Relive and Recap PINK’s 16th Annual Fall Empowerment Event

There were many kernels of wisdom from the speakers at PINK’s recent 16th Annual Fall Empowerment Event which drew more than 700 attendees from across the country, in person and via livestream. The event took place in the aftermath of the polarizing presidential election, and amidst the protracted pandemic which has hurt working women most. It kicked off with a Vulnerable Rally video, powerfully demonstrating how sharing what we’re going through can quickly lead to deeper connection, improved business and personal relationships and common ground. “The best women leaders I know don’t shy away from sharing themselves and listening and making an effort to understand and know others,” said PINK CEO Cynthia Good. The panelists did exactly that.

Broadcast live from the Crowne Plaza Atlanta Perimeter at Ravinia with a small, socially distanced crowd, some of America’s top women business leaders shared their vulnerabilities and their success secrets – to pay it forward and help other women advance.

“Don’t hide your schedule. If you have a doctor’s appointment… inform men and women in your organization,” advised Nicole “Nikki” Clifton, who the same week had moved into her expanded role as President of Social Impact and The UPS Foundation. “It says, I have a life I value – and I get the job done,” added Johanna Price, The Coca-Cola Company’s SVP of Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability, North America.

 “Vulnerability equals empathy,” said Kris Malkoski, CEO, Home Solutions, Newell Brands. “Be vulnerable while demonstrating leadership.” The leaders acknowledged that so many are facing difficulties right now. “Everyone is not OK. Lead with love,” offered Natosha Reid Rice, PINK’s moderator and Global Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer at Habitat for Humanity International.

Nikki’s advice when starting a new job? “Connect with everyone on your team. Ask, ‘How are you doing? What do you love? What would you do different?’ Listen to people’s voices. You can hear if they’re not OK.”

The high-powered leaders talked about how to keep their sanity during the ongoing pandemic. Since so many work from home, and burnout is proving to be a huge concern, Grace Huang, President of Manheim, a Cox Automotive brand, emphasized how important it is to set boundaries when work begins and ends. Get outside.” Johanna agreed it has been helpful for her to, “work nature and the outdoors [into my schedule] and have more control over my time. I put everything into my diary.” Natosha chimed in, “Live work-life balance. You have no other option. Men do this.”

They also addressed the topic of power and bravery. “You have to speak. You earned the right to sit at the table. Never question it,” said Johanna. “Your voice needs to be heard. Speak up. Ask if you don’t understand.” Grace on the other hand says she may not always speak up, but when she does, she has authority. “Fight the battles that matter.” “We’re teachers, mothers, leaders,” said Natosha. And Grace reminded the crowd, “We [women] are way more qualified than others at the table.”

When it comes to your career Kris says, “Don’t try to control your path, so you won’t miss opportunities.” She and others talked about how they’ve stepped up to support other women at work who would have lost opportunities otherwise. They emphasized the importance of doing so. Kris adds, “Have the conversation on diversity and inclusion.”

So how do these extraordinary women go in every day and stay strong while being vulnerable? Nikki said, “Wrap yourself in spiritual armor to manage your doubt.” Kris added, “Live, laugh, love and let go.” And sing in the living room! Says Nikki, “I take jazz voice lessons via zoom. Let music heal you.”

Special thanks to the event sponsors that made this gathering possible; The Coca-Cola CompanyCox Enterprises, Southern Company, The Home Depot, UPS, and Warner Media News & Sports.

Those in the room had the chance to meet the exhibitors and were treated to makeup, hair, jewelry and delicious treats from Christie Cookie Company, Authentic Beauty, Wendy Babchin Designer Group, Blo Blow Dry Bar. Pomeroy Designs made Cynthia’s suit.

WHAT’S NEXT ~ March 9, 2021 ~ The day after International Women’s Day, PINK will hold its Annual Spring Empowerment Event featuring UPS CEO Carol Tome. Seating is limited due to Covid-19. CLICK here for details.

In the meantime, PINK has set up the PINK Power Alliance for women to gain ongoing wisdom, inspiration, support, development and connections to expand their network and career opportunities through coaching, intimate monthly livestream conversations with impact and connection with business leaders and other resources. CLICK for details.

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