On June 21, we kicked off the inaugural event of our Women in Business series -- a quarterly event that aims to empower collective growth through shared experiences, inspiring stories, and invaluable insights.
The theme of the Q2 2023 event was Women at the Top: Breaking Our Own Barriers.
Judith Sanchez Lopez, Global Marketing Executive and former JAFRA Cosmetics International, was our inaugural speaker.
Judith shared insights into the skills needed for the new wave of collaborative leadership, and the current gap that exists between women who are well-suited for, but who still aren't represented in these leadership positions.
"Don't make yourself small. Speak louder. Say it again." - Judith Sanchez Lopez
Among the information Judith shared was the fact that $12 trillion could be added to the world GDP if we had gender parity (the equal contribution of women and men), which is the combined GDP of Germany, Japan, and the UK.
Judith also covered four barriers that women need to overcome:
1. Experience: Women decline more offers or hesitate to say "yes"
Judith's advice for women: raise your hands more. Say 'yes' to high-visibility projects or experiences, even if they feel daunting. Believe in yourself and have confidence in your abilities.
2. Visibility: The 70-20-10 learning model for leadership development states that 70% of learning comes from hands-on experience. 20% of learning comes from coaching, feedback, and mentoring. 10% of learning comes from formal training and education.
Judith's advice for women: 70% of our leadership development comes from experience. If we don't want to raise our hands, if we don't want to change out of our comfort zone, if we don't want to change teams and 'leave our friends', then we're going to have less visibility.\
3. Bias: There is a lot of research that exists about bias in job opportunities, hiring, etc.
Judith's advice for women: Be conscious of your own perceptions and biases towards others, including towards other women
4. Perfectionism: Research suggests that men are more comfortable applying for jobs they don't 100% qualify for. A study asked men and women leaders what skills CEOs need to be successful. The women listed on average 22 skills that they think CEOs need to be successful, including strategic thinking, operations, energy & drive, organization positioning, personal and interpersonal skills. The men listed 3 skills, including understanding the business and inspiring others. In summary, women expect perfection in themselves, and this often negatively impacts their professional growth and progression.
Judith's advice for women: We need to stop stunting our growth because we're chasing perfection. We need to stop saying things like, "I have to speak well, I have to dress well, I have to be bossy, but not too bossy, I have to be rude but not rude, I have to be direct but not too direct, I have to empower but can't be too fluffy." We are so hard on ourselves. We do not need to be perfect. Do not be afraid. Be confident.
Judith wrapped up her keynote with some advice and encouragement for women to mentor other women. You don't need to wait until you reach a certain milestone to be a mentor. If you're a student, you can mentor other students. You can mentor within or outside of your organization. You can mentor within or outside of your industry. Support other women's growth, so we can break not only our own barriers, but society's barriers as well.
Startup Community Resources
How did this event come to be?
One of the most critical ingredients to a successful startup community is the concept of "Give First". Coined by Brad Feld in his book Startup Communities, those who Give First contribute their time and talent to those who need it, without expectation of compensation, through activities like mentoring, attending events, volunteering, giving advice, and making network connections.
Zubi Olin, one of our valued Hub101 community members, fully embodies this principle and was the catalyst for this Women in Business Event Series. In 2018, Zubi realized there weren't many women represented in business or networking events, and so she created a meetup group for women in business and hosted a few events at Hub101. Fast forward to 2023, Zubi raised her hand again and asked us how she can show up and help. She suggested the idea for another Women in Business event, and together we built on that idea to establish this quarterly series to inspire collective growth in our community. Another big thank you to Zubi!
Get updated on future events in the series!
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