Welcome To Your Athena Journey!

Getting Started

This portal is a comprehensive resource for board service preparation and includes opportunities for connecting with the Athena community and applying for board opportunities.

When you dismiss this message, you will see your "Journey Dashboard." This dashboard is your roadmap for growth and has been specially designed to prepare you for board service.

You'll start with "Goal Setting and Journey Planning" with your mentor and then move into phase work. Please note that, although all phase resources are available to you at any time, we strongly suggest completing your current phase before moving on to the next.

If ever you get lost, simply click the "My Journey" button in the upper right-hand corner of the site to return to your Journey Dashboard. It is of the utmost importance to us that this portal provide you with all resources you need to reach your board goals. Please don't hesitate to reach out to coco@athenaalliance.org with any questions, concerns, or suggestions.

Thank you for being a member of The Athena Alliance. We look forward to the journey ahead!

The Boardroom: By Invitation Only

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Being considered for an open board seat is an “invitation only” affair. Why? Because deciding who to put on the board is a deeply personal, high stakes decision for the CEO and other board directors. Therefore, you must be part of a trusted network to be seriously considered.

It is important to note that this “invitation only” experience is not usually associated with large, high-profile companies. Larger companies are likely to have brought on more than a few directors over the years and developed a mature Nominating Committee structure and process. They are also likely to hire a recruiting firm to support them. Instead, board additions made through a trusted network are usually those of the young, or small to mid-cap public companies, or well-backed private companies on a trajectory toward a winning exit and looking for their first or second independent director.

Why is the process an “invitation only” experience with these companies? For two very personal reasons:

  1. The process is the only one in which the CEO participates in hiring their own boss.
  2. This new director will be on the board for six to 10 years, or even decades.

Considering these facts, it’s not surprising that personal success and company success are obscurely intertwined in the board decision process. In such a high-stakes situation, board members, usually men, will usually pick — consciously or unconsciously — someone from their network. More often than not, this person will look a lot like them. This inevitability, when viewed through the lens of unconscious bias, makes the progress of diversity in the boardroom achingly slow.

However, when an informed advocate for diversity enters the network and is able to make the case for diverse board candidates, change can happen very quickly. This change relies on access, influence, and positioning. It also requires an awareness of the perspective of the CEO and the board as a whole, who will be evaluating candidates by asking:

  • “Will this person add value?” (i.e. “Will the company thrive as a result of what this person brings to the table?” “Will they evolve as quickly as we do?)
  • “Can we, the board, trust them?” (i.e. “Will they have our best interests at heart?””When we need to make a tough call, do we share the same values and leverage them in similar ways?” “Do we know their triggers, and can they manage them well?”)

“Will our chemistry be strong?” (i.e. “Do we ‘get’ them?” “Do they ‘get’ us?” “Do we understand how they think?” “Will our collaboration make all of us better leaders for this company?”)

Here are my thoughts on the best ways to move the needle more quickly for women (or anyone outside the network) within the realities of how board selection decisions are made.

Access

For those of us sponsoring women, our sharpest focus should be on joining the trusted network of CEOs, VCs, and seated board directors. It is almost guaranteed that these individuals will be male and that their network will not boast many qualified women. Becoming a part of their trusted network means that you are more likely to be made aware of open board opportunities and to be able to put forward qualified women for those roles.

To become part of this trusted network, you must consciously pursue it. If you are a senior executive or in the C-suite, you know at least one CEO, are likely to interact with your company’s board, and are probably invited to events where you mingle with CEOs and board directors. To be aware of open board positions and put forward qualified women, strengthen your connections with these individuals and ask them for introductions to other CEOs, VCs, and seated directors.

I have yet to meet a male leader who won’t consider a woman candidate when they are recommended by someone they trust. In fact, when I tell CEOs, VCs, and seated board directors that I know women who would be excellent choices, their response is usually, “Great! Please introduce me to them so I can consider them for the role.”

Influence

When my organization (The Athena Alliance) speaks with a board influencer or decision-maker about an open board seat, we are careful to move past the discussion of a candidate’s desired title, industry, and company size. We are quick to ask “why” these details matter to them. This question expands the conversation to include the trajectory of the business model and its services, the opportunities and challenges the business faces in scaling, the gaps in the experience and capability of the existing board, and the thought leadership and temperament that is desired in this next director. The result is a broadening of the possibilities around board fit.

The Athena Alliance is a mission-based organization working to advance gender diversity in the boardroom. We are not a recruiting firm and are not hired by the board to find a director. However, we do make introductions between boards seeking directors, and amazing women for them to consider. To begin a dialogue with the CEO and board, we approach them as a trusted member of their network and develop credibility by demonstrating our ability to understand the needs of their business. With this trust and credibility comes a displacement of any unconscious bias as well as an increased interest in considering our recommendations.

Positioning

When you have a clearer understanding of why a board is seeking certain qualities, position a qualified woman by telling a story that illustrates the value she brings to the table. Stories go beyond qualifications to connect the audience with character, context, and contribution. They can be far more memorable than a CV or bio, and can better map a woman’s experience to the needs of the business and the board. Furthermore, by engaging an influencer with a story, we focus on relevant experience rather than job title. This chips away at bias and makes the influencer more willing to consider the candidate. In providing the influencer with a personal story that can’t be found on a resume, we position a woman for success from the start. Unconscious bias is naturally eliminated or suppressed in the face of relevant stories of realized value.

Make it easy:

My final word of advice is this — don’t ask boards to create or participate in a process that they are not already familiar with. Between 94% and 99% of board seats are filled through a network, and this is especially true for small-cap public or the private companies. Networks do not follow a formal recruiting process, and trying to introduce a new process is a superfluous barrier to entry. Instead, meet boards where they are — become a part of the trusted network, help the board’s articulate the value of the right candidate, and present women by telling stories that illustrate the value the board is looking for.

The Athena Alliance Secures Its First Champion-level Sponsorship from Autodesk

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The Athena Alliance is thrilled to announce our first Champion-level sponsorship from Autodesk, a global leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software. Autodesk’s generosity will enable The Athena Alliance to increase the visibility of executive women by diversifying their leadership opportunities through networking and corporate board matching.

The Athena Alliance wishes to extend special thanks to Amy Bunszel, Autodesk’s Vice President of Digital Engineering Products and our champion at the company. “At Autodesk, we enable people to imagine, design and create a better world,” said Bunszel. “In pursuing this mission, we are committed to advancing diversity at all levels of leadership and are proud to support efforts to increase diversity in the boardroom.”

In addition to sponsoring The Athena Alliance, Autodesk also supports the advancement of women in technology through involvement with Girls Who Code, Black Girls Code, YesWeCode and TechWomen.

The Athena Alliance wishes to extend our sincerest thanks to Autodesk for their support.

If you or your company would like to sponsor The Athena Alliance in their mission to advance women’s leadership and visibility, please reach out to our CEO at coco@athenaalliance.org.

Lights, Camera, Action at New Relic!

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On Friday, July 22nd, The Athena Alliance joined Emmy Award-winning producer Patsy Northcutt, director Henry Hopkins of H2Video, and executive coach Nan Crawford for a day of filming at New Relic HQ. Together, Patsy, Henry, and Nan directed the development of 15 incredible short videos for The Athena Member Library. Here’s a sneak peek of what they shot:

Interview with Ann Winblad

Ann Winblad is one of the top female venture capitalists and founding partner of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners. She shared incredible insights into board service, from understanding the what, when, and how of introducing the first independent director to a board, to how board dynamics and needs change depending on company type and size. Ann also touched on how a wide variety of executive backgrounds – from HR, to legal, to product – can apply to different boards. Our video interview with Ann will be available exclusively to Athena members to enhance their journey towards board seat attainment.

Interviews with The Athena Alliance Executive Partners

We held interviews with several of Athena’s Executive Partners – Nan Crawford, Hilary Wicht, Hillary Weber, Donna Hamlin, Gary Purece, and Murray Cook. These interviews will be available exclusively to our members in the Athena Member Portal to give members a clearer understanding of how each partner can support them in pursuing their goals around board service.

Training videos from Athena Executive Partners Nan Crawford, Hilary Wicht, and Gary Purece

Topics include:

  • How to Increase Your Impact Through Storytelling
  • Defining Your Unique Selling Proposition
  • Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking and Conquer Stage Fright Forever
  • Create an Authentic Connection with Your Audience
  • Eliminate Unconscious Habits that Undermine Your Authority
  • Expand the Expressive Power of Your Voice to Speak with Confidence and Conviction
  • Embody Your Message With Congruent and Compelling Physicality

We’ll be in video editing for a few weeks, but stay tuned for these new additions to our Member Resource Library!

Event Recap: July’s Elevator Pitch Night

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Elevator rides can be short, so if you need to describe your personal brand and experience in the time it takes to climb a few floors, you’re going to need an elevator pitch that is concise, comprehensive, and well-rehearsed. That’s the idea behind The Athena Alliance’s Elevator Pitch Nights, where Athena women try out their pitches on Athena’s board and executive experts. Our experts provided feedback not only on each pitch’s content but on each woman’s delivery and presence. Here are the unique perspectives each expert brought to the critique:

  • Dora Vell, Board Recruiter – Dora has placed many board directors over the years and homed in on how each woman’s differentiating value was represented in their pitch versus their LinkedIn profile. After comparing the two, she provided on the spot guidance for adjusting the essence and content of each woman’s pitch.
  • Gary Purece, Executive Advisor and Coach – Gary used his expertise in radio, advertising, and branding to enhance the storytelling aspect of each woman’s pitch. He helped strengthen each woman’s unique message of impact and value.
  • Hillary Wicht, Voice Coach – Hilary adjusted for tone, inflection, and physical presence to ensure that each woman’s words and actions were polished and effective. There were a handful of moments in which Hillary worked magic on the pitches of our women, transforming a relatively plain narrative into a powerful one.
  • Hilary Weber, Executive Coach and Innovation Expert – Hilary has consulted a variety of companies and executives around innovation and transformation. She helped our members articulate their true passions and ensure that the types of boards roles they were pursuing would enable them to drive scale and success.

After our experts were introduced, Athena women sat in groups of five with each expert, then rotated to the next table after each of their pitches had been reviewed. As Athena Founder Coco Brown noted, “‘holy cow!’ moments were a constant throughout the evening” and energy was high. Athena women were continually surprised and thrilled with the adjustments and guidance they received. “We genuinely could have gone on for hours,” says Coco, “in fact, we did run well over letting time just fly by! Most of the attendees expressed interest in joining us again for our August pitch night for more refinement and fun.”

Are you an Athena member interested in attending August’s Pitch Night? Click here to RSVP.

The Athena Alliance is now a 501c3 Nonprofit Organization

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Dear members, supporters, and friends,

The Athena Alliance has achieved many important goals in its first six months of operations – we have strengthened our network, expanded our community, and made our very first board match. Today, we are proud to announce one of our most exciting achievements to date – the approval of our application for federal tax-exempt status!

The approval of this status is especially meaningful for me as both an Athena board member and as an attorney at DLA Piper LLP, Athena’s pro bono counsel. Together with my colleagues in DLA Piper’s tax group, we prepared and filed Athena’s application for tax exempt status. This status, more commonly known as 501c3 status for the section of the federal tax code which establishes the exemption, will enable The Athena Alliance to more effectively pursue its mission of board gender parity. The benefits of 501c3 status to Athena, and many other nonprofits, may include:

Fundraising
Donations from individuals and corporations to a nonprofit with 501c3 tax exempt status are generally tax deductible for the donors, which often enhances fundraising efforts significantly.

Grant Funding
Most foundations require a nonprofit organization to have 501c3 status as a condition of eligibility for grant funding. Nonprofit organizations without 501c3 status may miss out on these funding opportunities.

Tax savings
A 501c3 organization is exempt from federal taxes on income derived from activities related to organization’s tax-exempt purpose. The organization may also be exempt from state income taxes, sales taxes, and employment tax in certain states. Every dollar in tax savings may be used to advance the organization’s mission, a valuable benefit for every nonprofit.

Other perks
Nonprofit organizations with 501c3 status may be entitled to various other perks, including discounted rates from vendors and suppliers, discounted postage rates, and lower media outlet rates for announcements and press releases.

Overall, 501c3 status is a game changer for The Athena Alliance and its mission. With tax-exempt status, Athena will be even more capable of creating change at the highest levels of leadership.

Ready to support gender parity in the boardroom? Donate to The Athena Alliance here.

Many thanks to my colleagues at DLA Piper for all of their contributions to The Athena Alliance.

Sincerely,
Debra Vernon
Attorney at DLA Piper & Board Member, The Athena Alliance

The Athena Alliance makes its first board match

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The Athena Alliance is proud to announce that FireEye CMO Kara Wilson has been appointed to the board of enterprise software company Jitterbit. Read the press release below to learn more.


Jitterbit Appoints Seasoned Marketing Executive Kara Wilson to Its Board of Directors

Current FireEye CMO Brings Deep Go-To-Market Expertise to Cloud Integration Leader

Alameda, Calif., June  13, 2016Jitterbit, the leading provider of fast, agile integration solutions for the modern enterprise, today announced that it has named Kara Wilson, a seasoned marketing executive with experience scaling enterprise technology companies, to its board of directors. Wilson has deep expertise building marketing teams and implementing go-to-market strategies and will leverage her experience to help Jitterbit expand its market presence and build visibility in the competitive integration market.

“Kara brings an impressive track record of marketing leadership that made her an ideal fit for our board as we continue our market expansion globally,” said Jitterbit CEO George Gallegos. “This hands-on background, coupled with her incredible team spirit and competitive drive, will give Jitterbit an edge as we continue to build upon our marketing strategies and execution.”

Wilson currently serves as chief marketing officer (CMO) at FireEye. She has previously held marketing leadership positions at a number of leading enterprise technology companies, including CMO of Okta, CMO of SAP Cloud, CMO of SuccessFactors, vice president of collaboration solutions marketing at Cisco Systems, CMO of Network General (acquired by NetScout) and vice president of marketing communications at PeopleSoft before its acquisition by Oracle.

“This is a critical and exciting time for the cloud integration market and Jitterbit’s differentiated product sets the company apart from the pack,” said Wilson. “Enterprises today are digitizing every aspect of their business, from the supply chain to the customer journey and everywhere in between. Jitterbit’s adaptive approach to cloud integration, putting the business analyst at the heart of connectivity, is a unique and compelling approach for today’s digital enterprise and I look forward to helping the team continue to tell their story to the market.”

Jitterbit consulted with The Athena Alliance on Wilson’s appointment to its board of directors, and her addition increases the total number of board members to five. KKR director Vincent Letteri was also added to the board in January as part of the Series B funding round led by his company.

About Jitterbit, Inc.
Jitterbit amplifies the value of enterprise applications with a modern, flexible and easy-to-use integration cloud platform. Designed for the technical business analyst, Jitterbit allows companies of all sizes to solve the challenges of application, data and business process integration between on-premise and cloud systems. Jitterbit’s graphical “clicks not code” approach and modern cloud platform accelerate and simplify the design, deployment and management of modern integration projects. Privately held, Jitterbit is headquartered in Alameda, CA. To learn more about Jitterbit’s application integrationdata integration and cloud integration solutions, visit www.jitterbit.com. To join the conversation, follow @Jitterbit on Twitter.

Media Contact:
Alyssa Marty
BOCA Communications
jitterbit@bocacommunications.com

Global law firm DLA Piper to represent The Athena Alliance

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The Athena Alliance is thrilled to announce that global law firm DLA Piper will graciously be contributing its pro-bono services as The Athena Alliance’s legal counsel. In addition to supporting our application for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, DLA Piper will provide The Athena Alliance with ongoing assistance and advice regarding corporate governance and the fiduciary duties of board members, among other legal matters.

As a company, DLA Piper has made a strong commitment to pro bono work and stands behind it with a generous budget and a minimum annual requirement of pro bono work for each attorney at the firm. In aggregate, DLA Piper attorneys dedicate over 200,000 hours of time to pro bono work per year. Other benefactors of DLA Piper’s pro-bono work include fellow organizations increasing the presence of women in STEM, most notably Girls in Tech and LabGirls STEM Initiative, a nonprofit that encourages elementary school girls to build a lifelong interest in STEM subjects.

In March 2016, DLA Piper and The Athena Alliance marked the beginning of their relationship by co-sponsoring a panel discussion at the DLA Piper offices. Women executives provided insight into the board selection process and shared their experiences as members of the boards of public and private companies. The Athena Alliance looks forward to collaborating with DLA Piper to encourage many more important discussions like these.

The Athena Alliance wishes to extend special thanks to Debra Vernon, an Athena Alliance board member and attorney at DLA Piper, whose support has been integral to the success of the partnership. With more than two decades of experience as a corporate and securities lawyer in Silicon Valley, Debra is an expert in venture financing, mergers and acquisitions, public offerings, and public company compliance. As our champion at DLA Piper, Debra will lead the team supporting The Athena Alliance, which also includes experts in tax, employment, and trademark law.

The Athena Alliance extends our sincerest appreciation to Debra Vernon and DLA Piper for their considerable generosity. We look forward to our continued collaboration in advancing the visibility of  women executives.

The Athena Alliance secures its first corporate sponsorship from Intuit

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The Athena Alliance is proud to announce that it has secured its first corporate sponsorship from Intuit. Intuit’s generosity will enable The Athena Alliance to increase the visibility of executive women and diversify their leadership opportunities through networking and corporate board matching.

The Athena Alliance wishes to extend special thanks to Merline Saintil, Head of Operations (CTO and Product and Technology Office) at Intuit and our champion at the company. Says Merline, “at Intuit, we encourage employees to bring their whole selves to work. We celebrate diversity and value inclusion. The Athena Alliance’s vision of a world where women can contribute at their highest level of impact naturally aligns with our commitment of cultivating a talented, engaged and diverse workforce at all levels.”

As of July 2015, women represented 38 percent of Intuit’s global workforce and 33 percent of Intuit’s leadership roles. The company actively sponsors programs and opportunities to encourage women and ethnic minorities to pursue careers in STEM. Other benefactors of Intuit’s generosity include the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, Girls Who Code, and Watermark, a community of executive women advocating for the advancement of women in the workforce.

The Athena Alliance wishes to extend our sincerest thanks to Intuit for their support.

If you or your company would like to sponsor The Athena Alliance in their mission to advance women’s leadership and visibility, please reach out to our CEO at coco@athenaalliance.org.

3 tips for landing a board seat from our “Board Selection Process” panelists

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On May 17th, members and supporters of The Athena Alliance gathered at Salesforce’s Heroku offices in downtown San Francisco for our panel on the board member selection process. Guided by our moderator, Basecamp COO and Athena Alliance board member Mercedes De Luca, panelists Ann Winblad, Wendy Beecham, Kathy Ullrich, Dan Scholnick, Dora Vell, and Alicia Litton covered a variety of topics – from what boards are looking for in a candidate to what qualified women need to do to ready themselves for a board role.

Here are three kinds of preparation our panelists agreed are crucial to securing a board seat:

1) Expand your network

Over 95% of board seat vacancies are sourced through networking, so the process of getting on a board is less about meeting recruiters and more about knowing the right people said Wendy Beecham, Managing Principal at Korn Ferry. Dan Scholnick of Trinity Ventures specified that, when it comes to filling boards seats, “founders want somebody who is not in the back pocket of investors and can be a mentor to the CEO and company management.” These people are sourced through the founder’s network, making the board selection process “tricky” for outsiders to crack. One way to open yourself up to opportunity? Make your network aware of your availability for a board placement and be proactive, said our panelists. Dan specifically suggested reaching out to venture capital firms with portfolio companies you think you’d be a fit for. Even if there isn’t a match now, says Dan, you will be top of mind for future opportunities.

2) Know your “value-add”

On average, only a handful of people are called upon to be considered for a single board seat, said Dora Vell, CEO of Vell Executive Search. To stand out, you need to be able to articulate the value that your unique experience will add to the board at that moment. For example, Ann Winblad, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, noted that many companies are interested in choosing board members who can best “assist [company] growth at that time.” Other companies, said Dan Scholnick, are more interested in someone who has “seen the movie before” and “has grown a company from a small state to a very large stage… as a founder, CEO, or in another role at an early stage company.” Ask yourself – what is your domain of expertise and why is it invaluable to a board?

3) Be visible

Once you’ve established your unique value-add, make sure it is clearly communicated in any representation of you that exists online. This sounds like a no-brainer, but many panelists agreed that most board candidates didn’t focus enough on their visibility. Another no brainer? “Make it easy for people to get ahold of you!” said Dora Vell.

 

Many thanks to our gracious hosts, Cheryl Porro, SVP of Technology and Products Salesforce.org and Andrea Leszek, VP of Technology Services Salesforce.com for making this night such a success. Athena members, you can see the full panel recording by emailing coco@athenaalliance.org.

Celebrating Women in this New Age of Innovation: The 4th Girls in Tech Catalyst Conference

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What happens when you bring close to 400 women entrepreneurs, seasoned professionals and students together for 3 days? Based on our recent experience at the Girls in Tech Catalyst Conference, nothing short of magic.

Girls in Tech is an organization focused on the empowerment, entrepreneurship, engagement, and education of women in technology. According to the Founder and CEO of Girls in Tech, Adriana Gascoigne, “The Catalyst Conference was created to provide attendees with an environment that allows for true and honest conversations about important issues including gender diversity in the workplace and how we can better support girls in tech.” This past week, the three-day Catalyst event showcased women at the forefront of the technology and start-up spaces, providing inspiring keynotes, workshops, panel discussions, and networking events.  Many of the speakers are part of the Athena Alliance, a non-profit whose mission is to help qualified women (of which there are many!) make the needed connections to secure Board of Director positions.

We put together the key themes and highlights from the Girls In Tech Catalyst Conference:

Drive relevance and avoid extinction:

Yvonne Wassenaar (CIO at New Relic) focused her talk on how to maintain relevancy in a world where change is the new constant. She noted that the difference between success and failure can boil down to two leadership skills:  the ability to innovate and the ability to lead during times of change.  Though both of these skills are intimidating to use and execute successfully, success requires that you face your fears. This sentiment was echoed by Mary Cranston (former CEO and Chair of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman Law).  Mary shared that she doubted her ability to lead Pillsbury effectively when she was first appointed CEO.  Mary emphasized that acknowledging your fears enables you to separate yourself from them and be effective in achieving your full potential.

Innovation is both a planned and spontaneous exercise.

Chrissy Vonderach (previously CIO at Blackhawk Networks and recently VP of IT at Clorox) pointed out that innovation is difficult to deliver on-demand yet cannot be over-planned.  Her perspective is that a balance of discipline (do your homework), knowledge (be curious and be current), and serendipity (the openness to let things happen)clears the path for innovation.

A few more of our favorites:  Amy Bunszel (Vice President, AutoCAD Products, Autodesk) shared her approach of “aiming high, taking risks, and being curious” as the keys to her success in innovation.  Yanbing Li (Senior Vice President and General Manager, Storage and Availability Business Unit, VMware) spoke about being an ambidextrous leader who incrementally innovates in one piece of her business while radically innovating in others.  Yanbing’s key to success is her ability to drive action after determining whether a product line should be optimized or transformed and incubated.

Be bold and take risks.

Almost every speaker touched on the importance of being bold and taking on risks.  Failure can be an important step in achieving success.  In fact, a few speakers noted that if you (or your team) are not occasionally failing sometimes, you are probably playing it too safe and are not pursuing enough stretch assignments to keep you team engaged and high-performing.  Bev Crair (Vice President, Data Center Group General Manager, Storage Group) shared some great examples from her time at Intel, where she learned that what matters more than failing is being smart enough to quickly shut down and learn from efforts that are failing.  Sarah Bird (CEO of Moz) had bold advice – surround yourself with people who see your real potential and will push you to deliver at your true level of impact.

Redefining what it means to “do it all”

Work, Family, or Self?  Amy Jo Martin (Founder of Digital Royalty, NY Times Best-Selling Author) was told at one point in her career that you could NOT have all three, so she had better pick one. Amy refused to give in and was one of many at the conference offering advice on how to do it all. One method is to create your own definition of success rather than letting others define it for you based on their value system. Leah Busque (Founder & CEO, TaskRabbit) suggested that you avoid looking at wins & losses by day. Instead, understand your priorities and periodically assess your performance (e.g.  weekly or monthly) to ensure you are getting the right mix.  Several other speakers highlighted the importance of leveraging the support of your network in order to have it all –  share duties with a stay-at-home partner or outsource some of the day-to-day tasks that need to be done.  As Mary Cranston put it in her talk, focus on what matters most and, for the rest of it, use the “strategic no.”

Go for it!

The overarching message of the conference was “go for it;” you are more qualified than you think.  Coco Brown (CEO of the Athena Alliance) drove this message home with her appeal to have more women come forward and raise their hands for Board service.  Coco’s perspective, shared by many of the women speakers, was that the small number of women on Boards is not a pipeline problem.  Instead, the challenge is encouraging already qualified women to raise their hands and make the right connections. After hearing all the amazing speakers at the Catalyst conference, we heartily agree.

Want more?  Additional reading on the conference talks and referenced articles/books: