The Connecticut Business Industry Association (CBIA) recently held their second-annual CT women in leadership conference. The When Women Lead event took place at Hartford’s Infinity Music Hall last month and drew more than 200 executives and entrepreneurs from all over CT.
The half-day conference covered topics ranging from diversity and inclusion in the workplace to the importance of mentor relationships. Among the featured speakers were Sheryl Battles, Vice President of Communications & Diversity Strategy at Pitney Bowes and Erin Stewart, New Britain Mayor. Panel discussions were led by several distinguished executives from various public and private organizations.
Below is a brief recap of key takeaways from Battles’ and Stewart’s keynote addresses.
Sheryl Battles – Mind the Gap
Battles’ keynote address kicked off the event and focused on the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. “Diversity and inclusion matters. Promoting diversity is not a zero-sum game. It creates more value and more opportunity for us all,” explained Battles. She also shared that diversity is one of the hardest topics to communicate about.
Battles also stressed how important it is for today’s leaders to mind the gap that exists from a lack of understanding about different genders, races and ethnicities. By focusing on diversity and inclusion, Battles says organizations can successfully bridge gaps between employees and build stronger relationships among them.
Erin Stewart – Find Your Inner Mojo
Stewart was elected to her first mayoral term at the age of 26. Now in her second term, she’s the youngest-serving mayor in the U.S. for a city the size of New Britain.
During her keynote, Stewart encouraged audience members to find their inner mojo. “I always talk about that fire in your belly. What gives you that? Go after that,” said Stewart. She also shared that people should accept that they won’t always be the smartest individual in the room – and that’s OK. Asking other professionals for advice and insights will ultimately make you a better leader.
The full CBIA article, including recaps of the information-packed panel discussions, can be viewed here. We’re already looking forward to next year’s event!
For additional reading about women in the workplace, check out these recent CBIA articles: