What happens when you get a group of high-powered, high-heeled alpha-women in one room for two days? You have the 10th annual Forbes Executive Women’s Forum held at the luxurious Essex House in New York City. I was so fortunate to attend this exhilarating and educational event on September 24-25, 2008!
The theme was “Building Bridges,” which I thought was perfect, considering the tough economic environment in which we live. Times like these demand leaders with the vision to see past tomorrow. When change is afoot and growth is questionable, leaders need to take a step back, assess — maybe redirect — strategize and then figure out the smartest way to build for the future.
For two days, outstanding panelists and guest speakers gave the 175 female attendees a glimpse into their strategic business models which have contributed to their success. The line-up of speakers was impressive: The Honorable Tarja Halonen, president, Republic of Finland, Annie McKee, Ph.D, author of Becoming a Resonant Leader, Resonant Leadership, Sharon Allen, Chairman of the Board, Deloitte LLP, Carolyn Bivens, Commissioner, Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), Karen Wickre, Senior Manager, Global Communications & Public Affairs, Google, Tamara Erickson, author of Plugged In: The Generation Y Guide to Thriving at Work, Lisa Ellis, Executive Vice President, Sony Music Label Group, Jo Luck, President and CEO, Heifer Project International, Shelly Lazarus, Chairman and CEO, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, Louise V. Oliver, Ambassador and Permanent Representative, U.S. Mission to the United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Cathie Black, President of Hearst Magazines, Christie Hefner, Chairman and CEO, Playboy Enterprises, Inc. and many, many more!
For me, one of the highlights of the conference included a audience-driven discussion about women, power and change. It was fascinating to hear the different views and opinions from some of the most powerful and talented businesswomen in the world! It was awe-inspiring!
I was also fortunate to meet and be inspired by Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Chairman of Carlson, a global group of integrated companies providing travel, hotel, restaurant, cruise and marketing services. She candidly discussed the challenges and rigors of being a leader in our always-on, see-through world — and how to rise above it. By the way, Marilyn was named one of Forbes‘ “100 Most Powerful Women.” (pictured with me above).
If you are a woman interested in learning from some of the best and brightest females in business, then this conference is a must for you! To read more about the conference and future conferences, go to http://snipurl.com/3y8fv.