Gender Harmony: The 2017 World Woman Summit

In the last few years a number of conferences have sprung up around a common theme: bringing women together increases the power of our collective voice. The United State of Women, The S.H.E. Summit, The Women’s Convention, and at the end of this month, the World Woman Summit. Convening in Little Rock, Arkansas at the Clinton Presidential Center on September 3oth, the World Woman Summit will bring women together (with some good men) to discuss key issues facing women across the globe and work to increase “Gender Harmony”. Tribe of Women will be there to hear from leaders from around the world and collect their Tribe Stories. The World Woman Summit is a global stage for raising women’s voices and inspiring people around the world, and we look forward to sharing the learning and wisdom we gather.

Who Will Be There?

We look forward to sharing the stories of women and men from around the globe during and after the summit. We are fortunate to already have relationships with a few of these amazing women who have supported and helped grow Tribe of Women. We’re thrilled to be able to be supporting them right back and are proud of their accomplishments and journeys to this global stage.

Holly Fish, founder of Women in Networking, will be giving incredible advice on accelerated networking. A few of Holly’s accomplishments are winning the Women in Business Champion of the year award along with being voted one of the most powerful women in Arkansas by AY magazine for her impact through her volunteer efforts. She has been an integral part of our Tribe from the beginning and we are excited for her to share her light with others. 

Sandy Wright will be moderating the panel discussing “Violence Against Women” during the Summit. Sandy’s personal experiences of domestic violence and abuse led her to form the Brave Woman organization. Sandy aims to help people throughout the country lift up the voices of survivors to help overcome their past and to push people towards a future of freedom. We’re also pleased to announce that she is our featured interview on the TribeTalk podcast in October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Lynette Watts was executive director of the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas for 6 years and an advocate for women everywhere throughout her career. She has cheered and supported the women of Arkansas and beyond with her passion and leadership for decades and will be presenting the opening remarks for the conference. We are honored to have these women in our lives and see them speaking and impacting the lives of others while continuing their work of awareness, encouragement, education, and inspiration for women around the world.

Why a Summit? 

The World Woman Summit grew out of the World Woman Foundation, a movement started in 2013. The co-founder and CEO, Rupa Dash holds this conference every year to discuss the influence on global issues and hold a global mentorship program for Women in Film. We have been fans of Rupa’s for a long time and were happy to catch up with her before the summit to gain insight on the World Woman Summit and what people can expect.

The World Woman Summit is a “global conversation aimed to get people informed, inspired and ready to impact the world in a positive way.” 

One of the expressed goals of the Summit is to bring a diverse group of women and men together in a place that has both global and local impact. Rupa mentioned how this event is “intended to help bridge the socio-economic inequalities and provide direct engagement in the World Woman Foundation Global Leadership Institute.” The World Woman’s Foundation will also “provide a framework for Gender Harmony ™ which will be a new pathway for co-creating a better world together by accelerating women’s leadership for increased economic sustainability” that attendees can take back to their communities and begin implementing. 

Networking and connecting with other attendees and speakers will be a critical part of the summit as well. In her career, Rupa has seen a need for partnerships to be “more organic and natural” in order for groups to come together and create a better world. She emphasizes the importance and collaboration with women supporting women and is looking forward to seeing women in all stages of life come together and work to address the issues of Economic Development, Social Entrepreneurship, Global Health Equity, and Violence Against Women discussed throughout the Summit. It is important for women to break the cycles of struggle in their life and move forward with confidence.

Bringing the World to You

While at the World Woman Summit, Tribe of Women is looking forward to connecting with people from all over the globe who want to support women. We will collect interviews from conference speakers and attendees to share with you as these women lift up one voice to society and say, “We are here and we stand together!” 

Want to learn more about the World Woman Foundation and the World Woman Summit? Check out their website and social media for more information. Will you be at the Summit? We’d love to meet you! Let us know in the comments below.

Trusting Your Inner Voice – How Do You Find It? Why Should You Use It?

Speaking Up

Flashback to a conference room table. Seven men, two women sitting side-by-side, and a presenter are gathered as a professional peer group. Introductions are being made by the leader of the group. He starts with the man next to him, says his name, his company, and what he does. He then proceeds to the first woman, says her name, that she is the girlfriend and better half of her boyfriend, and moves on to the next woman to introduce her as the better half of her husband. He moves on through the rest of the group, introducing each man and including their company and skill-set.

The second woman is older and more experienced, and the introductions of her colleagues is starting to be drowned out by the blood rushing to her ears and her inner voice is saying, “This is wrong.” while the voice of doubt chimes in, “Maybe I heard that wrong or am overreacting.” supporting the voice of society whispering, “I don’t want to sound bitchy.”

Things come back around to the group leader who is preparing to have the presenter speak. “Excuse me.” says the older woman. “I’d like to take just a moment to make sure our presenter has the same background information about everyone at the table.” The ocean sound in her head has cleared with only one voice remaining. She proceeds to share the professional profile of the young woman next to her as well as her own. When she’s done, she smiles, says thank you, and gestures to proceed. No anger, no fist pounding, no name calling. It just needed to be done.

Afterward, the older woman is talking to a male colleague from the group and asks if he noticed the skewed introductions. Nope. Again, the heat rises in her ears in a combination of disbelief, frustration, and anger. Maybe she should have been more forceful, more obvious, and more blatant so that the oversight and correction would be noticed! But someone did notice.

Giving Back

Flash forward to six months after the meeting, the young woman asks the older woman to coffee. They know one another better now, and consider themselves to be friends. The coffee is casual, but the younger woman seems to have something specific she wants to talk about. “Do you remember that meeting?” she asks, describing the day of the sexist introductions. “I couldn’t believe it was happening. I questioned my own sanity and didn’t know what to say or do.  And then you spoke up for us. It woke me up to what happens to women every day, that what I’m experiencing IS real, as well as what I can do about it. I can speak up for myself, and others. Gracefully. Tactfully. But definitely, and without apology.” So, while the older woman was fuming over the fact that the men in the room had not noticed, the person who mattered – who would go forward, listen to her own inner voice from that point forward, affect change, and do the same for others – did.

Woman thinking about love and standing with blackboard behind herOne of thousands

This is one of thousands of stories women experience every day. Opportunities to support other women. Our colleagues, our friends, our daughters of birth or of our heart. Sometimes they are as unconscious as how you conduct yourself. Other times, they are as intentional as reaching out and lifting up through mentoring, volunteering, advocating, or having a work-place strategy like the women of the White House. They all start with trusting your own inner voice, then navigating the jungle of doubt, judgement, and crazy makers to use that voice in speaking up for ourselves and others.

Let’s Talk!

What have you done or experienced in finding, listening and then acting upon your inner voice? What stories do you have? What wisdom can you share? Speak up! Comment on this post or submit your stories at our website. We’re listening, and we hear you.

What doesn’t suck?

I am guilty of inflicting the, “That sucks” bug into my family. Apparently, for the last few years, when my kids would tell me a story about something that didn’t go their way, or another childhood problem, my response has been, “That sucks.” It has been my “go to” mom phrase. You know the one. We all have at least one. Yours may be: “That’s fine.” “Oh my!” “Uh-hugh.” “Sure.” “Oh Wow!” “No good.” “That’s too bad.” Or any other version you have said a gazillion times to the kids in your life.

Mine bit me in the butt a couple of weeks ago. It seemed like everything out of my children’s mouths was, “You know what sucks?” “You know what I think sucks?” “It sucks that…” “It sucks when…”

I thought I was going to crawl away from home and never return. It felt like a Dyson vacuum was sucking the will to live from my bone marrow. I couldn’t take it anymore. Where did this terrible frame of mind come from? What do my kids speak out loud about everything that sucks?

Then, my daughter came home and told me about how she couldn’t find her favorite pencil and I said, “That sucks.” I wanted to slap the words back into my mouth. So THAT’S where they have gotten it from! It’s all my fault! Holy fresh hell, how many times had they heard, “That sucks” in their very short lives?

Family council followed. I started the meeting with the question, “What doesn’t suck?” I am so tired of hearing about all of the things that suck, all of the crummy, unfortunate, sad, terrible, stories that make me want to stick my head underwater for 30 seconds just to drown out the sounds of all the sucky stories. I told my kids how that saying made me feel and asked them to start to think about the opposite of what sucks. I went so far as to write in chalk in our kitchen, “What doesn’t suck?” My kids’ friends have thought it is funny. They come over and read it out loud with a puzzled tone of voice. I make them tell me what doesn’t suck in their life. It has been like a reset button for a frame of mind I have unconsciously raised my children by the last few years.

So Tribe of Women…tell me please, if you will, What Doesn’t Suck?

 

 

As we hope you know, Tribe of Women wants to share the stories of women. Women of all ages and stages, from all walks… stories with happy endings and stories with endings that are difficult to share and accept. Even stories whose endings have not yet been realized. We are sharing this story from our friend Juliet, and we would love to share yours in this space as well!