It was a busy end to summer for me! Last month I attended two women’s offsites: one for our Midwest Women’s Initiative and one for our Women in Operations group. In this post I’ll share a peek into the Midwest event.
All of our Midwest offices (Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Minneapolis, and Pittsburgh) hold their own women’s events throughout the year. The office programs are a mix of social, community service and professional development events, with a lot of focus on building our networks and connecting with one another. In addition to these office events, every year or two we come together for one Midwest-wide women’s offsite, which was our early August event in Chicago.
The theme of this event was mastering the art of taking risks. We kicked off with dinner and cocktails at a women-owned and run restaurant in downtown Chicago. The next day we had a busy program packed with cool guest speakers, breakout sessions, and roundtables. The highlights and guest speakers included:
• Dr. Victoria Medvec, a professor at Kellogg School of Management and the Executive Director of the Center for Executive Women, who spoke about negotiating for yourself and being your own best advocate
• A breakout hosted by The Second City improv group called “Let it go: releasing perfectionism”
• A training by our internal Speak by Design group on inspiring and effective communication (with lots of practicing)
• A session led by Jesse Salazar, one of our external relations managers and communications experts, on actively building your own reputation
• Joanna Barsh, McKinsey director emerita and author of several books on women and leadership, on flourishing more and trusting yourself
It was inspiring to see so many great speakers and we all felt energetic and positive afterwards. I know I speak for a lot of the other attendees when I say that the overall lesson of the day was to stop worrying so much and just trust yourself! I felt lucky that I had the opportunity to take a day away from work to attend an event like this.
On another note, this summer I spent time with colleagues volunteering for Cradles to Crayons’ Backpack-A-Thon. Our group packed 1,500 backpacks in two hours! We are talking about possibly providing pro bono support to this organization, and I may be able to plug in on the procurement pieces. It’s exciting to see the Chicago office supporting such a great organization.
I’m including a picture at the top of the page from our fun Labor Day weekend trip to Las Vegas that we took with the fellow German-American friends who wedded us.
I’ll be back in a week or so with more updates.