Category: Embrace the Unknown

How to Be Brave, Not Perfect with Reshma Saujani

Laysha Ward interviewing Reshma Saujani for Women Amplified podcast

In this special episode, Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code, talks with guest host Laysha Ward, executive vice president and chief external engagement officer for Target, about her new book, Brave, Not Perfect. 

This conversation took place before the outbreak of COVID-19. But we’re airing it now because it clearly speaks to the challenges many of us face today. Tune in for practical advice and inspiration from Reshma to help you navigate away from the pull of perfectionism, which will only make you more anxious, and toward a life that is bolder, braver, and ultimately happier. Read More

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Posted in Embrace the Unknown, Life Balance, Life on Your Terms, Transitions, Podcasts Tagged , |

How to Stay Meaningfully Connected

a cheerful young woman staying connected and chatting via laptop while enjoying a bite to eat on the balcony

During another crazy time in our world, Emily Morgan had a newborn and a husband suddenly out of work because of the financial crash of 2007-2008. She’d been working at the University of Pennsylvania but wanted to give remote work a try. Twelve years later, she is a successful entrepreneur who leads a team of 40—and an expert in the remote work that has suddenly become a reality for so many.

Here are five suggestions from Morgan, a Conference for Women speaker, about how to stay connected in meaningful ways and be a leader in times like this—followed by tips from the Conferences for Women team on how to make working at home work.

  • Create brief opportunities for everyone to see each other. Her entire team comes together over Zoom for 15 minutes once a week, with various team members taking a turn hosting. They cover core values, one positive development, organizational updates, shared learnings, and a story of values in action.
  • Offer small, more in-depth chances to connect. Morgan’s team is divided into packs of five to seven who meet on Zoom one hour a week where they have an opportunity to share—including, as she puts it, to “complain to and encourage”—one another. This, she says, helps create the culture they would have if working in the office together.
  • Think creatively about how you can support your team now. For example, she is organizing a virtual camp where volunteers teach topics that will aim to keep children engaged while their parents focus on work.
  • Establish clear boundaries and expectations. Being clear about metrics the team should be focused on over the next 30, 60 and 90 days. This helps everyone stay focused on priorities and know what they are accountable for.
  • Try to model calmness. Morgan says she meditates, limits her news intake, and reflects on whether how she is leading and acting is aligned with how she wants to see others act. “I don’t,” she adds, “want to be leading from a place of reaction.”

Morgan is the founder and CEO of Delegate Solutions, which offers premium-level virtual assistant services for entrepreneurs.


More from the April 2020 Newsletter

Posted in Speaker Articles, Embrace the Unknown, Life Balance Tagged , |

10 Work-at-Home Tips from the CFW Team

Mother using digital tablet for working from home. Father using laptop with son at table. They are sitting in kitchen.

Since the Conferences for Women team is a remote one, we thought it might be useful to share some of the lessons we have learned in how to work effectively at home. Here are some highlights from our team:

  1. Shower and dress in real clothes every day. I’ve done the “It’s 5 p.m. and I’m still in my PJs” and have learned it’s just not good for my energy or my family’s. (Laura H.)
  2. Don’t watch or listen to the news during work hours. That’s tough especially now. But world events are not going to change just because I am watching them happen real-time. (Laura H.)
  3. Pick up the phone and talk. It’s easy to get isolated by just emailing all day. It’s a simple thing, but picking up the phone to talk to a colleague for 10 minutes helps more than you would think! (Michelle V.)
  4. With kids, make a routine just like a school day. They have to wake up and shower and eat breakfast at a normal time. Depending on their age, morning is for school work then getting outside. After lunch, they can watch a movie and play computer games or go on social media. Then they help make dinner and, after dinner, is family time. I’m also all for keeping a normal bed time. When my son was in the hospital on and off for a year, routine was so important. We had reading time, movie time, music time, video game time, art time, normal bed time. I taped the schedule on the wall. It was everything. (Laura H.)
  5. Do your best to communicate clear boundaries to your children regarding your work time and space. Try color-coded signs to hang on your office door, or come up with hand signals to let them know when you shouldn’t be disturbed. (Danielle L.)
  6. Take advantage of breaktime with kids around. Don’t eat lunch in front of your computer. Eat with your family, take 10 minutes to play, or go for a walk together. (Carolyn G.)
  7. Find “safe spaces” when needed. When all else fails and its chaos at home with the kids being nuts, I can be found in my bathroom with locked doors hiding to conduct a call. HAHA. Wish I was joking but I am not. (Jess B.)
  8. Tap your friends and neighbors to entertain the kids via video chat. Set up a schedule and take turns leading. (Sarah S.)
  9. Shut down your computer at night. My desk is in the living room in a small house and if I hear or see emails come in, I will head to the computer instead of spending time with my family. Last fall my kids commented they had only seen the back of my head for days on end.  I started shutting down for real; if I still have work to do at night it is after kids are in bed. (Laura H.)
  10. Give yourself grace. It’s OK if your kids eat mac-n-cheese three nights in a row and watch too much TV if it gets your family through the day. (Laura H.)

 

What are you discovering works for you? Please send your tips  to story@conferenceforwomen.org, and we’ll pass along highlights in our next newsletter. 


More from the April 2020 Newsletter

Posted in Speaker Articles, Embrace the Unknown, Life Balance Tagged |

How to Cultivate the Resilience We Need Now

Anne Grady

“If you’re naturally one of those super, über-productive people who are wondering why in the world you’re not getting a ton done or how to get it done, take a couple deep breaths. Reset your nervous system.”

Read More

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Posted in Embrace the Unknown, Health & Wellness, Podcasts, Women Amplified: A Podcast from the Conferences for Women Tagged |

Tips for Managing Stress

Alice Boyes, Conference for Women speaker and author of The Healthy Mind Toolkit

How do we, as a community of working women, best deal with the growing stress that has suddenly been unleashed in our lives as a result of the coronavirus? To answer that question, we spoke with Alice Boyes, Conference for Women speaker and author of The Healthy Mind Toolkit. Here are her suggestions—followed by links to 3 sessions we hope you find helpful now:

  • “You generally want to control everything you can and accept everything you can’t.” For example, washing your hands is in your control. School closures are not. “People who do well in these scenarios,” she explained, “are people who can be flexible. They can problem-solve but also be accepting where being accepting is the only option.”
  • Make a short list of high-impact actions you can take to reduce your risk. Remember that too many ideas can lead to overwhelm. Then focus on emotional coping—things that help you keep calm and carry on. One of her favorites, for example, is restorative yoga.
  • Refrain from personalizing the impact of this crisis. “Whatever dilemmas you’re having, you’re not the only one.” We’re in this together and, in fact, it helps to remember your community and how we can help each other.
  • Be creative. If you were planning a spring break trip that you have to reschedule for the fall, consider your alternatives. For example, Boyes has been pitching a tent in the backyard with her four-year-old.
  • Finally, she suggested, remember that this is not our first rodeo. Crises are part of the human experience. And humans are remarkable about responding to them. In the end, they tend to bring out the best in us.

Do you have helpful thoughts to share with the Conference for Women community? Please send them to story@conferenceforwomen.org, and we’ll pass along highlights in our next newsletter.

THREE TALKS FOR THESE TIMES. With many of us now working from home, children out of school, fluctuations in the stock market, and all the other uncertainty we’re facing, we sorely need our community and wise words from women who know what it takes to be brave, resilient and even happy in difficult times. Here are links to 3 sessions we hope lift your spirits:

RESTORATIVE YOGA. Also, don’t miss these relaxing and restorative yoga moves to help you to slow down and get back to YOU!


More from the March 2020 Newsletter

Posted in Speaker Articles, Embrace the Unknown, Health & Wellness Tagged , |

Feel Like an Imposter? That’s a Good Sign

Seth Godin at the 2020 Watermark Conference for Women

There are many ideas about how to overcome imposter syndrome, that very common experience of doubting yourself despite how capable or successful you may be. But at the 2020 Watermark Conference for Women, marketing guru Seth Godin offered another way of looking at it.

“Of course, you feel like an imposter because you are one, and so am I,” he said. “How could it be otherwise? If you are going to lead, if you are going to project the future, if you are going to do something that has never been done before, how could you be sure [it will succeed]?” Read More

Posted in Latest News, Speaker Articles, Embrace the Unknown, Life on Your Terms Tagged , , , |

Meet Silicon Valley Bank’s Jennifer Friel Goldstein

Jennifer Friel GoldsteinIn this piece, Jennifer, who is Head of Business Development, Technology and Healthcare for Silicon Valley Bank, shares the story of her unconventional career trajectory—and some of the lessons she learned along the way about iterating your career and investing in authentic relationships.

You never know what may lead to a career defining moment. In my case, it came after a succession of cold shoulders. Literally. As an undergrad, I spent hours in the lab as a bench scientist studying rotator cuff disease. For each session, I would have to thaw, and then refreeze, a human shoulder. As passionate as I was, and still am, about research, hanging out with frozen cadaver parts wasn’t an ideal environment for an extrovert like myself. Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Career Choices, Embrace the Unknown Tagged , |

The Expert Q&A on Engaging Male Allies

Tom SalgeWith Varian’s Tom Salge, Senior Director, Oncology Software Business Operations and Innovations

Q: Many men say they support equality for women in the workplace. But being an “ally” involves taking action. What are some examples of the most important kinds of actions male allies can take to advance gender equality in the workplace?

Just saying “I support women” is not enough. And, assuming you are not part of the problem is a cop-out and makes you part of the problem whether you know it or not. This is the nature of being born into male privilege: We don’t experience what women experience so we have to bend our minds to see it.

Here are a few tangible actions we can take as men to promote gender equality. Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Communication Skills, Embrace the Unknown, Job Advancement Tagged , , |

ENCORE: Resilience Reset: It’s Your Turn to Thrive | 2020 Session

Click Play below to listen to this session from the 2020 conference.

The ability to successfully navigate change, rise above adversity, and triumph in our lives boils down to one word: resilience. When faced with a challenge, ambiguity, or adversity, those who practice resilience refuse to let fear hold them back; and they break through barriers to not only survive difficult times, but thrive as a result. Learn how to cultivate courage, improve resilience, and triumph over adversity, obstacles, and setbacks at work. Be inspired to be an agent of change, conquer fear and self-doubt, and develop strategies that can be applied immediately in all aspects of your life to become bolder, stronger, and better able to handle anything thrown your way.

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Posted in Embrace the Unknown, Health & Wellness, Life Balance, Breakout Session Tagged , , |

Resilience Reset: It’s Your Turn to Thrive | 2020 Session

Click Play below to listen to this session from the 2020 conference.

The ability to successfully navigate change, rise above adversity, and triumph in our lives boils down to one word: resilience. When faced with a challenge, ambiguity, or adversity, those who practice resilience refuse to let fear hold them back; and they break through barriers to not only survive difficult times, but thrive as a result. Learn how to cultivate courage, improve resilience, and triumph over adversity, obstacles, and setbacks at work. Be inspired to be an agent of change, conquer fear and self-doubt, and develop strategies that can be applied immediately in all aspects of your life to become bolder, stronger, and better able to handle anything thrown your way.

Read More

Posted in Embrace the Unknown, Health & Wellness, Life Balance, Breakout Session Tagged , , |

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