Last week, I attended the Mobilize Women Summit, an annual conference for women in business. The summit is run by The Ellevate Network, of which BGS CEO Chris Carosella and myself are members.
The conference was a whirlwind of networking, panels and expert advice from thought leaders—much like our Global Leadership Summit.
BGS member Sallie Krawcheck, CEO and co-founder of Ellevest (and chair of the Ellevate Network), ended the day with her closing keynote speech.
Sallie knows what she’s talking about, too: she’s the former CEO of companies like Merrill Lynch, Smith Barney, US Trust, the Citi Private Bank, and Sanford C. Bernstein. She’s also chair of the Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Leadership Fund, is a best-selling author, and contributes to publications like Fast Company, Forbes, HuffPost and others.
Here’s what Sallie had to say:
1. It’s time to fight for equality.
Right now, the U.S. is seeing women’s rights dwindling, and it’s time for all of us to stand up and demand change. (In other words, we have to “break the wheel.”)
We need to overcome unconscious bias, report gender and racial pay gaps, and make paid parental leave a fundamental right for all caregivers.
Educate yourself on current policies and bills—national, international and local. And get out there and vote, vote, vote.
Sallie said that a great place to start encouraging a cultural change is within your own company. If you can come together with a proactive and positive attitude, you’ll pave the way for widespread change.
2. There’s no single recipe for success.
We all love inspiring success stories from moguls like Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington and Steve Jobs, but you don’t need to follow that same path in order to accomplish your goals. Recognize your own skills and leverage your strengths. You’ll find your own way to the top.
3. We can’t do it alone.
Find your people: a broad, diverse network of individuals that will give you honest feedback in a respectful and positive way. (This may be through your BGS chapter, an organization like Ellevate, or both!)
There’s power in numbers, so band together. Travel in packs. Lift each other up and support each other throughout your careers—no matter if you’re fresh out of college, leading the company or someplace in between.
Attending conferences like the GLS and Mobilize Women 2019 inspires us to reflect on ourselves, our careers and the state of the world, but there’s no point if you don’t put those thoughts to action. Your voice won’t be heard if you don’t speak up! Now is the time to stand up and do something.