Watermark’s Conference Shows How We Can Honor International Women’s Day Every Day

Last month, I had the pleasure of attending the fifth annual Watermark Conference for Women in the Silicon Valley. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the organization, Watermark’s mission is to increase the number of women in leadership positions by empowering our members to make their mark in their companies, careers, and communities. I’m deeply committed to the organization’s work to connect, develop and advocate for the advancement of women in the workplace.

I’ve been involved with Watermark—the largest women’s membership organization in the Bay Area, representing more than 800 Bay Area-based senior executives and entrepreneurs and emerging executives —since early 2015. I’m currently in service of the organization as an Ambassador and WLU Peninsula Co-Lead and was honored in November 2017 as the recipient of Watermark’s Make Your Mark Award for Senior Executive of the Year.

Annie Wands, Google, Media and Entertainment – Play Movies distribution and Heather Jerrehian, COO, Emtrain at the 2019 Watermark Conference.

Watermark Conference Speaker Highlights

Throughout the day, I jotted down some of the quotes that really struck me. Here are a few that I’m still thinking about:

“Until men are equal in the home, women aren’t going to be equal outside the home.”—Gloria Steinem.

A powerful truth that reminded me that I’ve had to work hard to break the pattern of what was modeled for me growing up.

“We need to have tough conversations as they promote diversity, equality, and inclusivity. Courageous leaders are never silent about the hard things.” —Dr. Brené Brown, #1 New York Times best-selling author.

As hard as it is, I can no longer not have a voice, it is truly my duty to speak up and often.

“‘Ruinous empathy’ happens when you don’t tell someone something they’d be better off hearing, because you’re trying to be nice. As a manager, it’s important to find that balance to help your team grow and flourish in their careers.” —Kim Scott, author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling book, Radical Candor: Be a Kickass Boss without Losing your Humanity, and is also the co-founder of Radical Candor LLC.

When I fail to share important information, I am essentially robbing that person of their opportunity for growth.

“You are what you think. You are what you say. If you are constantly thinking negative thoughts, that’s what you will bring to yourself. “— Serena Williams

I am truly grateful to my parents for their positivity—it is my natural disposition and how I view the world—and has served me well in getting to the other side of some very challenging issues.

“Accept who you are and work to be a better person every day.”— Serena Williams

I love this because it reminds me that I can accept my humanness and appreciate that I am a constant work in progress.

It’s Never Too Early (or Late) to Make a Difference

This year, as I listened to speakers and talked with attendees that ranged in age from teenagers to octogenarians, one thing stood out for me: to truly see a change in the way women are treated, we’ve got to start early and keep on going. And by early, I mean starting with the way we raise our children. The norms we teach them, including how we manage the daily actions that take place in our homes. The way we encourage them—and what we encourage them for doing. And, like Gloria Steinem, we’ve got to keep on having those conversations, and reinforcing what we’d like to see out there in the world. Every single day.

I joined Emtrain because of my passion for making change in this area. I’ve long been an advocate for women and girls, and am inspired by working in an organization that day-to-day is helping the workplace be a safer place for them. But the conference discussion left me thinking about ways I can do more. If you’re also looking for ways to connect and put your talents to work in support of women and girls in the workplace, get in touch. I’d love to discuss how we might best collaborate—be it through Emtrain and our experts offering, through getting involved with Watermark, and other such opportunities.

How can you make every day International Women’s Day?

gender equalityInternational Women's Day
Janine Yancey
Business Compliance & Workplace Culture Expert
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