Next week, our team will host our inaugural Summit for Women’s Leadership – something I had always dreamed of doing, but up until recently didn’t think I could. My bar for what our team should focus on executing is super, super high. And I wasn’t sure we could meet it. I didn’t want us to do just another online summit, to pile onto the dozens of also great online summits put on by other organizations.
Earlier this year we decided to go for it anyway. A year into COVID lockdowns, we decided to do it not because we believe the world needs another women’s summit, but because we believe that our community deserves a moment to gather, celebrate, learn and support each other. In other words, this Summit is not about us, it’s about you. It’s for you. And it’s powered by you.
For our first ever community gathering, we are bringing together an unbelievable roster of trailblazing speakers. The Chief of Staff at NASA, the Wall Street legend, the head of Women’s Soccer at Concacaf, the Latin American singer songwriter superstar, and the first and only female President of my home country of Costa Rica. Seriously, I can barely believe that our tiny, mighty team pulled this off.
Accompanying these headliners, we are proud and honored to elevate a select group of speakers sourced directly from our community, and selected directly by our community. Our two “Powered by You” sessions, on Wednesday and Thursday next week, will feature three talks each. All of our community day keynotes, as well as the Powered by You sessions are free and open to everyone – just register for the free “Powered by You” ticket on Hopin.
I’m honored to introduce the speakers who will grace the FFA Summit Main stage “Powered by You” sessions. See you next week!
Powered By You, Session 1
Wednesday Oct 13th, 3:30p PT // 6:30p ET
Get Yourself a Mentor, by Ashima Sharma
When I first started my career, I thought I had my career planned out for the next decade. But 3 years into my first role in the Energy Industry, I realized I wanted something different. This kicked off an arduous, confusing, and lonely career pivot. I’ll be sharing the mistakes I made during my pivot because I did not have a mentor in my career, as well as how to actually find great mentors. I’ll walk through goal setting, getting clarity on your next steps, and best practices to keep a long-term mentorship.
Pirouette, don’t pivot: How careful planning can help you execute an entrepreneurial career shift gracefully, by Julie Schechter
The events of 2020 inspired millions of us to reassess our values and how we wish to spend our personal and professional days. We can see this cultural shift most obviously in the recent events of what the media has termed the “Time of Shedding and Cold Rocks”. You may be one of these folks who left their job, or you may be itching for a change. However, because we know we need to pivot doesn’t mean we know how to do it well.
In ballet, a pirouette is a pivot that is planned and practiced exhaustively so that it can be executed (in theory) flawlessly. In this session, Julie (a master of the planned pivot) will take you through her career pirouettes, as she went from ballet dancer to Harvard Law grad and high-paid corporate attorney, to founder of not one but two businesses (and now, she’s developing an app, despite being a non-technical founder!).
The cheat code for burnout relief, by Erayna Sargent
Burnout, hustle culture’s dirty secret, drives over $322b in productivity and turnover and is paralyzing today’s workforce. While there is no silver bullet, there are cheat codes. This engaging session debunks common misconceptions, highlights the transformational opportunity for organizational leaders, and breaks down how the pillars of mental wellness (with a little bit of rebel) are the accessible cheat codes to relief.
Powered by You, Session 2
Thursday Oct 14th, 3:30p PT // 6:30p ET
How to be a real ally to women founders (from women founders), by Ashlee Ammons & Kerry Schrader
What can we do as women founders and allies to remove the “shattered ceilings” that are still causing us to “bleed-out” as we build our businesses? Join this dynamic Mother/Daughter duo, who are in the new wave of entrepreneurs re-imagining daily life, creating services that make work and play simpler, better and more satisfying. Without formal tech backgrounds, they’ve blazed trails in the male-dominated tech startup space with their company, Mixtroz which makes networking experiences more valuable for meeting leaders, attendees and sponsors at in-person, virtual and hybrid functions. In October 2018, after winning Steve Case’s Rise of the Rest competition earlier in the year (Birmingham, AL), together they became the 37th & 38th black female founders to EVER raise a seed round in excess of $1 million dollars! Among other accolades, the duo has been named as Entrepreneur Magazine’s Inaugural list of 100 Powerful Women (Nov. 2019), BizBash’s Most Influential Women in Event Tech (Sept. 2021) and most recently they were awarded Google’s $100K Funding for Black Founders.
How to return to work after a gap in your career, by Nabanita De
This is a guide for women returning to the workforce, who are asking questions such as: “Am I relevant in the industry? What skills do I need? As a non-native English speaker, do I need to learn how to speak English to operate? What do I do if I don’t know anything about computers?” These very same questions have been echoed by many other women I’ve worked with since them.
How to help girls see themselves as entrepreneurs, by Susanne Althoff
Researchers have found that children are almost four times as likely to picture a man instead of a woman when hearing the word “entrepreneur.” TV, films, magazine covers, and other media directed at kids and adults too often elevate only the stories of male entrepreneurs. Girls urgently need more entrepreneurial role models and need to be exposed early on to the idea that they can build their own business. Each of us has a part to play in this effort. You’ll leave this session with action-oriented ideas for the girls in your life and your community, and learn why this effort is so crucial to opening up entrepreneurial opportunities to more people.