S.H.E. Summit in New York City, a two-day conference on June 14 and 15th, has been one of the most influential, impactful two-days I’ve experienced in a women’s conference that I’ve ever attended. Happening all over the world, S.H.E. Summit celebrates and is dedicated to inspiring women everywhere. Anyone who attends a S.H.E. Summit event couldn’t possibly leave not feeling like they couldn’t dream bigger and to take that dream all the way to the pinnacle of further inspiration and success.
Claudia Chan, the founder of ClaudiaChan.com and S.H.E. Summit’s biggest take home message is to dream big with passion and purpose. “We must support and collaborate more than ever,” Chan said to the sold-out conference of women of all ages.
Chan started each day after her opening keynote, with a group meditation led by Susanna Hardwood Rubin.
The next panel focused on The Disruptors, those willing to disrupt industries for positive change. One of the disrupters being Reshma Suajani, founder of Girls Who Code. “My vision is to change the world. I’m not exaggerating when I say that,” Suajani said. Sunjani’s innovative non-profit organization Girls Who Code, which is teaching teenage girls from all five boroughs of New York City the skills to get high-paying jobs in technology.
“Women entrepreneurs are changing the way we live our lives,” JoAnne Wilson of Gotham Gal said. Others on the Disruptors panel included Piera Gelardi, Co-founder & Creative Director of Refinery29, and Whitney Johnson, Speaker and Thought Leader of Disruptive Innovation where the panel message was play where no one else is playing and solve a problem.
The next panel focused on “Personal Innovation: Taking the Leap & Destroying the Fear” featuring Lauren Ruotolo, Director of Entertainment Promotions at Hearst Magazines, Claudia Chan, Suparna Bhasin, Founder and CEO of She Creates Change, Gabrielle Bernstein, Motivational Speaker & Author of May Cause Miracles, and Elena Brower, yoga teacher and writer of Virayoga.
“If I don’t write a vision for everything for what I want, I don’t have a end game,” Brewer said. The women on the panel spoke of their personal experiences that led them to the game changing change in their lives that have brought them to who they are today.
“When you think there has got to be a better way, that is your catalyst for change,” said Bernstein. “Our outside world is a reflection of our internal condition. “
“Give everyone five minutes. They might change your life. Practice kindness,” Ruotolo said.
Brewer’s take home message was: “This is all a blessing. Be nice to people. Remove the word “no” and “can’t” from your vocabulary.”
The next session focused on “Collaborative Disruption: How to Rock the System, Birth a Business & Restore Humanity to the Planet” featuring Dondeena Bradley, Vice President of Design and Development of Nutrition Ventures for Pepsico. Bradley spoke on the importance of “waking up, speaking out and stepping forward” knowing who you are, so you can speak out and hear your own voice, while stepping forward to what’s right for you. She also expressed the importance of rocking the system but while having each other’s backs and meaning it.
The next panel focused on “The New Business Model: Social Good Required” featuring Meena Mansharamani, Managing Director of Materne, North America; Sabrina Dupré, Head of Communications and Engagement, for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation; Natalia Oberti Noguera, Founder and CEO of Pipeline Fellowship and Rachael Chong, Founder and CEO of Catchafire.
“We need more investors who get the combination of philanthropy and investment,” Noguera said. “The same way women are encouraged to ask for higher pay, ask for more money for your business.”
The women agreed that social good is alignment between what your company does and how it impacts the world.
“If you’re really committed to social good, there is no plan B,” Chan said whose Catchafire works at bringing more resources to non-profits.
John Gerzema, author of The Athena Doctrine, spoke on the new paradigm of power being about influence rather than control.
The next panel, “Today’s Corporate Culture Challenge: How We Can Promote Women’s Leadership” featuring Anita Sands, Chief Operating Officer of UBS Wealth Management Americas; Charlotte Relyea, Partner, McKinsey & Company; Gloria Feldt, Women’s Leadership Speaker & Advocate, GloriaFeldt.com, and Joi Gordon, CEO of Dress for Success. The unifying message of this panel was to remind women not to be afraid to ask for what you want.
“Moments don’t last unless we do something with them,” Feldt said.
“Don’t mistake that at which you’re good with that which makes you unique, “ Sands reminded us.
Charlotte Relyea stressed the importance of remembering who backs you up and who you back up: “Who are you taking a bet on? And more importantly, who’s taking a bet on you?” Relyea reminded everyone.
Sarah Thompson, CEO of Dragon5; Lubov Azria, COO of BCBGMAXAZRIAGROUP & Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, Founder and CMO, Gilt Groupe’s panel focused on How to Build and Lead A Lovemark Brand.
The amazing author, actress and inspirational speaker, Agapi Stassinopoulos closed out the day out in fun, inspiration and a lot of powerful take home messages delivered with love. “You have to give yourself,” Stassinopoulos said. “Doubt is the #1 killer of the human spirit.”
“We are amazing because of who we are, not because of what we do,” Stassinopoulos said. Agapi stayed and signed her book, Unbinding the Heart, that was given away for as a complimentary gift to all S.H.E. Summit attendees, thanks to Wello for sponsoring.
And that was just day one! For bonus photos from the rest of the S.H.E. Summit, visit our Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/outimpact. Thank you S.H.E. Summit and their amazing staff for putting on one of the greatest events I’ve attended for women, that really connected women, professionally and personally. For more on S.H.E. Summit and to not miss the next event, visit http://www.claudiachan.com/.