Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Professional BusinessWomen of California: Closing Session

The closing session of the Professional BusinessWomen of California's Conference closed with a panel from Fortune Magazine's 50 Most Powerful & Highest Paid Women in Business list.

Laura Liswood, Secretary General for the Council of Women World Leaders was moderating and started out describing her adventure she had when she sought out to interview all 15 living women who had been president or prime minister of their countries. It was an interesting journey, one she was even surprised she was able to complete!

Our panelists that afternoon were Safra Catz, President, Oracle; Deborah McWhinney, President, Citi Personal Wealth Management; and Joanne Maguire, Executive Vice President, Lockheed Martin.

All of the women discussed career paths and how to get what you need from your career.  They all had good advice, but some pieces of wisdom from Ms. Catz really stood out to me.  She noted that no one will make your career easy for you - you need to make your own opportunities. And, back to our  Women Don't Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide, she simply stated, "you don't ask, you don't get." Then finally, "You're not men. You may be better."

Unfortunately, most of the time for the panel was used up by Liswood's introduction and the two previous speakers and the session ran over by 30 minutes. This meant many of us missed our trains - I know, I was running to the train station with several other women, none of us really appropriately dressed for running :-)

On the bright side, I did get to meet an energetic woman that was just a bit sweaty, like me, on the train, and discuss all that we saw and heard during the day.

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