Category Archives: Speaker Articles
A lot of what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur is the same today as it was 30 years ago—grit, vision, initiative, willingness to take risks. But how we start and run a business is very different. “We used to do market research, write a business plan, seek money and resources, build the product—and then execute the plan and hope we were right,” says Mark Coopersmith, senior fellow of … [ more ]
A word to the wise: If you ever take a meeting with Tiffanie Stanard, make sure you’re fully caffeinated. The marketing and branding strategist and CEO of Prestige Concepts in Philadelphia talks fast, thinks faster—and does what most people consider a full morning’s slate (i.e., sends emails to current, past and prospective clients, updates her to-do list, prepares for meetings and exercises) before she has even arrived at her office.
If you ever feel like an imposter at work—or felt like one in school—you stand in good company. “It’s common to feel this way, and women tend to feel the imposter syndrome more intensely than do men,” says Marianne Cooper, a sociologist at Stanford’s Clayman Institute for Gender Research and author of Cut Adrift: Families in Insecure Times.
Over the past year, we asked past and future speakers at our conferences in Austin, Boston, Philadelphia and Silicon Valley for the best work or life advice they’ve ever received or given. Here’s the best of their best answers.
You don’t have to be in sales to wish you were a good salesperson. After all, every instance of persuasion—whether it’s getting your team to improve its performance or your boss to green-light your proposal—is a form of selling. Being personable and articulate helps, of course. But getting buy-in is more about know-how than natural gifts, says Joanne Black, who has more than 35 years of sales and management experience … [ more ]
Let’s be clear from the get-go: “Women are not any better or worse than men at managing their finances,” says Jane Bryant Quinn, a personal finance expert and author of new book How to Make Your Money Last: The Indispensable Retirement Guide. “For example, it’s been reported that women are more conservative investors than men [so they, in effect, are preserving wealth rather than building it], but when you look … [ more ]
Being Masters-of-the-Universe-ruthless is so last century. Now, most of us know that nice guys (and gals) do come in first, more so than cutthroats, thanks to Adam Grant’s New York Times bestseller Give and Take. And soon, with the February release of his new book, Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, we’ll stop suppressing our maverick sides, too. Here, the Wharton professor talks about the kind of giving that gets … [ more ]
When life feels out of balance or lacking in meaning, Mallika Chopra advises asking yourself the two questions her father taught her to ask: Who am I? And what do I want? “It’s the first step toward reconnecting with your authentic self and trusting your intuition,” says Chopra, author of Living with Intent. “This is what I call the incubation phase.”
Don’t tell Gloria Steinem that part of the reason for the pay gap is that women don’t negotiate. “That’s utter bulls***,” says the activist and author most recently of My Life on the Road. “It’s true that we should insist more than we do. But the reason we don’t insist is because inequality has been normalized.” Rather than blaming ourselves, we should be blaming the system—and sharing salary information and … [ more ]
By Heather J. Wilson, Dell Corporate Social Responsibility Sally Ride, the first American woman to fly in space. That is who social good engineer Krista Donaldson immediately thinks of when asked who inspired her in her youth. There are others, she says, “but Sally was the real deal to me.” Donaldson laughs when I bring up the idea that she herself is an inspiration to others—but she does agree that … [ more ]
Diversity and inclusion make a company stronger. Liberty Mutual Insurance is proof of that. At the launch of our Women and Allies Employee Resource Group (WE@Liberty), which focuses on advancing women and engaging men in the process to enhance their mutual success, we invited employees to share their personal career journeys, lessons learned and key moments from their professional lives. Here, four inspiring stories:
By Pat Milligan, Senior Partner and Regional President-North America, and Brian Levine, Partner, Mercer Tomorrow’s workforce is taking shape today. But business leaders should ask themselves if they have adequately addressed the issue of gender equality and are on a path to building greater workforce diversity.
Since being internationally recognized for co-leading a women’s movement that ended the most recent civil war in Liberia, Leymah Gbowee has hardly rested on her (Nobel) laurels. She continues to work for women, peace and security issues, founding The Gbowee Peace Foundation to provide education to women and underprivileged youth as well as serving as a global ambassador for Oxfam International and as a member of the UNHCR High Level … [ more ]
Borrowing clothes to put on models for photo shoots—in this behind-the-scenes-reality-TV-show world, we all know that’s what a stylist does. But back when Kemal Harris was quitting her day job to become a stylist in her small Canadian town, it was a far-fetched idea rather than an actual job description. “My parents didn’t understand it. They asked, ‘Are you making the clothes?’” recalls Harris, laughing. “They thought I was crazy.”
Even though she has 22 cookbooks, four TV shows, a lifestyle magazine and a line of dog and cat food, don’t call Rachael Ray a one-woman-cottage-industry. “I don’t like those terms,” she says. “It sounds like I created an ‘evil empire’ or something.” Her success wasn’t plotted out: “I just enjoy working, I enjoy people and I enjoy food. So, I do what I love; the TV just sort of … [ more ]
Before The Life Is Good Company was a going concern, let alone a $100 million business selling positive messaging on apparel and accessories, it was two brothers—Bert and John Jacobs—peddling their artwork on T-shirts at a trade show. They had decided to wear suits to look more mature, but toward the end of that day, a customer asked what was with the suits—they didn’t seem like the kind of guys … [ more ]
Even if you’ve been doing your writing at the 11th hour since college or you can’t stop checking your email to save your life, your bad habits are breakable. The key is not focusing on one fix and giving up when it doesn’t stick (for the proverbial 30 days). “We think there’s a one-size-fits-all solution, but different things work for different people,” says Gretchen Rubin, New York Times bestselling author … [ more ]
Senior advisors to Cabinet members aren’t usually known for causing big stirs, but that’s exactly what happened when, in 2011, Anne-Marie Slaughter left her dream job as director of policy planning at the State Department and returned to an academic career that gave her more time for her family. Slaughter wrote about her decision in an essay that got people talking, “Why Women Can’t Have It All,” and now president … [ more ]
Of course, we’re not exactly unbiased on the topic of female power and primacy. We’re also not trying to instigate some global insurgency or battle of the sexes. But we do believe we’ve identified a new gender gap: women are better at running things like, say, the world. To back up our theory, we turned to upcoming speakers. Here’s how they completed the sentence: “When a woman is in charge….”
Last month, prospective parents in Silicon Valley had reason to cheer: Adobe, Microsoft and Netflix announced that new moms and dads could take off, respectively, 12 weeks, 16 weeks and one year—paid. (At Adobe, birth moms can take 10 additional weeks of medical leave, and at Microsoft, they can take 8 more weeks of paid disability.) The companies joined Google (18 weeks for birth moms) and Facebook (four months for … [ more ]