I had the privilege of attending the 2016 Lady Project Summit this past weekend in Providence, RI. What a fabulous summit! To begin with, I had had a magical week. My fourteen-year-old daughter wrote a gutsy, badass slam poem and performed it for her English class on being a feminist. It made me realize that my little girl is not a little girl anymore, but rather a young woman to be reckoned with. Going with that optimism, I then went to the Lady Project Summit (LPS) on Saturday. When I walked into the LPS, I was surrounded by an exuberant group of women, mainly younger than myself, all abuzz about the event. I overheard women introducing themselves, networking over breakfast, discussing their work, and so forth, even before the opening keynote speaker, Ann Shoket, Millennial Thought Leader and former Editor-in-Chief at Seventeen, addressed the group. The Lady Project, founded by Sierra Barter, and Julie Sygiel, is a nonprofit organization that brings women together to share ideas and resources, and to connect, inspire and showcase women and their achievements. Attendees to the LPS are able to choose from a variety of workshops and panels given by enthusiastic women from all walks of life. A few of the workshops I signed up for included "Networking Your Way To Success: Play the Long Game" led by Boston-based lawyer, Monica Singh, "Editorial Styling 101: Tips for Defining Your Style + Getting Your Work Published led by Style Me Pretty blog founder Abby Capalbo, and "How to Take Charge of Your Financial Future" led by Maureen Kerrigan and Courtney Chellgren from RBC Wealth Management. I was so inspired and honored to be able to explore ideas with other women, to hear about their triumphs, dreams, and struggles. As a mother/step-mother of three girls, I am encouraged by the prospects that young women have today, especially as women help each other to be their best selves and define their place in society, rather than let men define it for them. In a nutshell, that's what the Lady Project Summit is all about. Here are some of the highlights that I gleaned from the keynote speakers:
- From Ann Shoket: “Women need to help each other to get their big life…you have no idea the adventures around the corner…”
- From Ruma Bose, President of Chobani Ventures and Chobani Foundation: “Aim High, Never Settle, Never Think You’re Done, and Trust Yourself.”
- From Elaine Pouliot, former Sr. Vice President of Training and Development at IBM: “Share your secrets; help other women. Just because you give a muffin recipe to someone, doesn’t mean it will turn out”…or taste the same way as your muffins.
- Mother Theresa: "We each do our best when we help everyone around us do their best."