Imagine you are on an island...
A collection of fierce and brilliant women convene to inspire, challenge and learn from each other. Wisdom is shared. Cheering is raucous. Minds are racing. Picturing Wonder Woman’s island?
The island is Manhattan and you’re at Ellevate Network’s inaugural #MobilizeWomen Summit. But if Wonder Woman had been in town this week, we’re pretty sure she would have stopped by. And she would not have been out of place among the superheroes that rocked that stage.
Throughout the day, working warriors shared their stories and hopes for the future with an energized audience. Topics included gender equality, queen bees, mentorship, innovation, resilience, change-making, storytelling and owning your own superpower.
Important issues for today’s women.
But also crucial concepts for rising girls.
Ellevate knows that #femalerolemodels can change the world by sharing their stories, but what’s more...they recognize the value in handing such stories down to the next generation. One by one as they left the stage, these luminary speakers offered us advice targeted at middle and high school-age girls, and we captured as much as we could.
Here is what today’s Wonder Women (and a few seriously cool men) had to say:
On #RoleModels and #Squads...
“There is no right age or shape to be a role model...keep thinking of the impact you can have and the change you can make, and create allies to help you.” Kristy Wallace, CEO, Ellevate
“Find. Your. Squad. The people you can hang with and trust. Don’t stop believing in yourself...stay true to what you want and don’t stop raising that hand.” Jessica Bennett, Author, Feminist Fight Club
“Read as much as you can about other women who have succeeded...and failed. And [quoting Audre Lorde] ‘define yourself for yourself’.” Wade Davis, Former NFL Player
“Be FEARLESS. Try on different professions to see how they fit...think of it as career shopping. And then seek out role models in each industry to talk to and learn from.” Romy Newman, Co-Founder & President, Fairygodboss
“Be smart and confident. Do your homework. Seriously, be over-prepared. And remember that anyone can be a role model.” Jordan Brooks, Chief Operating Officer, United State of Women
On #Confidence and #Bravery...
“Ask yourself: What do you dream? Then add two other things to that dream. What else can you dream about? Be brave enough to think outside the box and dream bigger.” Nellie Borrero, Chief Diversity Officer, Accenture
“Confidence isn’t something that appears overnight - it comes in small steps. Develop it. And remember that your ideas have worth.” Colleen Rye, Chief of Telehealth, Office of the U.S. Army Surgeon General
“Confidence comes from doing...so take steps to make your ideas happen. Ask for help and develop lots of skill sets. Do not be afraid.” Alexandra Friedman, Co-Founder, LOLA
“Take more risks! Hiding serves no one! Amazon Eve is afraid of NOTHING!” Erika Ervin, Model & Actress
“I started martial arts at the age of 10, so I can definitely say - stay with what you love. Don’t be influenced by outside noise...it’s most important to be happy with who you are.” Michelle Waterson, MMA Fighter with UFC
“The phrase ‘like a girl’ has historically been used to marginalize you. But you can do anything like a girl now - fight like a girl, serve like a girl - so wear that with pride. Embrace it.” Jas Boothe, Author, Entrepreneur, Army Veteran, Cancer Survivor, Innovator, Philanthropist & Speaker
“I realized at a young age that nothing that separated me from the child playing on a broken down swing set except chance, fate and fortune...and I knew I would spend my life making the world more equal. Find something you care that much about and pursue it.” Allie Hoffman, Founder, Equality Equation
“It’s all about grit and powering through. Don’t give up and have the strength to push back against things you know are wrong.” Lauren Leader-Chivee, CEO, All In Together
“If you think you’ve developed something new, don’t doubt yourself. Find smart people and talk to them. And the most important point: You should never dumb yourself down for anyone. Not ever.” Craig Newmark, Founder, Craigslist & The Craig Newmark Foundation
“Obstacles are opportunities...you need to develop resilience and embrace them. Not everything will be easy, so dig deeper and work harder when things become difficult.” Claudia Chan, Founder & CEO, S.H.E. Globl Media
“Locate people you can trust, whether a friend or a teacher...find a safe place to go with your ideas. And find partners early on...mindshare is important.” Gigi Lee Chang, Founder & CEO, Plum Organics
“The idea for my company started in middle school, so my advice is when you have a new idea...put it to paper! Prototype it and connect with industry experts. Ask for 5 minutes of their time...these are all things I did in middle school.” Tiffany Pham, Founder & CEO, Mogul
Finally, on #Optimism and #LookingAhead...
“The workplace is no longer a boy’s game, and the days of being judged on superficial qualities are in the rear view mirror. Today’s girls are the future - work hard and stay focused. You have so many options...I’m honestly optimistic about the future.” Sallie Krawcheck, Chair, Ellevate; Co-Founder & CEO, Ellevest
Stop. Reread. Absorb.
Girls, the wise words of these leaders will last you a lifetime. Take them to heart.
Call on them as weapons when you need an arsenal.
Invoke them as mantras when your power is challenged.
Use the mentorship resources at your disposal and keep your eyes open for female role models to advise you...teachers, coaches or extra cool aunts. And know that when you are old enough and ready, the Wonder Women of Ellevate will be waiting for you.
Download the Ellevate Action Guide for more of the day’s inspiration. Être was proud to be a Summit Media Partner.