MGM Resorts Foundation held its eighth Womenâs Leadership Conference this week at the MGM Grand to the apparent delight of Southern Nevada women. The organization had to cut off registration the day before the event started, and during the closing luncheon, a sizeable portion of the 800-plus attendees broke into a spontaneous celebratory performance of the Cupid Shuffle.
These snippets, from the final panel discussion moderated by Edelman executive Gail Becker, hint at the origin of their enthusiasm: two days packed with inspirational stories and calls to action.
Q: HOW CAN WE IMPROVE THE CURRENT BUSINESS LANDSCAPE FOR WOMEN?
âWe have two things we have to do as women: No. 1, bring other women along. Every successful woman should find at least two others younger than her in her field to mentor. And No. 2, increase sponsorship. Ten years ago I wouldn't be sitting here because I wouldn't have had the courage to ask for help. Ask for help. Men do it; women should do it too.â â Suzan Kereere, senior VP and general manager, American Express
âTo clarify: Sponsorship happens when you're not in the room. Somebody who knows you hears of a position and puts you forward for it.â â Becker
Q: WHAT DO YOU WISH YOUâD KNOWN WHEN YOU GRADUATED FROM COLLEGE?
âI would tell my younger self, âLive your life. Live the life thatâs right for you. Donât try to live someone elseâs life. Be bold enough to ask for what you want and to do what you want to do.ââ â Susan Gambardella, former senior marketing VP for Coca-Cola North America
âI wish someone would have told me to remember to take care of yourself. ... You forget about your well-being, emotional, spiritual and physical. In a leadership position, if you're not taking care of yourself, the people around you can see that. I have family all over the state, and we're half Mexican, half Sicilian, so we celebrate everything. Iâm more productive back in the work world when I take time to do that.â â Catherine Cortez Masto, Nevada Attorney General
Q: WHATâS YOUR THIRD METRIC FOR SUCCESS, BEYOND MONEY AND POWER?
âThe third metric came into place for me when my husband and I decided to have kids and that heâd stay home. That allowed me to lose the guilt of continuing to work. Not everybody has that luxury, but it allowed me to think beyond work.â â Gambardella
âThis is something Iâve been thinking a lot about, because this is my last term as attorney general. Iâll be out in January, in case anyoneâs looking. â¦ In my world, I define success as, have I made a difference.â â Cortez Masto
Q: DO YOU HAVE A BAD HABIT YOU HAD TO DROP, LIKE THE âSORRYâ IN PANTENEâS RECENT AD CAMPAIGN THAT WENT VIRAL?
âHow about when youâre sitting in a meeting and youâre formulating a good point in your head, and waiting for the right moment or for it to be perfect, and then someone else makes it? Donât miss the opportunity.â â Gambardella
Q: SHARE A SAMPLE FAILURE AND HOW YOU BOUNCED BACK.
âMy first week in aviation, I discovered they speak only in acronyms. I couldn't understand anything. I barely knew what FAA stood for. At one meeting, they started talking about vertical transportation. I was 45 minutes into meeting before I knew they were talking about elevators. We laugh about it now. I'm still there, and I'm director.â â Rosemary Vasilliadis, Clark County Director of Aviation
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