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Why You Need to Be a Part of #MobilizeWomen

Why You Need to Be a Part of #MobilizeWomen

I can feel the excitement building

and I haven’t slept in days.

Why you might be asking?

Because I’m in a Summit haze.

Yes, It’s time to Mobilize

let’s get up and fight.

When women have a seat at the table

we'll create a world that's right.

Clearly I’m inspired by the upcoming Ellevate Mobilize Women Summit happening on June 21, 2019! I haven’t written a poem in years (and I’m sure you can tell why ;-) ) but I’m bursting with inspiration as I gear up for this momentous event.

The Mobilize Women Summit first started in 2017 as a way for us to have real conversations around equality, impact, and action. Since that time the Summit has become a powerful movement driving Ellevate Network’s purpose of achieving equality for all through giving diverse voices, and particularly those of women, a seat at the table where decisions are made.

We believe that when women have a voice in important conversations it ultimately benefits everyone, and leads to a more equal world. To us, that means more opportunities for everyone. It means no more harassment. It means equal pay. It means a fair shake at success. It means access to the resources you need, wherever and whoever you are.

To gear up for the 2019 Summit, I’m looking back at a few of my favorite moments from the past few years:

The Future. It has been important to me to have my family — especially my children — included in the Summit. I understand that they may not fully understand some of the themes and topics, but kids are living in this world every day, the world that we’ve created with its flaws and inequalities and prejudice. Kids are navigating adult situations at earlier ages and are actively working to break down barriers, to support one another, and to innovate the future we all seek. My son Benjamin’s first summit experience helped me to realize how important it is that we have conversations with our children about equality and expose them to diversity in media, communities, and leadership. Benjamin along with his two sisters will be joining me again this year and I’m guessing that their favorite panel will be Innovating the Future with Ashley Voisin, Entrepreneur, engineer, designer; Taylor Richardson, Astronaut StarBright; advocate, speaker, philanthropist; and Meridith Maskara, CEO, Girl Scouts of Greater New York.

The Inspiration. I’m always beyond inspired by our Summit speakers. Their stories, passion, and drive to create change are key to creating a more just and equal future. Through the Ellevate Podcast I’ve come to understand the power of active listening — not simply staying silent waiting for your turn to speak, but fully committed to hearing processing the perspectives of others. I think this is core to creating change, we need to first put in the work to listen and understand the experiences of others. I’ve had a number of our Summit speakers on the Ellevate podcast and I’m sharing some of my favorite episodes here.

    1. Episode 163: Advocating For Yourself and Others, with Emily Ladau (2019). Starting her activism journey on Sesame Street at the age of 10, Emily Ladau, Disability Rights Activist, Writer, Communications Consultant, talks about the role of advocates and how one can be a good advocate, as well as making the disability experience accessible.
    2. Episode 161: Finding My Voice, with Valerie Jarrett (2019). Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the Obama Foundation and Attn:, shares the importance of stepping outside your comfort zone, creating a safe space for talent, as well as her favorite and least favorite memories from the White House.
    3. Episode 115: Changing Blockchain, with Amber Baldet (2018). After leading the Product Development team at J.P. Morgan, Amber Baldet, the Co-founder and CEO of Clovyr decided to take a dive into the world of startups. A self-taught coder, Amber is now successfully redefining the world of blockchain and cryptocurrency as well as showcasing what women in tech can achieve if they have the right tools.
    4. Episode 114: Being an Ally, with Mike Steib (2018). As the CEO of XO Group, Mike Steib’s road to becoming a successful leader has not only been a result of hard work and dedication; but also of networking and influential women he has worked with in his life.
    5. Episode 113: Removing Stigmas, with Chelsea VonChaz (2018). When Chelsea VonChaz was walking the streets of Los Angeles, she saw a homeless(or“houseless” as she calls it) woman having her period with no proper menstrual hygiene products. The woman’s blood stained undergarments were a sign for Chelsea to take action, so she did some research and started a nonprofit, #HappyPeriod, that soon became a nationwide movement.

    The Action. It has always been important to me that the Mobilize Women Summit is at its core, about action. I’ve had so many meetings that led to…no next steps. I’ve attended hundreds of events over the years where I took notes and wrote down ideas that I never followed up on. With the Summit, we’re talking about change. And more importantly, how we each can be drivers of change. So action is important. At the end of every panel, we ask the speakers to leave us with a clear action that we can take that day, week, month, year. After the Summit, we package up all of the actions into a great guide that anyone can use to start creating societal change immediately.

    The Community. There is strength in numbers. Community lifts us up, connects us to opportunities, inspires us, and helps us to learn and grow. Community is everything. Never is that more evident than at the Mobilize Women Summit. It is truly powerful to see hundreds of women - women from different backgrounds, identities, beliefs, and experiences - coming together to create a movement. We like to say that you may end up sitting next to your next mentor, boss, co-founder, advisor, client, or new friend. I’m thankful every day for the Ellevate community and the impact it has had on my life and the lives of other women. Mobilize Women isn’t just a call for change in the world, but a celebration of how far we’ve come by supporting one another.

In my work at Ellevate, I’ve come to realize that there is really nothing that can replace true community. The Mobilize Women Summit is where a diverse community comes together with one thing in common — they’re all committed to making the world a more equal place, and are working together to make it real. Join us via live stream on June 21st for our third year, it’s going to be the best one yet.


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