Great things happen when women come together. When they can converse openly, exchange ideas, and share common experiences. We saw this first-hand at our second Women in Focus event dedicated to mentorship last Thursday. We brought audiences together for in-depth breakout sessions with three inspiring leaders who cut across industries, generations, and backgrounds.
Leading the evening of mentorship was Natalie Brely from NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA), Daniela Landherr, an Executive Coach with 15 years of experience from Google, and Patrizia Laeri, CEO of elleXX universe AG. They led discussions on how to navigate male-dominated environments, build effective teams through trust and psychological safety, and how we can collectively and individually work to close the gender money gap.
To close out the discussions, we asked our audience to share their biggest takeaways from the evening. Here’s what we learned:
In her session, Natalie shared stories of the successes and setbacks that come with navigating a work environment not designed with women in mind. How do you rise above it? Stay true to yourself. Women often feel pressure in male dominated environments to mold their behavior to match their male colleagues: to be louder, to take up more space, to be more of a wolf. However, you should never change yourself to fit their mold. You should carve out one of your own. Cultivate confidence in yourself and the unique perspective that you bring to the table.
The most effective teams have one thing in common: psychological safety. When teams feel safe, they’re more likely to take risks, pitch ideas, think creatively, and persist through adversity. Psychological safety, however, is not to be equated with endless rainbows and sunshine. Because when you’re too comfortable, you’re not growing. In her session Daniela spoke to how safety and challenge must coexist for us to meaningfully grow as both professionals and individuals.
The gender money gap today is massive. There are many reasons for that, one of them being that men are more likely to invest than women. Women tend to keep their money in the bank, leaving hundreds of thousands of dollars or more in returns on the table. This could be due to uncertainty, a lack of resources, or a financial industry that is largely built by and for men. Patrizia implored us to build up our financial foundation early, have proactive conversations with our banks, and start investing today. Because when women invest in their futures, we all benefit.
Thank you to who all who learned and grew alongside us. We can't wait to see you at the next one!