The Women in Insurance Global Conference will be held June 12 - 14, 2013 in New York. The conference will examine how women and companies can "collaborate to enhance the opportunities for outstanding women leaders". Speakers include Anne-Marie Slaughter, Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University; Pattie Sellers, Co-Chair of the Fortune "Most Powerful Women Summit"; and Lori Fouche, President and CEO Fireman’s Fund. Watch Lori explain her job so kids can understand!
Susan Engel (pictured), CEO of Portero, Inc., the online retailer of vintage pre-owned luxury personal accessories and the former CEO of Lenox Group Inc, will join Eileen Naughton, VP Global Sales, Google, at the WomenintheBoardroom Connections event on March 13, 2013 in New York. Read more on womenintheboardroom.com. Watch Eileen talk about Google.
WomenintheBoardroom will also host Cathleen Black, the publishing and media executive and best-selling author; Hope Taitz, The Managing Partner of ELY Advisors; and Kelly Hoey, Founder of Women Innovate Mobile, at a Signature event April 17, 2013 in New York. Read more...
Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence, founded by Nell Merlino, is partnering with Capital One to develop a mentoring program for women veterans called the Women Veteran Entrepreneur Corps. The new program will start with a conference and pitch competition on April 29-30, 2013 in McLean, Virginia. Read more.
Count Me In and Capital One worked with Braun Research to survey 800 women veteran business owners. The majority of women veterans say the main reason they started their business was the desire to be their own boss. They also said that their military service gave them self-confidence, the ability to adapt quickly to changing environments, and the ability to take calculated risks in their businesses. Many said that being a small business owner helped them transition to civilian life after military service.
The biggest challenges these women face include getting access to financial capital and time management. Nell Merlino talks about what women small business owners need:
Power skills - what are they? Why do you need them? Power skills are the tools that help you achieve your goals in business and in your career. I see five groups of skills that create the power in you that propels you forward. Leadership skills; Connecting skills; Technical skills; Industrial skills and Competitive skills. #1 is always leadership. Demonstrating leadership is essential. Leadership means not only seeing where you want to go in the future, but inspiring others to see your vision of the future as well. People will follow your lead if they understand where you are going and why. You need to negotiate well to make others see your point of view. If you want to walk on the path to power, you need to learn how to lead others.
Connecting skills are also a key piece of the power pie. In order to lead others, they have to know who you are. Building a network of support and a group of advisors that help you see the right future is the first step on the path to power.
Technical skills are also a must in today's new economy. Taking the lead in technology and learning about and using all the newest avenues for doing business puts you ahead of the pack. You don't have to be an engineer to understand how to use today's technology, you just need to be open minded and an early adopter.
Industrial skills are important because you need to understand you industry well in order to see the future and have an impact in it, understanding how it will change as technology opens new doors for it. And did I mention being competitive?
Competitive skills are important because it can give you the "first-mover advantage". Being too early can often be as unsuccessful as being too late, so developing your competitive skills to understand when to move into a market is key to success. The path to power has many twists and turns, and these five skills will help you maneuver to the finish line.
The Women2.0 "PITCH NYC 2012 Startup Competition" to be held Nov 14, 2012 received over 275 applications. The 10 women-led startups selected as finalists by seasoned VCs and angel investors include ActivityHero, a social marketplace for kids activities founded by Chandini Ammineni (pictured), Shipa Dalmia, and Peggy Chang; Alike, the purchase research company founded by Maria Renhui Zhang; and The Daily Muse, the job search & end-to-end career development for professionals site founded by Kathryn Minshew, Alex Cavoulacos, and Melissa McCreery. Read about the other finalists on women2.org.
The Women’s Conference is an important part of the history of women in business. I have attended many, and I wonder - is it relevant in the 21st century, or a dinosaur facing extinction? The traditional one day conference no longer meets the needs of women. It is important that this concept adapt. If we want to encourage women to speak up at meetings, why do we have them sit quietly at conferences? If we want women to be leaders, why don’t conferences demonstrate leadership skills by adding community outreach and opportunities to their conference? We must connect today’s skills with today’s events. A conference today needs to be collaborative, connected and committed.
How can conferences be “Collaborative“? Collaborative means working with other conferences! This is not happening today and is a wasted opportunity. Why do we have state conferences on different days, why not hold them all on one day, making a statement in itself? More co-ordination would mean a bigger impact. Business school and college conferences could use the same collaborative spirit. Many schools will invite other schools’ students to participate which is good, but they hold their own conferences separately. It would be great to see Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Michigan UNC, State Universities and others hold their conferences on one day and fill them with technology. Conferences need to show women how to be collaborative in their own careers. That would be something to see!
"Connecting” is the main purpose of most conferences, but are women “Connecting” well through these conferences? Often I hear complaints about the networking opportunities offered not helping enough. Conferences should be the best and easiest places for women to network. More audience participation is a key piece necessary to make this happen. And by that I don’t mean a few questions allowed at the end of a speech. Women 2.o does a great job offering women an opportunity to speak up with its pitch events and more.
And conferences need to be “Committed“. What is one day in the life of a woman’s career? What does a one day conference do for them? There has to be follow-up. “Women in the Boardroom” works well with this concept by supplementing its main conferences with connection events, virtual events and twitter chats. The Dare2bDigital conference made all participants “ambassadors” with tasks to be done the Monday following the event, to expand its influence. The great thing about this is it makes women feel the responsibility to carry the message further and integrate what they learned into their careers. Women need to evaluate conferences by the impact conference makes on their careers. What have you done to implement what you heard the first week after the event, the first month etc. By paying your admittance to conferences as many companies do, your company may see it as their way of helping you, rather than doing more leadership training for you etc, so it better be worthwhile.
The “three c’s” - collaboration, connection, and commitment, are the keys to success for the 21st century conference. In today’s world, Women are prepared with better education and higher skill levels. Women have the right technology with flex options, remote working, and an ability to connect with work at any time. Women are ready. Are today’s conferences ready for them?
Caroline Dorsa (pictured), Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (PSEG), is speaking at the "Women in the Boardroom" event in New York on October 24, 2012. "Women in the Boardroom", run by Sheila Ronning, holds executive leadership sessions for women who want to build their leadership skills and who want to learn about becoming members of boards of directors. Caroline Dorsa, who holds an MBA from Columbia University, is an experienced leader and before joining PSEG was Senior Vice President, Global Human Health, Strategy and Integration at Merck & Co.
"Women in the Boardroom" is also holding events in Minneapolis in October and in Denver in December, 2012. If you can't make these signature events, "Women in the Boardroom" has several virtual events as well as their new connection events meant to help you connect more directly with other women leaders on the schedule for the fall. Check them out on womenintheboardroom.com.
Nelly Yusupova, the CTO of Webgrrls International and Founder of Digitalwoman.com, sees so many women entrepreneurs that have backgrounds in sales & marketing but lack the technical know-how they need for their startups. In response to that need, Nelly has helped develop "TechSpeak for Entrepreneurs", a 2 day workshop that empowers business women to embrace the opportunities made possible because of new technologies, and strike out on their own. Nelly, a technical strategist and internet, social media and marketing expert, works with entrepreneurs and teaches them how to use and leverage technology in their business. At TechSpeak for Entrepreneurs, the entrepreneur will learn how to plan, in detail, their entire project so that their tech team will know exactly what to do; how to hire the right tech people; how to manage the project and catch mistakes early; and how to deliver their project on time and on budget! The workshop will take place in New York, September 20-21, 2012.
Nell Merlino, Founder, President and CEO of Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence, the leading national not-for-profit provider of resources for women to grow their micro businesses into million $ enterprises, believes in women and their ability to expand our economy, improving the economic well being for all. "Women entrepreneurs…there’s no stopping us," says Nell. "I know this first hand from one of my proudest accomplishments – Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence. It’s been quite a ride and an amazing feeling of pride and satisfaction to have our organization create a variety of programs that have helped thousands of women grow their businesses. But, there’s still a lot more to be done to help the 10 million+ U.S. women entrepreneurs take their businesses to the million dollar level."
Nell explains that helping each other is the way to get ahead. "This year Count Me In expanded its services to provide even more women entrepreneurs with tools they need to improve their revenue. We’ve teamed up with Sam’s Club Giving Program to launch Urban Rebound, a program designed to help women with micro-businesses (making $50,000 or less in annual revenue) get on the fast track to growing their business to $250,000+ in annual revenues. Urban Rebound was launched in Los Angeles this past spring and will be expanding to Charlotte, NC and Detroit this Fall. Already 40 awardees have started the nine-month business growth intensive that uses a proven combination of professional business coaching and education, confidence building, and support from a strong community of peers to reach the $250,000 threshold quickly and sustainably."
"We also continue to work with our founding partner, American Express OPEN by once again offering our signature program, Make Mine A Million $ Business," says Nell. "Our next event is taking place in New York City on July 30-31, 2012. Hundreds of motivated women entrepreneurs will come together to learn from nationally renowned small business experts as well as pitch their businesses for a chance at a spot in Count Me In’s celebrated Business Accelerator Program, designed to help women business owners reach $1million+ in annual revenues within 18-36 months. It will be a memorable event as Awardees and Finalists from past years will also be recognized for their achievements in a CMI Homecoming Celebration."
Helping women grow their businesses is a number one priority. "While Count Me In was the first online micro-lender for women who had trouble gaining access to funding for their small businesses, we noticed that the loans provided were helping women entrepreneurs in the short term but they weren’t seeing actual business growth from it," says Nell. "Make Mine A Million $ Business was born from this problem and has since been helping women nationwide expand their companies. To date, 28% of Make Mine a Million $ Business Awardees have reached this goal. It’s clearer today than ever before that women entrepreneurs are becoming game changers for business as we know it in the twenty first century. Count Me In looks forward to helping women become an even more instrumental force in today’s business community."
Linda Cureton, Chief Information Officer for NASA, will be the keynote speaker at the upcoming Cloud & Virtualization, Cybersecurity and Mobile Government Conferences October 22-23, 2012 in Washington, D.C.
As NASA CIO, Linda, who holds a masters in Applied Mathematics from Johns Hopkins University, is responsible for the management of information technology (IT) capabilities and services that support NASA's mission, ensuring that the Agency's information resource management strategy is appropriate for NASA's vision and strategic goals. Linda is also the author of The Leadership Muse. Read more about the conferences in the Business Wire press release. Read about other women at NASA.
Whether your GenY, Baby Boomer, or in between, the skills needed to be a member of a Board of Directors are the same. And they start with critical thinking. "Women in the Boardroom" is hosting an event in New York on "Critical Thinking: Cultivating a Mindset of Success" July 17, 2012. The event features Carol Morley (pictured left) and Dana Galin (pictured right), Founders of Defineum, the executive coaching firm that specializes in helping senior executives become top performers. Carol and Dana will share their expertise on how to develop a mindset for success. This event follows a hugely popular Los Angeles event where Microsoft Director Marie Klawe got the party started. Victoria Pynchon wrote some followup articles on Forbes about what advice Marie offered, and also wrote how it's never too early to make a plan on how to get on a Board.
"Women in the Boardroom" is a moveable feast. Check out their upcoming events in Chicago in September, Minneapolis in October, and in New York again in October for a big signature event. And if you can't get to any of those locations, check out their virtual events in July and September on their website womenintheboardroom.com.
Charlotte Beers, the former Chairman/CEO of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, is speaking at the "Invent Your Future" Midwest Conference on June 19, 2012 in Indianapolis. The "Invent Your Future" conference helps women reach their full career potential by building leadership and entrepreneurial skills. Charlotte, who has a new book I’d Rather Be in Charge, also served as Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs reporting to Secretary of State Colin Powell. Read more about the conference and who else is speaking on inventyourfuture.com.
While the percentage of women attending business schools is rising, many women for whom business school is not an option have no easy access to the kind of financial education they need to manage their finances. This is both an opportunity and a responsibility for banks and other financial institutions. Better educated consumers would of course lead to a better quality portfolio for banks so this should be an obvious win win situation. Yet most banks do not offer financial education with their financial products. Is government involvement like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) the answer? Recently the CFPB has asked for comments on reloadable prepaid payment cards. These cards are becoming more popular and at present, there is no required protection if these cards are lost or stolen, and the fees are not always clearly explained. Big risks here! So why do people use this financial product versus others like debit or credit cards? Does everyone have a good grasp on the differences in these financial products? My guess would be no.
Government regulators should make financial education with financial products mandatory, with bankers explaining the differences in bank products to you and when it is best to use each of them. And by the way, if you have to teach someone about the products, it insures that you understand them well yourself and that also might help avoid some of the catastrophic failures in finance we have seen recently! As a former Credit Executive of a major bank, I know many of the customer acquisition processes don't involve individual review or discussion with the customer. However, many banks have large branch systems and could accomodate more education for consumers with very little additional cost! Now that bank transactions are being done online, there is plenty of space in bank branches to create financial centers for classes and seminars on bank products for all level of customers. This would also be a great product for banks to offer their customers as a way to separate themselves from the pack. When banks say they don't make money on customers who have less than $250,000 in deposits, I say the banks are not looking at the whole picture and may be getting the wrong information! As an experienced banker, I just don't believe that banks can't make money below $250,000, particularly if you look all in with the high credit card rates etc. I suggest they look again. Maybe they need to allocate their costs differently!
Financial education combined with financial products would most certainly help women manage their finances. Other groups are filling in the void that is now left by the banks who don't offer this service. For example, "Women in the Boardroom" is offering an online discussion starting June 5, 2012 called "Financial Storytelling: How to Read Financial Statements & Understand the Numbers". Taught by Susan Hammond, this event is meant to help educate women entrepreneurs and others understand financial statements, budgeting and forecasting. Many women entrepreneurs are great at sales and marketing, but don't have the financial background to understand the numbers so necessary to run a company. But whether you have a company or not, you still need to understand how to deal with banks, and how to get the most out of your money.
Governments have a tradition of making sure people get the education they need. We have a government funded school system, and if you are a bad driver, in some states you have to go back to driving school! Today's economy requires a more sophisticated approach to money. We aren't waiting for the banks or the government to help women learn about budgeting, finance and financial statements. Check out the upcoming "Women in the Boardroom" events on womenintheboardroom.com.
Denise Morrison, CEO of Campbell Soup Company, will be speaking at the 2012 Multicultural Women's National Conference on July 17. In additon to talks from inspiring leaders like Denise, the conference will discuss tools to create breakthroughs in the workplace, networking and much more. Read about the event on workingmother.com.
Springboard is now accepting applications for its new 2012 class of women-led digital media and technology companies. For the past 11 years, the Springboard Forum has presented to investors and others over 480 companies which then successfully raised more than $5B in capital. During its program, Springboard gives each selected entrepreneur a "Personal Advisory Board," which includes expert coaches and connection-makers. The application for the 2012 digital media and technology class is due June 5. For more information about "Springboard: Media & Tech 2012", call 202-242-6282.
INTERNET WEEK NEW YORK kicked off this morning with great speakers and big audiences including a lot of women I am glad to say. Now in its fifth year, this week long festival, co-founded by David-Michel Davies where everyone is welcome to host an event, celebrates the internet and all things digital. Rachel Sterne, the Chief Digital Officer of New York City, opened today's events welcoming everyone to enjoy all the opportunities New York has to offer. New York has twice as many women founding startups than other cities, and not just in the fashion industry. "Women are a force in all industries," remarked Rachel. And tech education is a big push for the city, who announced the opening the Academy for Software Engineering, a high school focusing on engineering. In addition to more science in high schools, Cornell is to build an engineering campus in the city as well. Check out the schedule of events for INTERNET WEEK and you will surely find many you want to attend. My reports to be continued....
The New Jersey Governor's Conference for Women 2012 is being held May 7 and 8th in Atlantic City New Jersey. Speakers include Linda Bowden (pictured left), New Jersey Regional President of PNC Bank; Peggy Noonan, columnist for The Wall Street Journal and the best selling author; Donna Brazile, political strategist, professor, author, syndicated columnist, and television political commentator; Valerie Jones Simson, Independent Financial Advisor; and Carla Harris (pictured right), Managing Director and head of the Emerging Manager Platform at Morgan Stanley Investment Management. Read about who else is speaking.
FOX Business Network’s (FBN) Liz Claman will interview Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charles Munger and Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates in an exclusive sit-down after the Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting on Monday, May 7th at 9:30 AM/ET. When asked what women investors can learn from listening to Warren Buffett, Liz says "Educating women investors is really no different from educating any motivated investor. You have to read, study, and become knowledgeable. One of the best ways to do that is to study smart, successful investors like Warren Buffett. Buffett thinks in terms of buying great companies that have a ‘moat’ of competitiveness around them. Are they the best or at least top 2 in what they do? Are they run by passionate managers? These are the questions he asks." Look for Liz and her interview on Monday on FBN.
Google Exec Eileen Naughton (pictured) and "Women Innovate Mobile" Co-Founder Kelly Hoey spoke yesterday to an amazing group of women interested in expanding their career horizons and serving on a Board of Directors. Hosted by "Women in the Boardroom" and its CEO Sheila Ronning, the event was both educative and entertaining. The speakers covered issues like the differences between advisory boards and public boards, as well as some discussion of the unique challenges of nonprofit boards. Eileen, who holds an MBA from University of Pennsylvania and currently serves on the Board of Directors of wedding juggernaut "The Knot", gave concrete examples of her experiences - which are extensive! Eileen is Managing Director of Global Sales at Google. Kelly spoke about the pros and cons of startup boards, and what it means to be an "independent" board member. There was great audience participation, which only added more excitement to the event. Thanks to Google and to "Women in the Boardroom" for a great night of knowledge and networking. Next up is the "Women in the Boadroom" virtual event on May 8, 2012.
WomenCorporateDirectors is holding its second annual Global Institute May 1 and 2, 2012 in New York. The theme of the event this year is "Globalization: Frontiers and Crossroads." As part of the Global Institute, WomenCorporateDirectors will present their Visionary Awards honoring Intel, Publicis Groupe, DuPont Chair and CEO Ellen Kullman (pictured), and Desjardins Group President, Chair, and CEO Monique Leroux. Read more in the prnewswire press release.
Joanne Lang, CEO of AboutOne, the online family management system that manages household information, including health, education, vehicle and other records, will be a speaker and a mentor at the BlogHer Entrepreneurship Conference on March 22nd and 23rd in California. Joanne, a technology executive specializing in cloud computing, is a mother of four and felt there had to be a better way to organize life, so she created AboutOne. Read more in the prnewswire press release.
Reid Hoffman, Co-founder & Chairman of LinkedIn, and co-author, The Startup of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself and Transform Your Career, is speaking at the Invent Your Future Conference on March 22, 2012 in California. "Invent Your Future" is an educational event for businesswomen and entrepreneurs offering valuable connections, strategies, tips and techniques to optimize success.
Kathleen King, Founder and President of Tate’s Bake Shop, is speaking at the Financial Women's Association Event March 21, 2012 on Long Island. Kathleen’s crisp, buttery cookies (which I agree are delicious!) are sold in over 5,000 key gourmet and specialty retailers nationwide. The theme for the event is "Successful Women and how they brought their Dreams to Reality". Read more about the New York event.