A Must Watch

I mentioned last week that Tom was participating in the Center for Women in Business' Inaugural Forum, Moving from Conversation to Action. Tom has participated in far more than a few events about women in the workplace. This one blew him away. As I had the good fortune to attend as well, I can tell you that it moved far beyond the usual conversations about the disparity in gender percentages in executive suites.

If you are a woman, or at all interested in how to retain and advance women in the workplace, invest the time and watch these videos. The Center was kind enough to film and share the videos from the entire day.

Obviously, I'll point you to the video of the lunch discussion that Betsy Myers, founding director of the Center, had with Tom. You'll note that Tom is gobsmacked by the speech Bob Moritz, chairman and senior partner of PriceWaterhouseCoopers, gave. His insights on what women can do to move forward were simple and very practical. The executive panel discussion covered a wide range of issues, including work/life balance. Cool Friend Rosabeth Moss Kanter also gave a remarkable presentation at the event.

A few of the many useful takeaways from the day:

*Women should speak up about what they want. Unless you speak up, it's presumed that you don't want the opportunity.

*Sponsors are different than mentors. Sponsors actively put the name of the person they're sponsoring into consideration for open positions or opportunities. Look for a way to make this part of how your organization functions. On a more personal scale, take a moment to think about a woman you believe in and that you could help to move forward. Do something for her today.

*Deloitte has a flexible working track that they refer to as a lattice. Some women may not want to move straight up the corporate ladder; they may prefer more flexibility with their schedules and workloads at different times.

*Betsy Myers briefly mentioned It's Not a Glass Ceiling, It's a Sticky Floor by Rebecca Shambaugh which focuses on "common traps that hold women back in their careers." So much time has been spent focusing on external obstacles. It's beneficial to take a look at the internal obstacles.

We congratulate the Center on a terrific launch and can't wait to see what they accomplish!