Houston Women's Conference (2nd Annual)

Blog Post created by heather.gillbanks Champion on Oct 14, 2015

Thanks to a colleague, I was able to attend the 2nd Annual Houston Women’s Conference, Oct. 13, 2015


Format: 2 morning sessions, lunch (& awards), 1 afternoon session. Sponsoring companies may have made up the majority of awardees (that was unclear); or perhaps they agree to sponsor once their people are nominated. In any case …


What struck me throughout the day is HOW GOOD my company is relative to other organizations at helping affinity group members be better. See my detailed comments below …


Session 1: Brand New You! Tips to Market and Promote Yourself

  • My takeaway: using a Professional or Executive Coach does not mean you are incompetent
  • Digital footprints now exist by age 5 … managing that footprint is essential to branding
    • Can you be “authenticated” by your LinkedIn Profile? If not, you will likely be passed over, even by internal recruiters at your own firm!
    • Hiring … look at non-Linked In (like Facebook) for “fun & hobbies”
  1. Be authentic (even if you are the only woman/ minority at the table)
  2. Be confident (even when you have less than 100% knowledge)
  3. Be visible/ known for your abilities … “correction” of perception takes time
  4. Be clear on your purpose

Session 2: Transitions and Risk Taking: Lessons Learned While Becoming Brave

  • Taking rational risk (i.e. opportunities) … exactly what we hear in every Executive Roundtable at GE. “Take the job nobody wants” … and do it well!
  • My takeaway: “all that’s really missing is a conversation” (often misunderstandings are due to assumptions somewhere along the line)
  1. Make your desires known (reduces anxiety)
  2. Don’t dwell on mistakes … learn and move on!
  3. Men are evaluated on potential; women on performance
  4. Men don’t worry about “doing it all”
  5. Men & women self-describe differently (“I was lucky” vs. “I did great”)
  6. Don’t apologize … unless you really mean it!

Session 3: Lean In Roundtable

  • A panel discussion, not a Roundtable
  • My takeaway: find 3 people, in proximity, and build deep relationships and ultimately trust with them
  • Self talk/ don’t criticize other women (women are our own worst enemies, too often)
  1. Power: what’s your sweet spot? Use it
  2. Positive politics
    • Study influencers & decision makers
    • Negotiate relationships
  • Impostor syndrome … everybody has it … get over it
  • Likeability isn’t a goal for men