Nine Ways To Empow(Her) This New Year
By Elizabeth Pehota
Support. Encourage. Inspire. Empow(Her).
Four simple words that send one powerful message. With the New Year upon us it’s time to learn from the past and welcome the new possibilities that 2018 can bring.
Boston Business Women embraced the end of 2017 by hosting the first ever, sold-out Empow(Her) Forum, teaching women unique insights on how to empower their professional and personal lives while also building up women around them. Empow(Her) puts a creative feminine flare on the word empower and means elevating you, your coworkers, your family, your friends and supporting each other together to reach success. Empow(her)ing each other can make all the difference.
Guest speakers from some of Boston’s most renowned companies brought the name of the forum to life, lighting up the room with their personal stories and experiences of their rollercoaster journeys to success.
Looking for a guide for your own ride in 2018? Here are the top takeaways from the Empow(Her) Forum to help set your goals and path for 2018. - Elizabeth Pehota
1). Seize every opportunity with confidence.
Reebok’s GM of the Business Training Unit Corinna Werkle, kick-started the event early. She took the floor with excitement, explaining how you need to take risks and advocate for yourself. It’s so important to seize opportunities with confidence, and allow yourself the chance to excel in your career. You shouldn’t worry about the all of the small details because they will fall into place.
2). Create your own personal Board of Directors.
Moo’s Chief Marketing Officer, Stephanie Shore, brought to life a professional concept and explained how to apply it your personal life. You need to find mentors, and build a Board of Directors who can help, advise and guide you throughout your lifetime. These relationships are crucial, and can be both men and women from a variety of backgrounds. These mentors can help you learn to negotiate a higher salary, teach you how to navigate challenging conversations and provide insight on handling personal milestones when you have to balance having a family with your career. These advisors that you choose will help you learn how to advocate for yourself, and may even also become friends along the way.
Believe in the power of difference. - Carol Fulp
3). Believe in the Power of Difference
Keynote speaker and the Partnership, Inc. CEO & President, Carol Fulp, expressed how you always need to believe in the Power of Difference. You need to find what you love and fuel your passions. Life will always have failures, but it’s about how quickly you pick yourself up from them that really matters. In the end, these pivotal moments make you stand out from the crowd because they make you stronger and wiser. Whether it’s your gender, race, background, religion, or experiences, it’s important to embrace diversity across all spectrums and continue to believe in the Power of Difference, because each of them make us who we are.
4). Make every single moment count, both personally and professionally.
In order to be successful, Marie Rosecrans, SVP of Product Marketing at Salesforce, believes you need to make every moment count. How can you do really do that though? Well, one way to exercise this is by using use your downtime productively ⎯ Journal, exercise and always try to continue learning by finding training opportunities that work with your schedule. You can also do this by asking for what you feel you deserve. You need to push yourself to become comfortable with uncomfortable conversations in order to advocate for yourself and/or your team. The worst someone can ever say is no. Relationships that can mentor you on the uncomfortable situations and help grow your career are key. Don’t be afraid to ask for meetings and advice from those who can help you. Remember that the tables turn both ways, so also try to pay it forward to other people.
There can be a work-life sway rather than complete balance. - Jeanne Thompson
5). There can be a work-life sway rather than complete balance.
Jeanne Thompson, Fidelity’s Senior Vice President of Thought Leadership, started her presentation very creatively. She crafted a double-line graph that illustrated her professional life including milestones such as promotions, critical career growth opportunities, new jobs and laid it on top of her personal journey, with major life events such as getting married, having children, and her parents passing away. It illustrated a work-life sway, demonstrating that sometimes she prioritized work and other times her personal life came first. These two part of your lives pull in both directions, and it’s okay to let one be a priority when it needs to be.
6). Learn along the way.
While everyone should strive towards achieving their goals, Danielle Russella, President of Client Solutions at Telehealth Technology, stressed that it’s also about embracing new knowledge along the way. Part of mastering your work is learning on the job. It’s about being relentless, and showing your potential for an opportunity with your attitude and work ethic to make yourself stand out. Your work experience and education can shape you, but it is not all you are. It’s about having those features, and coupling them with perseverance, good timing and a positive attitude.
7). Understand what you are and aren’t good at, and optimize that.
Three of Wayfair’s powerhouse women emphasized that there isn’t just one way to success. It is different for every single person, with many obstacles and even failures along the way. Figure out where your strengths and weaknesses lie, and use them to your advantage. By leveraging what you’re good at, you are tailoring your own path to reach your goals. Embracing your differences from those around you and finding your own personal strength can help you thrive.
Wayfair Panelists: Jane Carpenter – Head of Public Relations, Kate Gulliver – , Global Head of Talent and Margaret Lawrence – VP of Trade and Business.
8). Never Give Up
People can always knock you down, but you should never give up on your dreams. Collette Divitto, an incredible Boston baker with Down Syndrome, shared her story with the forum attendees, truly empow(her)ing everyone in the room. She created and owns Collettey’s Cookies, which not only makes delicious cookies, but also allows Collette to inspire other people with disabilities to reach their dreams. As she reinforced the statement “Never, ever give up on your dreams”, she finished her speech receiving a standing ovation from every person in the room.
9). Challenge Complacency
Amy Appleyard, the VP of Sales at LogMeIn, discussed her guiding principles that she learned throughout the journey of her career. Now, where do you start? What’s the first step? You need to simply get in the room. Once you’re present, you need to trust your instincts, follow your gut, raise your hand often and make yourself essential in helping others succeed in the workplace. All of these will help you build your network and challenge complacency so that you are ready for change, gain confidence and take risks with you fear. Paired with confidence in yourself, it’s a recipe for success.
With these empow(her)ing tips, you will be on your way to the top in 2018. Believe in yourself, support those around you and the realm of possibilities will be endless. - Elizabeth Pehota