NEW YORK — On June 19, Ellevate Network, the global organization for professional women, held its third annual summit Mobilize Women 2019 in New York City. Speakers at the day-long conference included Valerie Jarrett, former senior advisor to former President Barack Obama and now senior advisor at The Obama Foundation; Ajay Banga, president and CEO of MasterCard; the 2019 Academy Award winner Hannah Beachler (Best Production Design, ”Black Panther”); Tony Prophet, chief equality officer at Salesforce; Meredith Maskara, CEO at Girl Scouts of Greater New York; and Andrea Jung, president and CEO of Grameen America, the fastest-growing microfinance provider in the U.S.
Ellevate Network CEO Kristy Wallace welcomed the crowd of more than 650 women to kick off the summit. Sallie Krawcheck, chair of Ellevate Network and cofounder and CEO of Ellevest, the online investment service whose mission is to make financial planning and investing more friendly to women, spoke with Jarrett in what developed into an engrossing conversation that embodied the spirit and purpose of the summit.
Krawcheck described the urgency of Mobilize Women 2019 when she spoke of the career and financial challenges women continue to encounter. “We now know that each of us trying to do this on our own just doesn’t work,” she said. “We haven’t made the progress in business that the research would tell you we should have made, given the positive things that happened from diversity. What is clear now is that by coming together and using the power we have as half the workforce and by coming up with concrete actions and steps to take, we can change the business world to benefit women and all people.”
Here are three takeaways from Mobilize Women 2019 that you can use right now to jumpstart positive change in your life and work:
1. Find your voice
To find your voice means to honor your feelings, priorities, competencies and talents and refuse to allow fear or intimidation to extinguish your drive to bring into your life and work that which brings you joy. Finding your voice means owning what you hold dear and standing up to anyone who would conspire to mute your desires. Your voice shall prevail.
2. Exit the comfort zone
In her conversation with Krawcheck, Jarrett recommended that women, “Get outside of your comfort zone. That’s where the adventure begins.” Find the courage to take calculated risks. Learn a new skill. Travel to a destination you’ve always wanted to visit on your own. Launch a business.
3. You control the expectations
Stacey Flowers, TEDx speaker (2016, Omaha, NE) and life coach, inspired and delighted the audience as she pointed out, “The expectations that matter are your expectations for yourself and not the expectations that others would assign to you.” The opinions of others must not dictate the choices you make and the life you prefer to lead.