Amanda Southworth—Take Action Even When You’re Scared 

Amanda Southworth

“If we avoided doing things because we’re scared, we would never get anything done,” iOS developer, and mental health and human rights activist Amanda Southworth said at the 2019 Texas Conference for Women.

She should know.

As someone who suffered from anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts, she recognized something important in 2015: “I could continue on my current path and probably die before I turned 40. Or, I could take what I was given and use it as a force to make things better.” Read More

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10 Pearls of Wisdom—from One of the Nation’s Top Investment Bankers

Carla Harris

People don’t get to the top of their game on Wall Street without knowing something about the secrets of success. But not everyone can share their wisdom with as much clarity, power and inspiration as Carla Harris, vice chairman and managing director at Morgan Stanley and former chair of the National Women’s Business Council.

Here’s are 10 lessons—“Carla’s Pearls” she calls them—that she shared at the 2019 Texas Conference for Women. Read More

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Tracee Ellis Ross Shares How She Found Her Confidence—and Keeps Growing

Tracee Ellis Ross

Tracee Ellis Ross has a talent for making us laugh—and for breaking boundaries. On screen, as the star of the popular sitcom, Black-ish, she is helping tell a new story about black families.

Off-screen, she is breaking boundaries for women as an outspoken voice on sexual harassment and someone willing to challenge the expectation that all women must marry and have children.

Now, also an entrepreneur, one could ask: How has she found the confidence to take all of this on? Read More

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Megan Rapinoe on Fighting Like Hell for Equal Pay

Megan Rapinoe

At the 2019 Texas Conference for Women, U.S. women’s soccer superstar Megan Rapinoe was asked to respond to the suggestion some people have made that she should be grateful for the opportunity to play on the world stage—and perhaps not make such a big deal out of the whole equal pay thing.

Here was her reply:

“I think the idea that being paid equally and knowing what you deserve and also being grateful are not mutually exclusive. That doesn’t compute for me or anyone on the team,” she said to applause from the audience of 7,500.

Known for her candor, the pink-purple-haired co-captain of the world’s greatest women’s team added: “I think that we can be proud and grateful to represent our country; and to me, pulling on that shirt doesn’t mean just being grateful for wearing the stars and stripes. It means fighting like hell every day to ensure that every person is afforded the same opportunities as everyone else—and that women get paid equally.” Read More

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Elizabeth Gilbert: On the Three Most Powerful Words a Woman Can Say

Elizabeth Gilbert

When she was 25 and had moved to New York City to pursue a career as a writer, Elizabeth Gilbert saw a woman in her neighborhood who seemed to be living her dream life: one of creativity that was not taken up by other day jobs.

“She became my mentor. She didn’t know. We didn’t have the conversation. I just decided. And, what that meant in my world was that I would semi-talk to her,” Gilbert told 7,500 women at the 2019 Texas Conference for Women. “My plan for this mentorship relationship was to be in her presence and what would happen is all that [she had] would migrate to me.”

Then, one night, Gilbert saw her at a party, where the woman politely asked how her writing was going. Gilbert responded: not very well. The woman asked why. Gilbert said she had too much work, and was busy with a boyfriend, and her roommates were very distracting. In short, she didn’t have time, and she didn’t have privacy. Read More

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The Q&A—On Mentors and Role Models in STEM Fields

Liana NicklauWith Arm’s Liana Nicklaus

“If you care deeply about an issue and want to see it improve, whether that’s women’s professional development or something completely different, it’s time to get to work, because it’s not going to happen without you.”

Q: Which people have been your most important mentors and role models throughout your life?

As a kid, my most important role models were my parents. I learned how to advocate for myself and speak in a professional manner by overhearing my mom’s conference calls and having long talks with her in the car while she drove me around to after-school activities. My dad passed down his passion for science and engineering through many evenings and weekends spent running experiments with my sister and I in the kitchen sink, taking us to science camp, and helping us with math homework. Read More

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The Q&A—On Striking a Healthy Work-Life Balance

Amy O'NeilWith Liberty Mutual’s Amy O’Neill

“Looking back, I would want a mentor to tell me that there is no magic formula to the work-life balance. The key is to find a healthy balance that enables you to be your best at work and at home, which will allow you to experience a fulfilling career.”

Q: What was your dream job as a kid and why? 

I wanted to be a teacher. Growing up with nine siblings, I remember playing “school” with my younger brothers and creating tests and homework assignments; I loved the idea of running my own classroom (or bossing my brothers around!)

Q: Today, you have an enormous job—being someone who is responsible for driving strategy and the execution of health and welfare benefits and well-being programs for nearly 50,000 people. What is one of the most valuable and perhaps surprising lessons in leadership that has enabled you to do what you do? Read More

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To Be a Great Boss, Focus on These Three Qualities

Fran Hauser

If you’ve ever been told you won’t be able to get ahead if you’re too nice, Fran Hauser, author of The Myth of the Nice Girl, has news for you.

You don’t have to choose between kindness and strength. You only have to focus on how you communicate—which is more important today than ever. Read More

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Four Ways to Candidly Improve Your Work Relationships

Kim Scott

It can’t be fun to be pulled aside by Sheryl Sandberg, after giving what you think was a successful presentation to Google’s Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt, and be told that when you say “um” every third word, it makes you sound ignorant and stupid and you really should see a speech coach.

But Kim Scott, author of New York Times best-selling book, Radical Candor, was  immensely grateful for the experience—because, after seeing that speech coach, she discovered she really did say “um” every third word; and after a career of giving talks, she felt like Sandberg was the first person to point out that she had a giant hunk of spinach between her teeth. Read More

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The Q&A—on How Women Succeed

Beth Goff-McMillanWith SKG’s CEO Beth Goff-McMillan

“It is more about the finesse than it is slamming the driver down the fairway.”

What was your dream job and why?

I knew my dream job would be a mix of the creative and the strategic, but I couldn’t identify it at the time. I loved beautiful things and being creative, but all the games the shows I loved were built around strategy. I was always drawn to Monopoly and Clue and the TV show Dallas. But it wasn’t for the drama. It was the strategy and maneuvering. I knew I had to find something that was creative and involved problem-solving.

Today, you’re the CEO of the second-largest woman-owned business in Central Texas and one of the fastest growing companies in the country. What is something that you do to help the women on your team succeed that you perhaps not every organization does?

One of the things I do is take time for other women. I think a lot of people talk about it and think about it, but I don’t think a lot of people do it. Every single day, I carve out time to listen, to advise, to coach and mentor women inside our company. I want people to know how much I value them, and I want to give them my time to share where I have succeeded and where I have failed and the lessons I have learned. That goes personally and professionally.

Read More

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