Powertopia, the inaugural Take The Lead Day launched November 14, far exceeded expectations and audience reach with 25 in-person workshops and events, plus eight virtual events as well as watch parties in 217 cities in 25 countries.
Close to 400,000 men and women participated in Take The Lead Day campaign including the day’s livestream and in-person offerings. Several of the workshops around the country were sold out at a capacity of more than 100 participants.
Dow Jones was the partnering sponsor for Powertopia along with additional sponsors including Lyft, City Winery, Galvanize, Vermillion, EveryDay Dishes and more.
“I am thankful for you — for your collective action, your passion and your commitment to each other and to leadership parity,” says Gloria Feldt, co-founder and president of Take The Lead. “The program we’ve developed at Take The Lead will change your relationship with power and help you set higher intentions and create greater success for yourself as a leader.”#Powertopia, the inaugural Take The Lead Day, far exceeded expectations reaching 400,000 Click To Tweet
The goal of Take The Lead Day was to set a plan of action to reach gender parity in leadership by 2025 in all disciplines, at least seven decades ahead of projection. Close to 150 participated in the New York half- day Powertopia symposium, and 175 attended the evening performance and program in New York, “Women and The Art of Leadership Parity.”
“I have been the only woman in the room for most of my life,” New York Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Hochul told the Powertopia audience. “One hundred years ago women won the right to vote, and 100 years from now, will women look at what we did to move the path forward for women? That is how we will be judged.”
Hochul adds, “There are a lot of barriers out there, but we will break them down one by one.”
In the initial session of Powertopia, Take The Lead Leadership Ambassador Patricia Jerido introduced the Personal Power Plan. Based on Take The Lead co-founder and president Gloria Feldt’s book, No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power, and the 9 Leadership Power Tools to Advance Your Career, the Plan can help you begin to crack the code that holds you back from achieving your highest and best purpose.The goal of #TakeTheLeadDay was to set a plan to reach #genderparity in leadership by 2025 Click To Tweet
Guests around the world were invited to create and download the Personal Power Plan in order to take action to increase skills, knowledge and intentions around leadership and power.
“Take Action: Create a Movement: Leadership Parity from Living Room to the Boardroom,” was the kick- off session, featuring Jewelle Bickford, Co-Chair, Paradigm for Parity; Rohini Dey, Owner & Founder, Vermilion; Patricia Russo, Executive Director, Women’s Campaign School at Yale University; Nathalie Molina Niño, CEO, BRAVA Investments and Raakhee Mirchandani, Editor-in-Chief, Moneyish. Feldt served as moderator.
Bickford, who created Paradigm for Parity, speaks of her motivation. “I started it because I honestly couldn’t stand it anymore.”
Dey, CEO & Founder of Vermilion, shares what she is doing to change the leadership landscape. “When I opened my restaurants in New York and Chicago, it stunned me how low the gastro ceiling is; it makes the outside world look peachy. Only two percent of top restaurants are women-owned. Only 7 percent of women are Executive Chefs. My goal is to take women out of the pink cage (which is pastry), out of the kitchen, into owning the kitchen.”
Raakhee Mirchandani, editor-in-chief of Moneyish, offers this advice on building confidence. “Here’s something I do at every job I take: I get there, I look around and I figure out the women who I want to get to know – I find her, have lunch with her, have coffee with her, and ask – how did you get to where you are? How does it work here? It gives you great confidence to know women have done it before you and they’re going to help you too.”‘
Nino of Brava Investments adds,”While education will always be a key factor it isn’t in my view the single biggest thing holding women back–it’s capital.”
The first workshop on the tech track was, “Embrace Controversy: How to Reach Gender Parity in Tech (The New Equality Frontier),” and featured Katica Roy, CEO, Pipeline Equity; Alok Kapur, Senior Global Leader, SAP; Sara O’Brien, Tech Reporter, CNN Money and Jerido.
Kapur, Senior Leader, Office of the CEO, SAP SE, says networking is key. “Reach out to people in your personal and professional network and ask them what it would take to pursue a career in technology. If you don’t have a STEM education, let that not discourage you. The one thing I can tell you is people love talking about themselves! People like to tell their own story. Reach out and ask for help.
In the second afternoon workshop, “Wear the Shirt: Making Your Business Match Your Values” on the Entrepreneur Track, Deepti Sharma of FoodtoEat introduced Cheryl Najafi, Creative Catalyst & CEO, Love Over H8 Apparel.
“Employ Every Medium: Find Your Voice, Use Your Voice,” was an additional workshop offered featuring Natasha Alford, Deputy Editor & Host, TheGrio; Michelle Herrera Mulligan, Former Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan for Latinas; Sarah Maslin-Nir, Staff Reporter, The New York Times and Katie Orenstein, CEO, The OpEd Project.
“We all have a right and responsibility to shape the world we live in,” says Orenstein.
“I am looking to elevate the voices of women of color, and being able to be in a position to choose stories shapes the entire conversation,” Alford says.
Herrera Mulligan offers advice to the audience, saying, “Have a hive of collaborators and supporters. Be of service to your sisters.”
Women of color and in particular, Latinas, have what she calls “the gray suit syndrome,” and are taught to be well-behaved and blend in, Herrera Mulligan says. “But having a voice does not mean blending in. It means sticking out like a flaming red sore thumb.”
Maslin Nir, who served as moderator, says women have a “pathological modesty,” and that in “order not to be seen in a negative light, a woman will undermine herself.” She adds, “My actionable tool is to identify the narrative you tell yourself that prevents you from doing. Then erase that and write a new narrative.”
If you missed Powertopia in New York City, sign up to receive the all the day’s workshops at www.taketheleadday.com/2017program and we will send you the video links.