Thursday, December 10, 2015

11th Annual MA Conference for Women

This was my second trip to the MA Conference for Women, the largest Massachusetts-based women's conference. It was a misty, grey day but the weather did not dampen the enthusiasm within the convention center.

First up were morning keynotes. EMC's Erin McSweeny, EVP of HR, helped kick off the day. We started with an entertaining panel of Tim Gunn of Project Runway and Sophia Amoruse (who was refreshingly authentic and unscripted). I really enjoyed hearing Adam Grant's take on givers and takers, including specific tips on how givers can get ahead. Specifically I appreciated hearing his idea that you should block your giving time in your calendar so it does not overtake the rest of your schedule. He emphasized the importance of givers taking care of themselves too.

Mayor Marty Walsh spoke about his commitment to compensation equity.

Next were the breakout sessions. Panelists Jody Adams, Melody Lee, Anita Santos, and Kathryn Schoenborn-Sobolewski spoke about courage and innovation. They gave examples of when they stood up for themselves in their careers despite obstacles.

Next I attended a session that included EMC's ML Krakauer, EVP of business development. I've benefited greatly from ML's leadership at EMC, and was very interested in hearing about lessons she learned early in her career. She related an inspiring story when she taught several assembly line workers to read and add to enable them to adopt a program she wrote. What an excellent lesson that she took the extra time to investigate why her program was not having the desired effect, and then enabled her team to be successful.

Next was a lunch with 10,000 of my closest friends.

During lunch I had the opportunity to hear from Shonda Rhimes. As a Grey's Anatomy fan, this was definitely a highlight. I was surprised to hear her advice to turn your phone off between 7 pm and 7 am. If Shonda can do it, so can I!

I was excited to see in the program that a local mom blogger I know, Casey Carey-Brown, was going to be speaking. I attended her session and picked up some expert Instagramming tips. Instragram is just for photos, folks: keep the contests on Facebook! And also don't insta-share, go in and re-share your photos manually to Twitter and Facebook to increase their visibility. Casey also recommends not using a scheduler and just live posting your photos. But not 10 or more at once, spread them out.

I ended the day with an excellent, and did I mention free, coaching session that confirmed that my life's is heading in the direction I want it to go in for 2016! Here's to new adventures.

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