• Words of Wisdom

“It is so important for young college women to have strong and courageous mentors and role models. Surrounding ourselves with confident leadership and accomplished women inspire and encourage us to pursue our goals and take risks.”

— Kendall Grafton, president of the student organization NeXxus at the University of Tennessee Knoxville after hearing remarks from Heather Sheehan, who was selected by NeXxus as Outstanding Woman in Supply Chain.

“Never pass up an opportunity to grow.”

— Captain Amy Bauernschmidt, the first female executive officer (XO) of a U.S. nuclear warship, referring to the advice from her mother that helped her overcome obstacles. Continue reading

“When women see other women in a position of leadership, it reframes what they think is possible to them.”

— Kat Cole, chief operating officer and president of North America for Focus Brands Inc., whose chains include Cinnabon, Jamba Juice and Auntie Anne’s, as quoted in Wall Street Journal article on how sexual harassment and the gender gap are related.

“We’re not just playing catch-up. We’re going beyond where women in our field have ever gone.

“We’re not just playing catch-up. We’re going beyond where women in our field have ever gone. We’re going to reach that place where gender doesn’t stop a woman or slow her down or make her divert her course…where men and women have equal power and potential…where we truly understand how to create a corporate culture that brings out the best in everybody…and where our profession attracts the brightest young women because it’s a land of opportunity.”

— Ann Drake, founder of AWESOME and CEO of DSC Logistics, in opening remarks at the 2017 Symposium.

Below are excerpts from Words of Wisdom in REALITY CHECK – Volume Six, recording comments by participants in the 2017 AWESOME Symposium.

“People say leadership is lonely and it is. You’re going to have to do things that are unpopular. But that’s when we need to say, ‘If I choose not to do this, if I choose not to lead this, if I choose not to break through and solve this problem, then who will?’”

“We know what it’s like to have that extra scrutiny that comes with being a woman or a minority – the first of your kind to stand in front as the leader, but what an opportunity it turns out to be, an opportunity to redefine what it means to be a leader.”

“A mentor and a sponsor are two different things. A mentor is about teaching and providing guidance. A sponsor is somebody who’s willing to stand up for you and say ‘hey this person is best for this job. She should make this career move and I bet my career that she will be successful.’”

“I am making sure that every candidate list I review includes the names of qualified women and minorities, and it’s not as simple as it sounds. You have to stand up and demand it and refuse to look at lists that do not.”

Download REALITY CHECK – Volume Six