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Embracing Your Own Power: What I Learned from Sallie Krawcheck, Gloria Feldt, and more

Embracing Your Own Power: What I Learned from Sallie Krawcheck, Gloria Feldt, and more

I’m always amazed by the spectacular women in my life. Seriously. In this TBT series I’m hoping to shine a light on the people that are doing amazing work — writing books, speaking at events, sharing on podcasts, and simply great colleagues and friends. I had a pretty intense early 2019 and, in trying to be fully present and in the moment, I neglected to document and share some of my experiences. Today, I’m recalling a week in February where I was blessed to be surrounded by some true #FemaleRoleModels.

I’ve been hosting the Ellevate Podcast since 2016. Through the podcast, I strive to provide a platform for women to share their stories, insights, failures, and successes as a means of inspiring others and, more importantly, humanizing what it means to be a woman at work.

Gloria Feldt went from teenage mother in rural Texas, to CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, to Co-Founder of Take the Lead — a nonprofit initiative with a goal to propel women to leadership parity by 2025. On top of that, she’s also the best-selling author of No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think about Power. In our conversation, Gloria shared her learnings as a single mother and as the President inside a highly-disputed organization. Gloria offered her tips on organizational leadership and why giving women an equal shot in the world is her mission. One of my favorite quotes from the conversation is,“When you're leading an organization, creating meaning in a way that people can see themselves in that story and see how they fit and how whatever work they're doing advances that organization's mission and purpose in the world, that just makes all the difference. And sometimes it's hard to keep your eye on that because you can get mired easily in the daily activities. And we all do that, but I do believe that that was one of the biggest lessons that I learned [as a leader].”

Melanie Curtis, author and professional skydiver, is also a former #EllevatePod guest (in fact, she was so great that she came back a second time!). Melanie and I randomly met many years ago at a luncheon and we really hit it off. There is a lot of power in learning how to take advantage of those instantaneous connections and cultivating them over time. Melanie and I stay in touch on social media (her Facebook videos are raw and beautiful), at Ellevate events, via email, and quick in-person catch-ups.

I really appreciate the effort that Melanie puts into our friendship and was happy when she stopped by the office to share her recent success — publishing her book Host to Fly: Life Lessons From a Professional Skydiver. Whoa. The book is a compilation of Melanie’s column for Blue Skies Magazine. Melanie covers everything from fear (and why it is a great thing), to self care, to friendships, and what makes the world awesome. I especially loved Column Sixty Nine — JLD, GaryVee, and Me. Melanie writes,“Whatever it is for you, recognize the power we all have to stand for what we stand for and live our lives as manifestations of that awesomeness. Recognize YOUR power to do this.” It is a great read.

What better way to end the week than with Sallie Krawcheck and Cate Luzio. Sallie, Chair of Ellevate Network and Co-Founder of Ellevest, has been on the Ellevate Podcast many times (and was the initial host!). Cate, Founder of Luminary, has also been a guest where she shared her experiences transitioning from corporate life to entrepreneurialism. I had the great pleasure of seeing Cate and Sallie in action during a Luminous Speaker Series event. Sallie shared her experiences starting and growing her company, Ellevest, and why closing the gender investing gap is her personal mission. I really appreciated Sallie’s honesty. Sallie has always been a huge advocate for transparency around women and money and she certainly leads by example. She shared some of her experiences raising money for her company but more importantly, she shared what worked (hint: keep asking, persistence pays off) and how the power of her professional network helped to fund her dreams (many of the investors were people Sallie met over the years at events and speaking on panels).

Well, that’s if for this week. I hope you enjoyed this recap of the incredible women I’m learning and growing with through my work here at Ellevate. I’ll be sure to update you more on what I’m up to every week on Linkedin.

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