A Breakfast with Smart Women Leaders

Last week I attended SAP’s premier customer event in Orlando – Sapphire Now. It is a feast of presentations, discussions, forums and workshops. There are keynote sessions, luncheons, chance meetings and conference floor demonstrations – and around 50,000 people in three locations – Orlando, Frankfurt and online via the SapphireNow virtual conference platform. As with most conferences, it is not always about the mainstage. For example, SAP ran a Women’s Executive Leadership Breakfast event where attendees were treated to a conversation with Jeanne Ross, the director of MIT Sloan School’s Center for Information Systems Research. Tara Degler writes that rather than leading in with a raft of presentation slides, Jeanne shared her story – leaving the audience with three important actionable insights: Work smarter – It is one thing to be busy – but quite another to be “productive.” When you multiply this across your organization, the effect can be profound. Empower your people – Make sure that each and every role in your business is professionalized. Provide the structure to help make your teams successful and give them the power to achieve. Create the space for unlearning – Old habits die hard, so when you want to transform your business and they way that people work, remember that it takes time to unlearn. But how do you apply this thinking to your own situation? Are you working smarter? Are you empowering yourself? Are you able to unlearn? Take a look at this brief interview with Shari Temple from Aidmatrix where she talks about the challenges of finding a mentor. While things have changed over the last 20 years,...

Raise Money and Your Profile

Let the bidding begin. . . Originally uploaded by MarSea According to the Department of Labor, women represent 46% of the labor force. Forty percent of women work in management, and interestingly, women accounted for 51% of all workers in the high-paying management, professional, and related occupations. However, at senior and executive levels the situation does not hold true. The 2007 Catalyst Census of Women Corporate Officers and Top Earners of the Fortune 500 shows that only 15.4%of corporate officer roles are held by women (down from 15.6% a year earlier). In the technology industry, Anita Borg, a renowned computer scientist, was responsible for “including women in the technological revolution – not as bystanders, but as active participants and leaders.” The institute that she established, the Anita Borg Institute (ABI) has a mission to increase the impact of women on all aspects of technology, and increase the positive impact of technology on the world’s women. Recently, the ABI has announced that its first Women of Vision Auction Fundraiser has gone live on eBay. This innovative approach to networking let’s you bid for meetings with members of the Institute’s Board of Trustees, sponsors and key advisers from a range of leading companies. The opportunity is clearly a win-win outcome. Not only will you be able to spend quality time with a business leader, you will also be supporting the ABI. You can bid on the auctions right through until the ABI’s Women of Vision Awards Banquet on May 8. Computers will even be available at the banquet so that attendees can make last minute bids. But it doesn’t matter where...

Professional BusinessWomen of California

This past week, I had the good fortune to attend the 19th Annual Conference of The Professional BusinessWomen of California conference. According to the organization, “The annual conference is PBWC’s main forum for women leaders to mentor and role model, foster upward career mobility and gain instant access to a large network of other professionals.” For certain, the conference was a great networking opportunity with leaders from all professions in attendance and on the speaking platform. Some of the more notable speakers included Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State of the United States; Cokie Roberts, a political commentator for ABC News and National Public Radio; Jackie Speier, the newly-elected Congresswoman representing the 12th District of California in the U.S. House of Representatives and founder of the Professional BusinessWomen of California; Martha Beck, a life coach and columnist for O:The Oprah Magazine; and numerous other leaders from businesses in a myriad of fields. It was a thoroughly enjoyable conference and I was delighted to attend. A particular highlight for me was Martha Beck’s keynote presentation. She spoke about focusing on “doing what makes you happy” which is the core message of her recent book Steering by Starlight: Find Your Right Life No Matter What! As I am always on the go, it is great to have someone like Martha offer a moment within which to reflect about what makes one happy. Too many people get caught up in the routine of daily living and lose sight of what makes them truly fulfilled. They become desensitized to the world around them and march through life like robots carrying out their daily...