, yeah. Well, I think, um, I think it was quite easy to get into, uh, the tech in Sweden when I started because it was a big demand and, and the companies wanted to employ girls, really, ladies. And also when I, when I was in the technical department at the airline, uh, I mean, being the only girl there, it was also fantastic. Of course. So I, I've always had like an equal, uh, feeling of equality. But of course, I didn't know how much the guys were earning at the end of the day, but, uh, but everybody was treating me really, really like an equal. So I have, I have a really good experience. 

Heather:  Yeah. How about you Lise? 

Lise:  I feel the same. You know, I started in the IT business in 1997 and uh, I always felt the guys have felt it was so cool that a guy, uh, girl, I was talking to myself as a guy. That a girl came into this guy dominated like business. I thought, Eh, they really appreciated that. I have never felt like outside or that I've been treated different never, but it's like this with salaries. I'm still not sure that they are equal yet, but I mean Sweden I think has been quite far in this equal thinking quite long. And uh, but still of course there are, there are things that still aren’t as good as we could wish. But I mean I've never felt anyone looking down on me cause I'm a girl. It's like the opposite. They have like always encouraged and they think it's cool that I'm interested in this and I, I've been working really close with IT pearls, infrastructure and I love all that. I'm so happy to have my background with all this technical stuff because that helps you get the bigger picture and it's easy for you to understand how you can deliver something when you get that whole picture. So I'm very glad to have been working closely to these technical teams and uh, always loved it and learned so much from it. So yeah, that's my take on it. Yeah, 

Heather:  I feel that way too. I mean, I've had, I've had many wonderful mentors and I have had great experiences in the tech world as well, you know, and I've always been treated very well and all of that. And the thing is, for me, the big thing, the big thing is the parity on salaries and pay, you know, it's like, you can treat me nice, but I want you to pay me nice too, you know? 

Heather:  Yes, exactly. And equal. 

Heather:  Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Yeah. So, and I think a lot of the work that's being done around diversity, inclusion and, and gender equity and gender pay, gender equality, all of that, you know, is just lifting that conversation into a place where we're having that conversation more, which I think is great, you know, and as it should be. Right. So, yeah, that's a really good thing. Um, so you too work a lot. Um, I bet you’re both smiling and uh, you know, you're busy, you do a podcast, you've got all kinds of things going on. How do you, what do you like to do when you're not working or podcasting and you know, how do you, how do you stay balanced, you know? 

Lise:  Well, I, I go out. 

Christina:  Oh my God, we do have a life also. 

Lise:  No, but, Christina, come on. No, but I mean, I can only speak for myself and Christina and I go out and have fun a lot of times. I love hanging with her outside of work also, so we are good friends. But I mean, I want to go out. I love, culture, music. I go to lot of concerts and Stockholm is a fantastic city to have a life. If You want to have a life. It's full of clubs and it's like always something, concert going on. I went to the Ramstein the other day. That, that was an amazing concert. And even if you don't like maybe listen to the music anymore, it's like a fantastic experience to go to one of these huge concerts. So that's a big interest. And we went to see the Tarantino movie the other day, Christina and I and her husband. Have you seen it Heather? 

Heather:  I have not. No, I haven’t seen it yet. 

Christina:  Oh, you must. 

Lise:  It was really good. 

Christina:  Yeah. Just hang out and uh, I travel a lot, but not as much as you have Heather. I Follow you. You went to Sydney recently, weren't you? 

Heather:  I did, yeah. I was at a, the digital workplace conference for Debbie Ireland. It was lovely. I had a great time. 

Christina:  how long did, how long were you there for? 

Heather:  Um, I would say about it. I was about a week. Um, all told, yeah. 

Christina:  Isn’t that a huge, huge trip to take to. 

Heather:  It is a, it's a 15-hour flight from Los Angeles nonstop luckily. Yeah. So I just, you know, I should've watched that movie on the plane, but I don't think it was out yet. So, not yet. Yeah. I need to, I need to watch something a little bit lighter. I've been watching a lot of documentaries lately that have been making me angry and so I think I need something. 

Lise:  You need some entertainment. Something for entertainment. 

Heather:  Yes, for sure. For sure. Oh my goodness. And so, uh, so Malmo and what, where, where, where were you both born? So Lise, you're from? 

Lise:  Yeah, I'm from the south of Sweden. It's really a little bit higher up than Malmo, but around there ish. Yeah, 

Heather:  Right. Oh my goodness. Sweden is so cool. And it's like, but do, cause people are like, oh, does it, is it really sort of dark and all of that in the winter time? Like I haven’t been. 

Christina:  Yeah, it's really dark. And you know, in the north the sun never goes down. So you have to have those really, really black curtains. Otherwise you can't sleep. 

Heather:  That's wild. 

Christina:  That is wild, literally. Yes. But I also want to say, um, I'm working on a bucket list so I have things on my bucket list that I'm trying to, I know you have that too, but I, I really want, cause I heard you, your podcast where you were talking yourself, I think it was number 41 or something like that. Where you talked about the bucket list things. You did something in Los Angeles there. And I also have the same, you know, like things I need to tick off that I want to do before we go. So that's something to work on. 

Heather:  Yeah, absolutely. Spend the night, you know, in Sweden with the blackout curtains. 

Lise:  That's totally something. 

Heather:  Yeah, yeah. No, absolutely. So what do you two have coming up, I mean, I know we talked about Prague, uh, are there some things that you are excited about that's coming up this fall that you're going to be doing? 

Christina:  Well, hopefully we will be podcasting in Ignite. Right, Lise? 

Lise:  At Ignite (deep intake of breath). 

Heather:  Right. Right. 

Lise:  We send application and, yeah. That'll be Lovely. Yeah. 

Heather:  Oh, good. Yeah. I think everybody's supposed to find out this week. Right? 

Lise:  Wow. Because I've never been to Ignite, I've only been to New York in US so it will be cool to go to Ignite, to a conference in the US. 

Heather:  Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Listeners, yeah. A lot of you are familiar, but Microsoft Ignite is, uh, in, uh, Orlando, Florida. It's the first week of November. It's one of the largest technology shows that Microsoft puts on and IT pros, technical learning. There's podcasts. We do a whole diversity in tech extravaganza, tons of keynotes and all the different Microsoft technologies are featured there as well. So that's, that's the show that we're talking about. And um, yeah, that would be super cool. I hope you, I hope you get to podcast there. That would be amazing. And uh, Orlando in November is not bad. It's nice weather, you know, so, 

Christina:  okay, cool. I love it. I love the states. I used to live in Los Angeles. 

Heather:  Oh, where in Los Angeles? 

Christina:  At Westlake village, Thousand Oaks then Venice beach right next to the Sidewalk Cafe. 

Heather:  Get out of town. Really? 

Christina:  Muscle beach. Yeah. 

Heather:  Yeah. Oh my God. Well, you know, I live in Marina del Rey. 

Christina:  Oh, I love Marina del Rey. 

Heather:  Yeah. Yeah, I was, I'm, I'm in Venice all the time. The front of my building is Marina del Rey and the back of my building is Venice. It's so weird. Um, but yeah, I actually, I live very, uh, yeah. I, I love it. Oh, that's so fun. I had, I know exactly where you lived then. That's so cool. 

Christina:  I started as an au pair in Westlake village, Eh, I was guarding kids for a guy that decorated the Olympic Games in 1984. That was a long time ago. And then, uh, I moved out and was living together with four other girls cleaning houses and having just so much fun. And we just,. 

Lise:  That sounds amazing. 

Christina:  I want to go to LA too. 

Heather:  I know well, you have to come visit me, so yeah, that would be super fun. Yeah, I'm sure you had no fun living with four other girls in Los Angeles. Uh Huh. 

Christina:  Ohhh. 

Lise:  Sounds like boring. 

Heather:  I know. It sounds terrible. Never wanna do that. That is so funny. Yeah. That's awesome. Um, so, oh, go ahead. 

Christina:  Yeah, I just want to say I'm in between jobs right now. I quit my former job and it's a consultancy company, I'm joining another consultancy company in the beginning of September is, I'm quite in between jobs now, but I was so happy when I went in to see and I read information about this new company because you always talk about diversity, Heather and which I think is really interesting and they have an initiative relating to diversity and equality and uh, I was really happy to see this because they have a female network that wants to like highlight WITs like we all are WITs, women in tech. So this is very cool. So they want to rise awareness around this. So I look forward to starting this company and they are only like 400 people. So a bit more to grasp rather than the huge companies I've been to before. So I really look forward to starting this new position. 

Heather:  Congratulations. That's exciting. Yeah. 

Christina:  Thank you. Yeah. 

Heather:  Absolutely. Yeah, I love hearing about that. I was, um, the couple, was it two podcasts ago? Maybe when I, uh, uh, um, Alcia Loach from, uh, the UK, from London. She works for, um, HPE and was telling me all about their programs that they have. And really it's just exciting to see that, you know, we all need a place to get together, you know, and talk about certain things. And I love that, you know, it's, it's, there's, there's the women in tech stuff, you know, there's, and then there's diversity and inclusion in tech and, and then, you know, you're having more conversations also about wellness and mental health. You know? 

Lise:  Yes. Absolutely big focus on that. 

Heather:  Yeah. Yeah. You see that obviously in Sweden. Yeah? 

Lise:  yeah. Totally. Many people here, or like, I don't know what the proper word is, but you know, when you, they burn out, you know, and, yeah. And then the, we all seek to wellness and, uh, it's a lot of trend right now to go like, you know, on travel with the theme, you know, so yeah, you could do a yoga trip or you do like just a, uh, wellness of wellness trips as well. So I think that's a big trend in Sweden. 

Heather:  Yeah, yeah. I think it's starting to be a trend all over the world. I mean, here in LA, I mean, you can't look sideways and, you know, there's a yoga studio or you know, somebody is drinking a green drink or getting a, you know, coffee enema, or I don't know. Whatever, you know, but yeah,. 

Lise:  It's getting to be like that here. It's growing really large here. 

Christina:  I'm so hyper. I went down to a Santa Theresa in Eh, um, oh, I lost it in the Central America. Oh yeah, yeah. Costa Rica. 

Heather:  Costa Rica. I had to think for a second, she's talking about, Costa Rica. Yeah. Yeah. 

Christina:  And it was absolutely fantastic. It was like living on a dirt road and with a beautiful sea. And there were yoga studios everywhere and I took yoga and I was, there was this white curtains blowing in the wind and the sea. And I kept on looking at the watch, when is this done? When can I go out of the studio. And it was all set for being soft and nice and calm and yoga. And I was, my body was all stressed, wanted to get out of the studio. 

Heather:  I know we have a hard time slowing down, you know, and turning off our brains and it's so, self-care. I know that's a word right now. It's sort of a buzz word, but I just, it's so important, you know, like yeah. I'm about to go out to the desert for about 12 days myself. Um, and it's a bit self-care. It's a bit rough though as well, but it's definitely something um, I love and I'm very excited to go back. 

Lise:  That sounds so exciting. Can you tell a little bit just about that Heather? 

Heather:  Oh, but about Burning Man? Um, yeah, sure. Um, um, uh,. 

Lise:  I'm so curious about it, yeah. 

Heather:  Um, I, I went for like seven years, starting in 2004. And funnily enough, my friend Denise, who I worked with on the US partner team, that Microsoft was the one who got me the tickets. So, the reason I go to Burning Man is from a Microsoft friend, funnily enough. Um, yeah. And I gotta say that year and the years past that, um, I made some of the closest dearest friends that I have in my life. Um, and my friend Alison who, uh, lives in Chicago, she was like, you stop flying over me because like, you know, she goes, she's mad. She's like, you keep flying over me. And so yeah, she was like, you're coming. And I was like, okay. All right. All right. So I literally, my house is a disaster right now, getting ready for it to be honest. Um, but Burning Man is, um, it's an event out in the middle of the black rock desert. It's two hours north of Reno, Nevada. Um, and it's a prehistoric lake bed and a city is built out there for one week out of the year. Um, people have been out there for the last, you know, couple of like six to eight weeks or so, even longer, building the infrastructure. Um, it's been going on since 1996. Uh, it started in San Francisco when founder, Larry Harvey, um, burned a wooden man on the beach, um, and it kind, people gathered and, um, you know, burning the man can mean a lot of different things, you know, it's like,. 

Lise:  The "man". 

Heather:  Yeah. Um, and yeah, and it's grown and grown and, um, I haven't been in a while. My last one was 2012, I believe. What's crazy, I went and watched a documentary called Spark about Burning Man, which you can, it's on Amazon prime. Um, and that's the last year I went and I'm in the film, which is hilarious, like for a minute, my friend and I was like, oh my God. And I forgot, you know. Um, but yeah, but it's beautiful. Yeah. It's art. It's music. It's, um, the, there's, you know, 10 principles about, you know, radical, uh, uh, like radical self-expression and also, you know, decommodification and participating in a community. Um, leaving, no trace, taking, you know, you gotta take everything in and um, take everything out. And uh, it's my favorite week of the year and I haven't been in a while. And so, um, when we go back, uh, it's called going home, you know. Um, and so I'm very, very excited, um, to get back. 

Lise:  Sounds awesome. 

Heather:  Yeah. You know, when some people dress up in costumes and there's these big dance camps, you'd love it for all the clubs and the music. Like you both would love. 

Lise:  Yeah, I've heard about those. 

Heather:  Yeah, yeah, sure, sure. And I've seen many DJs like way before they were, you know, before the EDM craze went nuts. Like I was like, oh, that was Skrillex or oh that was whoever, you know, I know, I actually ended up, I watched Skrillex sitting in a camp chair with like a giant sleeping bag around me cause I was tired, but I wanted to hear it and I pulled a chair out and I sat and like literally then like six other people gathered around me in their chairs while everybody else was like dancing up front. And I was like, I was like, this is awesome. And they're like, yeah, we should start a fire. And I was like, we were just like, very funny. So, yeah. 

Lise:  You must make a lot of connections there, I guess? 

Heather:  Yeah, yeah, you do. Um, you know, it's been awhile since I've been, so when I went, there was no connection out to the outside world. Like there's no WIFI, there's no cell phones. So you're really truly off the grid, which I love about it. Yeah. And you know, like people talk about work but not, it's not, you know, it is networking. 

Lise:  Oh, I didn’t mean about work, I mean like social. 

Heather:  yeah, yeah, yeah. Completely. Oh yeah, yeah, absolutely. And um, yeah, I mean I, I will get to see friends from all over the world, uh, when I go, you know, and that I only maybe even see at Burning Man or once, you know, like, you know, sort of like seeing you too, you know, we see each other, you know, at the European SharePoint conference. And so, yeah, I am, I'm so excited to go and, um, to do that. You two would love it. You should go sometime, you know? 

Lise:  Yeah, I will. Totally. I love adventure. Also. Always the things I don't know of. I love that. 

Heather:  Are you both, are you both PADI certified? Are you both scuba divers? 

Lise:  I am. 

Christina:  No, no. 

Lise:  I took it in the Indian Ocean actually. It was really cool. And I saw a shark there. This blacktip reef shark while we were diving was like so amazing. I'm like what I can’t believe how lucky I was to see that actually at the same time. 

Heather:  That's amazing. Yeah. Yeah. 

Lise:  Do you have also PADI? 

Heather:  I do. I do. Yeah. I, yeah, I haven't been in a bit, but I, I learned in Maui in Hawaii, so, aw. 

Lise:  That's one of my bucket lists. 

Heather:  All right, well I know people there, so when you go, let me know. For sure. Yeah. Um, well I'm going to take us to our last question. Yeah, yeah. Okay, cool. So, um, I, as you know, I always ask people, and I'm interested in what and for, to share with our listeners, you know, what person or occurrence or something that sparked you that led you on the path you're on today. So if you wouldn't mind sharing love that, uh, Lise, I'll put you on the spot. Do you want to start? 

Lise:  Yeah. Okay. Sure. Well, for me, I don't think it has been a particular person. Uh, for me it has always been my own energy, my curiosity and also a lust for adventure and the drive. You know, I, I kind of do things first and then I think after what's happened there. So I, I'm not afraid to put myself in a little bit difficult situations and a few things excite me more than when I have no idea what's going to happen next. Like when I moved across the world to another part of the world and that was scary. Cool. And totally exciting in one and I mean, it turned out just fine. So I can't say. And then I meet people along the way who gives me a lot of energy, you know, Christina and all these lovely people I have around me. So they, they kind of give me a spark. But I think when it comes to the end of the day, it's like your own path, and your own energy that makes things happen. 

Heather:  Cool. Yeah. I love that. Fantastic. You're a spark. How about that? Ah,. 

Lise:  Thank you, you too. 

Heather:  Thank you. Christina, how about you Q? What's your spark? You're welcome, Hun. Yeah. 

Christina:  Um, I'm a little bit like Lise. It's not, just an occurrence or anybody in particular, but, um, I sort of change track every seven years, but it's not like, like a told myself to do it, but I've always changed track before I get a grumpy and then, yeah. And so. 

Lise:  that's a good thing. It is a good thing. 

Christina:  Yeah. And I dare to change track as well rather than to stay safe. I also, I think possibly it could be my energy that sort of gave me all these opportunities and uh, yeah. And I had just met some body, uh, like Lise for example when I was applying for a new job than I thought I said to myself, if we are getting along, I'll, I'll take the job. And, um, we were, so that's one person that I met and also my bosses I told you in, in the technical department who believed in me that I could do something else but pouring coffee or so, uh, uh, yeah. Yeah. 

Heather:  You're a spark too there. Okay. You know, I love it that you both looked inward towards yourselves for that. That's so, that's super cool. You know, like, we don't, we don't always do that, you know, I mean, we all are influenced by tons of people and we, you know what I mean? But we also like, uh, recognizing and celebrating yourself I think is really, really cool and really important. So thank you for that. That's, that's really, 

Lise:  Thank you. And that's what you're going to do at Burning Man, isn't it? A little bit like, 

Heather:  yeah, yeah, yeah. You know, there's a really, there's a famous 

Lise:  Sorry, I can't, I can stop talking about this Burning Man. I'm so fascinated by it. 

Heather:  That happens a lot. That does this a lot. 

Lise:  Heather, can you promise me to talk about this? Your experience there in some podcasts, moving on in the Mavens Do It Better. 

Heather:  I promise. Yes. 

Lise:  Cool, I look forward to the report. 

Heather:  Okay. Yes, I will. I will write up the report for sure. No, absolutely. Yeah, no, I think, I think we all need, Oh, I don't know, renewal, right. Where, you know, we doubt ourselves and we get down or something happens or whatever. And you know, it's like looking, I think you can look inward, you can look to other people and look to the like beautiful places like Costa Rica or whatever. Right. To reignite, reignite ourselves. Right. And, and I think it's about making choices to do that. Right. Because a lot of people just don't, and they sit, and I don't know, it's like, who wants to be sad and depressed all the time? I mean, you know, I get, I have my moments, right. We all do, but it's just, God, it's a, life is short, right? 

Christina:  Yeah. I believe of the inner power and being your own Goldsmith, you know? 

Heather:  Oh yeah. I love that. Wow. Yeah. I can talk to you too, for like another, like three hours. 

Christina:  I know. I don't want to stop talking actually. It's a great conversation. I'm like, I want to go, but you are welcome to our podcast also, Heather. 

Heather:  I would love swapsies. Yes, let's do it. I would love that. Yeah. I wish I was there so I could come meet you somewhere. But I think it's Kinda late at night for that, isn't it? 

Lise:  It's 12 o'clock in the night here now. 

Heather:  We've just reached the witching hour with you two. Hahaha. It's kind of perfect. 

Lise:  A lot of things can happen. 

Heather:  Yeah, I know. I know. There's a lot of trouble to be had with this trifecta of women. I think so. That's for sure. But anyway, well, cool. Well, I just wanted to say, uh, thank you both for, um, for us chasing each other to get this done. Yeah. And, and then also just your being awesome in what you bring to the world and being sparks and sharing a podcast with everybody. It's super cool. Really. 

Lise:  thank you so much for having us. It's been great to be on the show and I love your podcast too. So, I mean, I subscribed to it and you got to do it. Yeah. So thank you very much. 

Christina:  Thank you, Heather, and thank you for being such a lovely, uh, ambassador for us and the community. yeah, thank you so much, 

Heather:  You bet, thank you. I, I appreciate that. So you welcome and yay. So awesome. All right, well that was wonderful. Christina Gibson and Lise, Lise Rasmussen. I gave you a Lise, Lise, ha ha. From the WIT Girls podcast. And so do check out the WIT Girls podcast, subscribe and follow them on their fun Instagram. And this has been another Mavens Do It Better podcast and you can find us on all the usual suspect places on iTunes, on Spotify, on stitcher, and Google play. And here is to another beautiful day on this big blue spinning sphere. Thanks everybody. 

Heather Newman

Heather Newman is an award-winning marketing maven, technology entrepreneur and an epic connector that brings many worlds together. She has extensive experience marketing products and services for Enterprise businesses, startups and emerging markets. Heather builds plans and processes that are nimble, human and different. She is an adept storyteller and is passionate about growth for both employees and the corporate bottom-line. Heather hails from the arts and the bulk of her career has been working with the largest technology companies in the world (Microsoft, Google, Amazon, NetApp, Hewlett Packard, and Dell). Her nineteen years of experience working at technology companies and building global high-tech marketing strategy has driven millions of dollars of revenue and multiple award-winning campaigns. She has led global marketing teams for many technology companies including AvePoint, IT Unity & KnowledgeLake. Heather was a part of the original Microsoft SharePoint Marketing team. During her tenure, she helped launch multiple versions of the product, build the SharePoint Partner Ecosystem and conceived of and produced the first three Microsoft SharePoint Conferences. Creative Maven has produced thousands of global marketing campaigns and events. Currently CM is focusing on go to market strategies for Microsoft and its partners as well as a new site sister site launching in 2015 called Marketingfixer.com. Heather also serves as Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Content Panda, an innovative technology startup looking to actively disrupt how content is delivered inside software.