Dream Out Loud

The WIT Network – International Women’s Day Conference 2019

I had the chance to attend the WIT Network, International Women’s Day Conference this past week. The following are my notes from the conference. I put them here, because I want others to be encouraged as well. And yes, if anyone wants to know, International Men’s Day is November 19 this year.

Coco Brown, CEO of the Athena Alliance

Women are supposed to be equals.  We’re half of the workforce and half of the breadwinners, but we make 83% of the buying decisions; this includes 65% of decisions on cars, 89% on financial services, and over 90% on healthcare decisions. 

But we’re held back in the boardroom as well as entrepreneurs.  There are an average of 23% females on the boards of companies that are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, and less than 9% for privately traded companies. 

The time to step into business and have the highest impact is now.  Own your value.  Everything being taught in business schools in the past 20 years is being disrupted, and not just by a gender shift.

Kati Quigley, Senior Director of Marketing at Microsoft

10 ways to be inclusive

Mentoring Circles includes a facilitator who takes notes and summarizes.  We had one assigned question and one picked question.

2) Make a habit of asking questions

  • Don’t ask in a passive/aggressive manner
  • If you can put a@@hole on the end of the question, then you have worded it incorrectly.  This helps you watch your phrasing.
  • Don’t assume right or wrong, ask for clarification.
  • Do you ask questions that you don’t need to know about?  Keep in mind social graces
  • Asking the right questions is of strategic importance in the boardroom and in leadership.
    • Ask the right questions in the right way

10) Be Brave

  • You are unique and have the most to offer because you’re different
  • What are we doing to model bravery?
  • Is there too much availability (social media)?

Megan Horton

Climbing your impossible mountain

Barbara Hardy, Global Head of Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging at NetApp

Unlocking your untapped brilliance

  • You belong.  You are enough
  • We were created to complement, not compare.
  • Feel the fear:  Do it anyway
  • Build the plane while you are flying
  • Perfect is boring
  • Don’t go it alone
  • Is your dream too small?
  • A setback is a setup for a comeback.
  • Our time as caterpillars is over.  It’s time to fly!
  • Be the change you want to see.
  • You are powerful!

Kelli Kirwin, Director, WW Software Sales at Cisco

Say yes to yourself

  1. You are at the table for a reason.  Find and use your voice.
  2. Build your support team.  A personal board of directors that will give you both good and bad reviews
  3. Claim it in writing.
    1. Humble bragging
    1. Kudos file
  4. Leap into fear!  Comfort and growth don’t coexist
  5. Lead by example
  6. Don’t work for someone you can’t respect or learn from
  7. Anchor it with trust
  8. Captain your own ship

Andrea Conner, President of Athena International

  • Amplification is good for business, families, and society as a whole.
  • Could we be the catalyst of change?
  • Consider the ripples in a pond.

CEO Panel – Advice to my younger self

  • Be in control of your career.  We are the CEOs of our life
  • Customer care:  Answer with a smile on your face.
  • Sometimes the path looks different then what you were expecting.  Be open minded.
  • What kind of role will I have?  What kind of impact will I have?
  • Work life balance – make family part of work.
  • Self-care is important.
  • Don’t be intimidated.
  • Be creative – There’s always a way
  • Fail forward – it’s an opportunity to learn
  • Don’t forget your true self

Lisa McKenzie – SVP and Partner of the Channel Company

Cynthia Barnes, Founder and CEO, National Association of Women Sales Professionals

-I am my ancestor’s wildest dream!

Three types of people

  1. Those who make things happen
  2. Those who wait for things to happen
  3. Those who wonder what happened

7-isms on the roadmap to success

  1. Work twice as hard
  2. Go where you are celebrated, not tolerated
  3. You don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate. 
  4. A closed fist cannot receive
  5. No woman is an island
  6. Be the water

Self-Reflection Questions

These were some questions I asked myself in the middle of the day.

  • We need more voices in tech – Blog posts
  • What am I passionate about?
  • What would I invent?  What did I invent?
  • Training and career advice for older women
  • What do I want?
  • What would be on my vision board?

Nancy Watt, Speaker, Writer, Facilitator

  • Access and opportunity
  • Adaptability Quotient
  • Improv is the new mindfulness
  • 3 most important qualities of executives:
    • Mindfulness
    • Selflessness
    • Compassion
  • Improv is listening and responding in the moment.
  • Mindfulness – paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment.
  • Listening is accepting the reality of the other
  • When you worry, you are anywhere but that moment.

And that was the end of the day. It’s not the end of the work, but the end of the day. And next year, the conference is in Munich, Germany! Anyway, check out the website The WIT Network for information on membership, webinars, and the SHEnavators. I have never met more inspiring and encouraging and uplifting women. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me.