A few weeks ago, on June 18th and 19th, Forbes held its annual Women’s Summit in New York, NY. The Women’s Summit “celebrates the doers and the doing; a source of inspiration and support that connects and empowers women around the world, helping them to realize their potential and reach new heights. Featuring keynote conversations, panel discussions, one-on-one interviews and interstitial spotlights, the Forbes Women’s Summit brings together the voices and insights of a diverse range of female luminaries from the worlds of business, entertainment and politics.” The summit’s focus this year was “The Way Forward,” which refers to finding a path after this year’s ground breaking #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.
While we, like most of you, weren’t able to attend the invitation-only Women’s Summit ourselves, we want to direct you to some of the amazing content that Forbes has released which highlight some of the key lessons and themes from this year’s event. Forbes is one of our go-to sources for objective and timely reporting on issues affecting women in the workplace. We love following them on Twitter or online at Forbes Women.
After doing a deep dive into the coverage of the 2018 Forbes Women’s Summit we have two key themes to share: Identity and Purpose.
One of the most fascinating events from the Women’s Summit this year was the executive panel “The Visionaries: Leading With Purpose.” The panelists were four executive women: Weight Watchers CEO Mindy Grossman, Founder and CEO of Tala Shivani Siroya, president of the Pfizer Foundation and VP of Corporate Responsibility of Pfizer Inc Caroline Roan, and Chief Marketing Officer of SAP Alicia Tillman. All four women, powerhouses in their respective industries and companies, describe their purposes and how their purpose have fueled their success (and the success of their organizations.)
What do Priyanka Chopra and Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi have in common? Besides their Indian heritage and journeys to establishing American careers, both credit their supportive parents for their success. Also, both note the importance of establishing a strong identity. This identity is how others will perceive you, and it is incredibly important for your identity to be made up of your own choices.
You don’t have to be a CEO or global activist and famous actress to define your leadership purpose and identity. While sitting down to think through these concepts can be incredibly intimidating, it can also be freeing. Discovering your passion and purpose will allow you to make decisions more efficiently and without apology. Taking control of how others perceive you can allow you to live and communicate confidently about that purpose. Most importantly, your leadership purposes and identity can (and will) continue to evolve and shift as you grow over time. These are unique to you, and are a core part of you– and since you are ever-changing, so will your leadership purpose and identity.