6 Memorable Lessons from our Trailblazing Women Summit
In celebration and honor of Women’s Month in March, Salesforce hosted the inaugural Trailblazing Women Summit on Friday, March 22 as a day to elevate women and allies working to drive Gender Equality. Keynote speakers included Dr. Mae C. Jemison, Ibtihaj Muhammad, and Soledad O’Brien. Here are 6 memorable lessons we can all take away from the summit and put into practice today.
In celebration and honor of Women’s Month in March, Salesforce hosted the inaugural Trailblazing Women Summit on Friday, March 22. This was a full day of programming that honored women and allies working to drive gender equality in their workplaces, industries, and communities. The summit elevated women who have used their platform to spark change in politics, business, media, board rooms, sports, and even in space.
We know that there is much more work to be done on the path to gender equality and that women are still largely underrepresented in the workforce and in leadership. This was an important opportunity to empower the current and next generation of women leaders and give allies the perspective and tools to help build a more equal world. Over 300 people attended in person and a million watched online as luminary speakers shared their journeys, inspired the audience, and left us with actionable ways to move us all forward.
A group photo of the Trailblazing Women Summit attendees at the networking reception.
At Salesforce, we believe that the business of business is to make the world a better place and we are committed to continuing to use our platform to have these important, brave, authentic conversations while elevating the diverse leaders all around us.
Here are 6 memorable lessons from the luminary keynote speakers:
1. On the importance of knowing you belong:
"In space, I realized I have the right to be in this universe just like any speck of stardust, star, or planet. I am not here to honor their doubts," said Dr. Mae C. Jemison, the first African American woman in space, physician, scientist, engineer, and advocate for science education at all levels.
2. On the importance of resilience:
"You think that someone’s going to say ‘You have been amazing, and we were just talking about you and we are going to give you a raise’… but it doesn’t work like that…these are conversations to be had,” said Soledad O’Brien, award-winning journalist, entrepreneur and host.
3. On the importance of being brave:
“Chase down your dreams and don’t be fearful. Let your faith be stronger than your fear. I’ve had the best moments in my career when I chose to be a cheerleader for myself, said Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first Muslim-American U.S. Olympic fencing medalist, entrepreneur, and activist.
4. On the importance of increasing women representation and mentorship:
“Plus One Times Three” action. Look at your calendar…is there a meeting that you can bring a plus 1 to? It costs you no social capital.. but invite someone into the room, if only to observe, if only to see what the power dynamic is like. Then on a weekly basis… commit to introducing them (your colleagues or mentees) to three people… it will make such a huge difference and it’ll be exponential,” said MyKhanh Shelton, the Senior Vice President, Global Inclusion, Engagement and Diversity at 21st Century Fox.
5. On the importance of brave vulnerability:
“I’m a crier. When I was asked ‘How can you be an emotional leader if people see you cry. What will people think of your leadership skills?’ I say, ‘When I cry, it doesn’t mean that I’m weak!’ I encourage vulnerability in the workplace,” said Nabarupa Banerjee, VP Product of Walmart.
6. On the importance of being your authentic self at work:
“I’m unapologetically myself, I don’t have any other mode.” – Leyla Seka, EVP and GM, Mobile, Salesforce.
A photo collage of highlights from the Trailblazing Women’s Summit.
In case you missed the event, watch the sessions below:
There is still work to be done on this path toward equal pay for equal work and Equality for all on a higher level. At Salesforce, we are committed to this journey via our various programs, our Employee Resource Groups and by practicing allyship. Learn more at Salesforce.com/Equality.