The Q&A – on Leadership and Entrepreneurship

Sam SapersteinWith JPMorgan Chase’s Samantha (Sam) Saperstein

“Effective leadership isn’t about standing on a pedestal and barking orders to people around you. It’s often about getting in the trenches and working alongside your team members.”


Q: What was your dream job as a kid and why? 

I wanted to be a writer, as I loved writing stories on an old typewriter as a child and always enjoyed reading. That led to my earliest jobs as a journalist in college and upon graduation. In addition to writing, being a journalist allowed me to continue to learn about different topics, like technology and the economy. It’s a great profession for people who are curious.


Q: What is one of the most surprising things you have learned about effective leadership—and how did you learn it? 
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Proven Ways to Pioneer Equity and Diversity

Group of colleagues meetingYou might want to take a deep breath before you take this in:

  • At the rate we’re going, it will take another 202 years for women to be paid as much as men, according to the World Economic Forum.
  • The percent of women CEOs on the Fortune 500 list is still less than 7 percent—despite the fact that women represent 47 percent of the workforce.
  • And, it’s all worse for women of color (despite last month’s report that the majority of Americans now entering the work force are people of color, primarily women).

Now for the good news! Research is revealing what works—and what doesn’t—in efforts to give all women a fair shot at career advancement; and Lori Nishiura Mackenzie of Stanford University Clayman Institute for Gender Research knows what they are. Read More

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How to Master the Tiny Habits That Will Help You Reach Your Potential

One step at a time

When he was a teenager, James Clear got hit in the face with a bat during a baseball game. It took surgery and nearly nine months for him to be able to work on regaining basic functions, like walking in a straight line. And even then, he could only focus on developing one tiny new habit a time. But together, these tiny habits turned out to make a difference—big enough that, in college, he was named an Academic all-American.

Luckily for us, Clear also went on to be an expert in how tiny habits can help us reach our potential—insights he compiled in 2018 New York Times best-selling book, Atomic Habits and is sharing with the Conferences for Women.*

“Excellence is not really about making radical changes,” he says. “It’s about accruing small improvements over time and committing to this philosophy of continuous improvement.” Read More

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Confident Women Do These 5 Things Well

By Trish Foster, Senior Director, Gloria Cordes Larson Center for Women and Business at Bentley University

 The gender confidence gap between men and women is real: compared to men, women are more deeply impacted by self-doubt. Numerous studies show that women experience unease regarding their career and job performance at a significantly greater rate than men. Women tend to apply for jobs only when they meet 100 percent of the qualifications while men feel confident to apply if they meet about 60 percent. Likewise, women have more trouble visualizing themselves as leaders than do men. And still more research suggests that women’s confidence wanes with experience while men’s grows.

But our confidence deficit is not the real news. The story that should matter for women is what erodes our confidence and, even more importantly, how we can fix it. Read More

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The Mindset That Wins: Strategies of an Elite Champion Runner

Desiree LindenIf anyone knows persistence and how to stay motivated, it’s Desiree Linden, last year’s winner of the Boston Marathon in the women’s category and the first American to win in 33 years.

Here’s a peek into Linden’s winning mindset.

It starts with a no-regrets attitude.

Linden had success as a college athlete, but she wasn’t one of those stars that everyone was watching. Still, she decided to pursue her dream of going pro.

“For me, it was worth the risk of answering that ‘what if’ question,” Linden explains. “I felt like I had the ability, and if I just put in a little bit more time, maybe I could do something special. There were no guarantees that I could even make a living, but I didn’t want to look back in 10 years and go, ‘What if?’” Read More

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Letter to My Future Self

A letter to myself

Featuring Liberty Mutual Insurance

Many of us have experienced the sense of excitement that comes from attending a conference. The amazing speakers, helpful breakout sessions and spontaneous conversations—all contribute to the buzz of new ideas and possibilities you feel. Indeed, 78 percent of Women’s Conference attendees reported feeling more optimistic about the future after attending the event.

So how do you sustain that inspiration? At both the TX and MA Conferences for Women last year, Liberty Mutual hosted “Letters to Our Future Selves” in their booth. Attendees wrote a letter to themselves describing their goals, aspirations and learnings. They will receive their letters six months after the conference. Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Life on Your Terms, Goals & Priorities Tagged |

Cut the Complexity—and Do More Valuable Work

Lisa Bodell

Meetings, overflowing email inboxes, procedures and policies are all adding complexity to our jobs, hurting our productivity and, most importantly, blocking us from doing the work that has meaning to us.

“Typically, we’re not [even] doing our best thinking at work because we’re so busy doing stuff,” says Lisa Bodell, founder and CEO of futurethink and author of Why Simple Wins.

Here are five ways Bodell suggests simplifying work: Read More

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3 Facts About Ambition That Will Help You Succeed

Hana Schank

Hana Schank

When careers don’t go as planned, what went wrong—and how do people adjust? Seeking to find answers that would help them navigate their own paths, Hana Schank and Elizabeth Wallace interviewed all of their sorority sisters who graduated with them from Northwestern University in 1993. What they learned was “life-changing,” Schank says, because it gave validity to their choices, and she saw “I wasn’t just flailing here and there.”

But you don’t have to be going through a midlife crisis to be helped by their findings, which they published in The Ambition Decisions: What Women Know About Work, Family and the Path to Building a Life. Here are three key facts about ambition that every woman should know: Read More

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Live Richer in 2019 with Tiffany “the Budgetnista” Aliche

Click Play below to listen in your browser.

America’s favorite personal finance educator shares her top tips for maximizing your money in 2019, how to prepare for unexpected financial hardships, and the least-scary ways to raise your net worth.


Be sure to subscribe to our new podcast on iTunesStitcherGoogle Play or TuneIn so you don’t miss this or any exciting upcoming episodes of Women Mean Business!

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What You Can Do to Foster a More Inclusive Workplace

By Christina Luconi, Chief People Officer, Rapid7

From our government to some of the most widely recognized companies in the world, the topic of diversity and inclusion are dominating our headlines. CEOs are making public statements about their efforts, including new approaches to long scrutinized practices in compensation, promotion and awareness. In other words, while we’ve been witness to a variety of organizations addressing some pretty intense public flogging, others are moving quickly in hopes of tackling the topic in a meaningful way before they face an issue.

Whether the company’s motivation is truly building a more inclusive workforce or just trying to avoid a lawsuit, there’s no ignoring this is a critical issue in today’s business landscape. And while this leaves consumers with a better understanding of where some of their favorite brands stand on this topic, it often leaves employees of all companies wondering, “What can I do to support these efforts?” Read More

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