In 2010 my world began to change. After having made some decisions in my personal life I began to evaluate my professional path. Where was I going? What mark did I intend to leave on the world? Most of all, what did I need to do in order to get my energy focused on things that not only allowed me to do well, but more importantly be able to be happy in doing so.
It seemed a perfect fit when I was given an opportunity to attend the very first TEDWomen conference in Washington, DC.
Talk about inspiration. It was at this event where Sheryl Sandberg would plant a serious flag in the business world telling women to “lean in”.
After the midday break, we were delayed returning to the theater. I noted an unusually high number of dark suited security (aka Secret Service) and some bomb sniffing dogs. Our being in DC I figured there were two women in town who’d merit such a sweep. I was thrilled at my front row seat when, after they let us in the room, Hillary Rodham Clinton took to the stage.
There were two other talks, however, that truly sparked me … This talk by Halla Tomasdottir, an Icelandic investor who pulled her company, Audur Capital, through the eye of the financial storm in Iceland by applying 5 traditionally “feminine” values to financial services. She spoke of these values and the importance of balance.
The list of remarkable women on stage and in the audience at this event could take pages and pages, but it was talks like that of Tony Porter that helped catapult this event for me
At TEDWomen, Tony Porter makes a call to men everywhere: Don’t “act like a man.” Telling powerful stories from his own life, he shows how this mentality, drummed into so many men and boys, can lead men to disrespect, mistreat and abuse women and each other. His solution: Break free of the “man box.”