The 3rd Annual SHE Summit took place recently at the 92Y, featuring over 60 thought leaders and change agents. As it is explained, “S.H.E. Summit is a global conversation and celebration of female potential and possibility that is accessible and relevant to women everywhere.”
Topics included women and innovation, social good, leadership, motherhood, self-care, media entrepreneurship, politics, science, sexuality, wealth and tech. Founder Claudia Chan and her partner Margaret White did a wonderful job curating and hosting this speaking series, and we were grateful to be there to experience this year’s events. Everyone that was featured shared some valuable wisdom, and below are just a few highlights taken away from the summit from just a few of the featured speakers, in raw note form.
If you missed it, and to see the full body of wisdom, check out videos of the two-day summit online here.
Musings from SHE Summit:
Claudia Chan, Organizer, SHE Summit, @ClaudiaChan - In her opening welcome, Claudia announced the SHE Summit work is to ask yourself these three questions, frequently: 1) What can I do more of/create more of on this journey that serves me? 2) What can I eliminate more of in my life that no longer serves me? 3) What are some activities that I can do/serve in to help others, especially women and girls?
Norma Kamali, Fashion Designer/Wellness Enthusiast, @NormaKamali - Focused on importance of self-image in reaching our potential. Shared an account of witnessing women who are incredible, accomplished, famous, on top of the world - who allow themselves to be taken down in a second over a self-image issue. She passionately encouraged everyone to tell their story, especially the painful ones- to get them out.
Mariane Pearl - Journalist, Chime for Change, @MarianePearl - “Control the people by owning the narrative”; Having the voice and recapturing the voice is essential for women.
Kelly Rutherford, Actress, @KellyRutherford - “Create a new story for ourselves!”
Krystal Ball, Co-host MSNBC’s The Cycle, @KrystalBall - Drove home points about abuse that women/girls face on social media platforms, domestic violence stats, and man’s sense of entitlement to women. “Women have come together online out of need…” Describing social action and online activism (paraphrasing): Social action/online activism is quick gratification in helping. You do something and it has an impact. That power is addicting, and you want to keep going, helping things. Big fan of social activism.
Simon Isaacs, Founder of Gather (cause marketing), @SimonIsaacs - Spoke of the juxtaposition of the advancement of women’s rights versus what is still going on - rape, sex trafficking, abuse… especially on a global scale.
Nigel Barker - photographer/humanitarian/TV personality, @NigelBarker - Credited his wife for being a better man - relationship is his soulmate, best friend, support, sounding board. Reflected on growing up in a house where roles and chores were shared. Spoke of media, with stereotypes, models, actors and characters, and how they’re perceived. Spoke of constant segregation for men and women, with separation in sport, schools, and even parents, with the way daughters are treated versus sons. “We are all just people, just human beings together.” Equality for all. “It’s about loving each other unconditionally regardless of sex, religious status, etc…”. Paragphasing: “lets not play the gender role, let’s play the human role.” On the subject of the violence against women in countries like India and in the middle East, proclaims “it’s going to take our governments not doing business with countries who are not allowing the advances to happen, where horrific actions are still going on.”
Gary Barker - UN humanitarian/founding Executive Director of Promundo, @Promundo_US - “Equality is a happier way to live for us all”. Paraphrasing: Supporting women shouldn’t be about men doing it for women, but because men’s lives get better when they do, when women are thriving. ” One-third of women in the world will experience violence form a man. Education/awareness beings at home: men who use violence are usually damaged men. They grow up with it. The cycle has to end. It begins at school with teacher training and basic skills to model gender equality in the classroom. Through media and storytelling we speed up that men are “getting it”.
Karyn Twaronite - partner, Ernst & Young - @EYNews - “Women are over-credentialed and under sponsored.” Success is having dreams crossed off the list. Spends a lot of time reflecting on week, on doing well, on grading self for the week. Failures are inevitable, they’re lessons. Hailed the power of an apology for moving forward in any situation, taking credit for failures.
Julie Macklowe - founder, VBeaute, @Macklowe - As a beauty business, success is helping women feel more confident about themselves. Personal success is waking up, going on the treadmill, putting the kids on the bus, having dinner with family. Cites time management & organizational skills required for balanced success.
Eleni Gianopulos - Founder, Eleni’s Cookies, @ElenisCookies - Question: How do you get to a 20,000 sq ft facility? Answer: “Lots of small baby steps.” Empower yourself and your team. Try to look at “failures” in a positive way and learn from it; handle them graciously and move forward positively. Success is having time to be with family while building a company; Success is small hurdles that happen in life, children’s life, business life.
Sallie Krawcheck - Business Leader, Ellevate (formerly 85 Broads), @SallieKrawcheck - Women invest back into other women. When men invest, they want return. When women invest they want to help and return. When women negotiate, the biggest thing a woman does is try to keep the relationship. Financial Services industries are mostly white, male and middle-aged.
Simona De Silvestro, Swiss Race Car Driver, @SimDeSilvestro - To get respect, be good at what you do. If someone’s good at what they do, try to encourage and help them get there. Be gutsy - go for it. Take on elements of a guys attitude: when they want something, they go for it. They don’t think too much.
Justine Aitel, Head of Cyber Risk, Dow Jones, @JustineAitel - Discussed that doing your job well is beyond doing the job. She began seeing it as paving the way for other women coming up, setting a good example for women.
Evy Poumpouras, Former Secret Service Special Agent, @EvyPoumpouras - Command respect in the way you carry yourself and do your job - don’t demand it. Show don’t tell. In a guys realm (especially on a physical level), she told she didn’t have mental/physical endurance to do the job and “a venom took over to prove them wrong”. Trained morning and night to meet a man’s standards of training, and surpassed it. Be brave, bold & courageous - anyone can do anything. Just do it - we look for permission, that okay - and we don’t need it.
Samantha Power, US Ambassador to UN, @AmbassadorPower - When women involved in negotiations, they’re not focused on moving around “chess pieces”, they’re more embedded into the community, the problems, and the heart of the matter.
Joanna Barsh - director, Emeritus at McKinsey, @joba42 - Men don’t sit around saying what they want - they just go out and get it. Men don’t see the barriers, men don’t think in barriers as women do. We think there are barriers, we think we have to try harder. “These collective beliefs are a giant wall that need to come down.”
Geraldine Moriba, VP Diversity & Inclusion CNN Worldwide, @GeraldineMoriba - Forget the lean in culture, where’s the speaking up culture?
Joanna - Looking for a job? Go to the companies, are there women on the board? If not, don’t go there.
Geraldine - I’m from a different school of thought. If we didn’t go there, we wouldn’t be here.
Kristin Van Ogtrop, Editor Real Simple, @kvanogtrop - Kick “having it all” to the curb!
Agapi Stassinopoulos, Author/Speaker, Unbinding the Heart, @AgapiSays - Love thyself. Smile. Cry. Dance. Interpreted a quote by Imam Ash Shafii….”My heart is at peace knowing that that that is mine will never miss me, and that that that misses me was never meant for me.” (Shafii quote: “My heart is at ease knowing that what was meant for me will never miss me, and that what misses me was never meant for me.”)
Monica Mehta, Author/Investor, The Entrepreneurial Instinct, @MonicaMegtaNYC - How to overcome risks? Take knee-jerk action instead of the think/strategize cycle; maintain action and stay on path to success. Have a variety of anchors, what makes you get up when you don’t want to (i.e. personal, passion, community cheerleaders, money); Identify of anchors; Remember fear means go; Become finically literate.
Lara Galinsky, Senior Vice President, Echoing Green, @laragalinsky - Fear means go. Go into it knowing it’s going to stretch you, learn a ton.
Christen Brandt, Co-Founder, She’s The First, @cjbrandt - Millenials might not be able to write the check, but they can come together and create action
Zeenat Rahman, Secretary Kerry’s special advisor on Global Youth Issues @Zeenat - Young people around the world are our change-agents. Connect networks, bridge skills, engage around partnership.
Samantha Wright - VP Impact Strategy, Girl Rising, @GirlRising - Girls can be the heroes of their own stories, but many girls don’t see themselves as the protagonist.
Jamie Miller, Senior VP & CIO, GE, @JaimesMiller - When you experience success, keep pulling people up around you.
Rachel Rothman, Good Housekeeping, @GHGadgetGirl - Being confident is taking action, trying things. And if they fail- so what they learn. Create a cycle where it’s okay to try, to learn, to fail and to succeed. Create a culture where women are confident. Women want to be 100% prepared, men are good to go at 60%.
Olivia Morgan, Editor, The Shriver Report, @ShriverReport - Men want out of this ‘man box’ way of thinking.
Manisha Thakor, Founder, MoneyZen, @ManishaThakor - On budgeting, follows Senator Elizabeth Warren’s 50/30/20 split, spending 50% on needs, 30% on wants and 20% on savings or paying down debt.
Rita King, EVP Science House, @RitaKing - Going from an industrial era mindset (bells, timers, automation, scalability - how fast we can move people, how fast we can make a part) to the imagination age. Things that are running our world are invisible- internet, energy, wireless… the intelligence era.
-Women are great at getting people organized, together, making them great candidates for activism and creating change.
-The phrase “hashtag activism”
-1 out of 3 of girls opt out of leadership, for fear of being disliked or being called bossy. “#banbossy”
-Lack of confidence is the biggest hinderance in our evolution; girls being perfectionists, thinking they have to do everything perfectly
-Women are going to control 2/3rds of the world’s wealth by 2030 (DailyWorth)