This is my second year attending the PA Conference for Women, and I’m counting down the days until next year’s conference. How to describe this phenomenal event? Simply: It inspires me to take over the world.
The gist of it is this: The conference pulls in exceptionally successful women for the day, who teach the thousands of eager attendees their life lessons of their climb to the top of the ladder. There is a huge representation in science, tech and politics, who share their failures and successes. This is a conference for women who aren’t afraid to work hard, who are proud of their accomplishments, and who are eager to keep learning, growing and achieving. There were so many standing ovations. The crowd was so proud for how these brilliant accomplished women have taken their place at the table, shown gratitude for the support they’ve received, and helped those around them succeed as well.
There are sessions focused on risk taking, leadership, entrepreneurship, professionalism, inter-generational communications, work/life integration and stress management. The first year I attended, I attended entirely sessions about leadership. This year I spread things around a little more and attended a session on risk taking, a session on stress management/health for productivity, and a session on happiness. I learned so much that I can’t adequately summarize it all at once, but I did a fairly good job of capturing the best takeaways on twitter:
- Having more women in senior leadership positions matters. @SallieKrawcheck
- If it comes down to your ethics versus your job, you can always find another job. @SallieKrawcheck (she was such an amazing speaker. Getting my application in to join @85Pittsburgh is on my short to-do list)
- If my gut fails me, I ask the woman I want to be what she would do, and she always leads me to the right answer. @SallieKrawcheck
- Women are overmentored and undersponsored. There is a difference. @SallieKrawcheck.
- There is no such thing as failure, it’s warming up for success. @JudgeGHatchett
- When you get to the pages in life’s book that are torn, you can’t give up. You have to write your own story of hope. @JudgeGHatchett
- Know what you are talking about, and interrupt. @Madeleine
- There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other. @Madeleine
- Women need to be politically and economically empowered, because it makes their socieites more stable. @Madeleine
- If you are overwhelmed by options, don’t try to sort through all the possibilities. Throw together a prototype and get some feedback and go from there.
- List your negotiables and nonnegotiables. When a potential risk/opportunity presents itself, check your lists, and the answer will crystallize.
- Keep your authentic voice, when you have that, people will want to work with you. Stay with your integrity.
- When you get bad news, you get 24 hours of self pity. Use it well. Then move forward.
- If you suspect you made a bad decision, trust your instincts, don’t burn any bridges, and move on.
- Happiness is a habit, and it needs practice.