On September 21st, Courtney Plude, Destiny Vorbeck, Kenzie Schumaker, Dawn Mandile, Elizabeth Badrov, Madeline Hultquist, Emily McDonough, and Fatima Zehra attended the Chicago Women Leaders Annual Summit. The event created an opportunity for diverse women executives and individual contributors to connect and share their knowledge and strategies on how to advance and progress careers in different and supportive ways.
Keynote speakers shared their personal experiences, professional insights, and suggestions for improving our own career paths and supporting careers of other women in the workforce. All the Trexin attendees found the sessions incredibly inspiring and enlightening. One of the benefits of the event was meeting like-minded and like-missioned women. Trexin looks forward to strengthening these new connections and continuing to support women on their leadership journeys.
Keynote speakers included:
- Jessica Gonzalez – How to Handle Difficult Conversations With Confidence
- Tracy Judge – Opportunities
- Kathleen Wisemandle – How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome
- Jessica Arnold – Embracing Your Authentic Story
In addition to the keynote speakers, the event had two panels on Achieving Optimal Work/Life Balance and Develop Your Value and Define Your Worth. These panels sparked interesting conversations and opportunities for the attendees to share their own stories.
- Verlena Mooney Newell – Director at Comcast
- Katherine Kurtzman – Executive Director at Ernst & Young
- Amanda Kreutziger – Vice President at Discover Financial Services
- Letticia Flores Poole – Senior Manager at BMO Harris Bank
- Malia Zoghlin – Senior Director at Groupon
Some key takeaways from the event:
- Empower employees for individual contributions. Giving them the right tools for success, listening to their needs, and providing coaching can bring out the best in them.
- Surround yourself with like-missioned people. Find or establish Employee Resource Groups (ERGs); if your company already has them, make sure their goals are trackable and measurable.
- Incorporate your participation in ERGs (or similar work) into your annual goals, reviews, and expectations; ensure your management team is in agreement with the importance of that work.
- Recognize and find opportunities for those who are underrepresented to have their voice heard. Easy ways to do this: have them share information about their projects at townhalls or if they share a positive email with you, distribute that email to a wider audience and cc them.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback about how others see you, so you can refine and improve your personal brand. Consider adding more of your authentic self to that brand.
- Work/Life balance looks different over time. Don’t be afraid to change how you allocate your time.