NextUp Leadership Summit 2022 Takeaways

NextUp Leadership Summit 2022 was a rousing success! We learned, we connected, and we left inspired to transform out workplaces for equity. Below you’ll find tips, tricks, and key takeaways from our speakers – plus listen to Chastity Brown’s incredible theme for NextUp, ‘She Bold’!

Want to continue the learning? Find your next NextUp program to register for! Check out our Leadership Development Programs for Individuals, or if you’re looking to support a full team, take a look at how our DEI&B Workshops and Corporate Leadership Development Workshops can work for you!

Loved Summit? Want to get involved volunteering for NextUp? Learn more about your local NextUp region here!

Finally, if you represent an organization and are interested in helping NextUp improve the working world for women, we’re looking for collaborators for new research we will be conducting with Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman. See this fact sheet for more details!

Day 1

Improvising Through the Unknown: How to Handle Uncertainty and Win
Katie Goodman, Comedian, Life Coach, and Author

  • Lean on ‘Yes, and’!
  • Be flexible, spontaneous, and think on your feet.
  • Gag your inner critic.
  • If you’re attached to a goal you will miss opportunities.
  • Pick from what you have – what is your superpower?


Creating a New World
Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman, Editor, The Black Agenda
Tom Foley, Founder, Indigo Group, LLC

  • What does a new world look like? Honoring people’s humanity will drive equity.
  • Gatekeepers, redefine yourself as a sponsor and show others how to get through the gate, someone who ushers in and equips the next generation.
  • Work life balance is an aspiration. Know your value and how you can translate that value into action and money.
  • What questions are you asking from your data?
  • Your experience should not be the default.
  • Data-centric research on diversity, equity, and inclusion is preventative care for an organization!


Make Way for a Woman Bold
Chastity Brown

Listen to our new theme, ‘She Bold,’ below!

Day 2

Lead Like a Lioness
Christina Ruggiero, President, North America Operations, Central Zone, North America Operating Unit, The Coca-Cola Company
Moderator: Tamiko Olabintan, Chief Operating Officer, NextUp

  • Allow yourself to be authentic, remove the barriers like people-pleasing and placing unrealistic expectations on yourself. It’s okay to not do it all or know it all. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  • Stop pretending you aren’t who you are – use the power of being human.
  • Start every morning with purpose, let your to-do list be one of intention and purpose.
  • Give yourself permission to feel and process hard things. Have a “princess pity party” or go into the “bitter barn” to get yourself together and be the leader you need to be.
  • You get to choose where you are, so be present while you’re there.
  • Your biggest fears can unlock your future.


The Power of Language
Amy von Walter, Head, Global Communications, ExxonMobil
Laura Urquiza Gump, President, Houston – Louisiana Division, Kroger
Annabel Tsang,VP, Sales Effectiveness, Keurig Dr. Pepper

  • The needs of today’s leader have changed as the world has changed. Today’s leader has a responsibility to be visible, to be human and to be authentic.
  • Language can help connect us to people, but can also hurt us. Slow down and think about your impact on others.
  • Lead with your head (innovation), heart (gain buy-in, meet people where they are) and your hands.
  • Women have a super power to bring people together. Collaboration is a necessary skill.
  • 7 – 38 – 55 rule. 7% is the attention spent focused on your words, 38 % is how much attention is paid to your tone, and 55% is reading your body language.
  • Up your game on your tech skills so that you can enhance your communications with your teams.


Boosting Women. Building Impact
Lorraine Stromski, SVP, Associate Learning and Leadership, Walmart
Moderator: Karen Jones, VP, Learning & Partner Solutions, NextUp

  • Lean into your natural gifts and lead with those.
  • You have to wake up with purpose daily, and find the passion that gets you out of bed each morning
  • Development and opportunities to upskill can improve a diverse talent pipeline.
  • As a leader, psychological safety looks like being vulnerable, showing your mistakes, and lessons learned.
  • It’s important to grow and develop from feedback. Have truth tellers in your your life to give you specific feedback – formally (such as in 360s) and informally.


Women in Tech
Shilpa Vadodaria, Worldwide Leader, Digital Innovation, Amazon
Ann Dozier, Senior Vice President, Chief Information Officer, Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits, LLC
Kris Torres, Managing Director, Cloud Innovation Center, Accenture
Jill Tucker, VP, BT Employee Experience, Salesforce

  • Knowing what you need for work life balance allows you to select roles that align best with those perameters. Find the place in tech that fits your life.
  • Job descriptions that are written well are a guideline for promotion. Make it very clear what is needed to be successful.
  • Make space for women. Leaders should create spaces under them to bring women in.
  • Top down decisions are less likely to work – it’s the mid-level speaking up that makes things happen, especially when there are leaders above them who take those ideas and put them into practice.
  • Metrics on a small group of women in the field is no good. We need to be measuring how they are moving women up, and how we are impacting the community to create an environment built for success.
  • Do not put the workload of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging on the marginalized. Approach problems systemically, not individually.
  • If you’re in tech, you need to be bringing someone along. Speak up for them and be allies. Don’t just mentor, sponsor them.
    What is one thing they can take from this room and do?
  • Learn more about yourself. If I asked you to list what you love about yourself, how long would you be talking?
  • Be brave. Speak up for yourself. Speak up for another person.


The Power is YOU
Derek Lewis, President, Multicultural Business and Equity Development, PepsiCo Beverages North America
Moderator: Sarah Alter, CEO and President, NextUp

  • Create movements, not just moments
  • Make changes that are integrated into the day to day. Stay away from lofty ideas that cannot be translated into the minute by minute actions of every day business function
  • Wherever you come from, we all bring something unique to the table. There’s a notion of being a go-getter, but also be a go-giver. You can be both.
  • Diversity is something that all people have in common. Every person’s uniqueness is worth celebrating
  • When you have or gain a position of power, use it. Immediately take responsibility to hire for diversity – diversity in thought, skill, and identity.
  • Find your allies. Who is in the room speaking for you if you are not there?
  • Know who is fighting for you, and build trust and a relationship with that person.
  • Gracefully accept change, stay relevant, be willing to change your approach, and be forward thinking.


Solution Labs

Track 1 – Connect, Work & Lead Across Generations
Ryan Jenkins, Bestselling Author, Keynote Speaker
Moderator: Dr. Kristin Lee, Virtual Learning Manager, NextUp

  • Understanding the evolving differences across generations provides insights into how work is evolving.
  • Generations are clues; not absolutes.
  • How humans fill their needs is changing rapidly and varies across generations.
  • Connection is now the most valuable currency in the workplace.
  • Time constraints severely limit people’s willingness to connect with others.
  • Communication is dealt. Connection is felt.
  • Override disconnection with contribution. (Ex: “I need your help.”)
  • Download your FREE Connection Kit at www.ConnectionVault.com.


Track 2: Building Your #BadAss Brand

Ebony Wyatt, Customer Vice President, General Mills
Tiffani Daniels, Managing Director, Minnesota Business Coalition for Racial Equity

  • Personal branding is the projected image of our personality, skills and abilities.
  • Define yourself in 3 declarative words – connector, empathetic, driven, etc.
  • Capture your achievements and results, passions and areas of influence, and what people expect of you. Take control of your narrative or others will make assumptions and make decisions for you.
  • Be bold, declarative and use specific data.
  • Power is only as good as you can give it away. Build confidence in others, acknowledge contributions in the moment, and be specific.
  • CRIE model:
    • Connect to your audience
    • Request what you want
    • Impress – with your credentials, experiences, business impact
    • Express
  • Curiosity is the new leadership skill.


Track 3: Updraft: When Women Empower Women
Irene Quarshie, Senior Vice President of Global Supply Chain and Logistics, Target Corporation
Ivanka Mamic, Senior Vice President Sustainability, bp
Moderator: Desiree Frey, Senior Director, Regional Growth & Development, NextUp

  • Psychological Safety – it’s important to make sure employees feel trusted and that they can trust you.
  • As leaders, you can’t be reckless with people’s careers. Be someone that tells employees when they are being brave but also when they have a blind spot.
  • Leadership is a contact sport – you have to be aware of what’s happening on the field and be ready to get tackled.
  • There’s always room at the table. Always sit firm in your seat, and if there isn’t a seat, get a bigger table.
  • Book suggestion: Loving Your Imposter Syndrome by Rita Clifton


Track 4: Gender and Gen Z

Julia Marshel, Senior Brand Manager, Altria International Sales, Inc.
Cecilia B. Ogude, Global Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, IRI/NPD
Tomeka Williams, VP, NA Hair Care Sales, Procter & Gamble
Moderator: Kat Ortiz, Program Manager, Learning and Development, NextUp

  • Gen Z is pushing us to rethink boundaries and boxes.
  • Older generations can respond with openness and curiosity.
  • Brands are responding – Pantene, Lego, Target for example – with gender neutral advertising/packaging.
  • Gender identity and sexual orientation are interconnected but are defined separately: Gender identity – who a person is, sexual orientation – who a person desires.
  • Create psychologically safe spaces to allow everyone to express who they are while also supporting those on a learning journey to open to new ideas.
  • Be an ally – do not put the lead for change on the shoulders of the minority.


Track 5: The Strength in Strategic Vulnerability
Stella Odogwu, Founder, INTELLE Coaching Solutions

  • The future of work involves people being a fuller expression of themselves at work.
  • As leaders, it is up to us to create work spaces based on trust. Trust requires clarity, consistency and continuity.
  • The work begins with us. As leaders, we must let our guard down and become more strategically vulnerable, as this inspires others to do the same.


Track 6: Caregiving + Work
Renata Ferraiolo Pereira, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Global Consumer Brands, SC Johnson
Tara Poponyak, Senior Director, Sales Center of Excellence, Keurig Dr Pepper Inc.
Moderator: Danit Schleman, VP, Strategic Value, NextUp

  • Caregiving can be an abrupt disruptor. It’s often not pre-planned.
  • As a caregiver, progress in your career is not unattainable – but prioritize yourself to make sure you can take care of yourself and others.
  • It’s the things you learn from your experience that serve as a resource for you later.
  • Balance and support from others, such as family, friends, and professionals, can help you overcome burnout and take care of yourself.


Day 3

Breaking Boundaries: Equal Pay for Equal Work
Samantha Mewis, Midfielder, U.S Women’s National Team
Melanie Peyton, Senior Account Executive, Visa

  • Trust in the strength of the group. Alone, you would never have accomplished even a fraction of what you have.
  • The strength that you need can be found in the women around you. “In my lowest points, I have found myself with another woman relying on what we can accomplish together. Count on the women around you.” Make, meaningful lasting connections.
  • Find what it is outside your job. Who else are you? Who are you without your job? What gives you joy?


Bold Women Making Waves
Catherine Flowers-Yancy, Vice President, Rights, Policies & Compliance, NFL Media, National Football League
Tracie Rodburg, SVP Sponsorship Management, National Football League
Marisa Solis, SVP, Global Brand & Consumer Marketing, National Football League
Tamiko Olabintan, Chief Operating Officer, NextUp

  • Develop confidence.
  • Be the expert in your job or in the room. Know your secret sauce.
  • Be neutral in extreme situations even if you don’t feel they are right.
  • When things get tough lean on others, including your mentors, so you get on the right path.
  • Always ask for help & offer it to others
  • Support your team no matter where they go
  • Living your mission at work and know your true North
  • Help younger women. Share advice, even just informally.
  • Have someone you can ask all the silly questions! They will help you look good, and you will learn things you may not know instead of learning hard way.
  • Your success is my success. My success is your success. We are all in this together.


Collaboration: The Future of Sustainability
Lisa Manley, Global VP, Sustainability, Mars
Melody Richard, Merchandising VP, Pets, Walmart
Irvine Sloan, Social Impact Strategy Leader, Duke Energy Corporation

  • Be open to uncommon collaboration.
  • Be intentional about how you collaborate with people and build relationships.
  • The future of sustainability is diverse and female.
  • Often we use resumes to rule people out, and truthfully, you are bigger than one sheet of paper. When hiring, have a lot more conversations.
  • The future of business is diverse and female. The more you can diversify your c-suite, the better performance you’re going to have, and the more those individuals invest in sustainability.
  • If we’re not driving impact at scale it’s time for us to go home. It’s more than writing checks. If businesses are not paying off on the promises of those big goals, we have to rethink things.
  • It’s great to think about planting more trees, but how can sustainability efforts also have a positive impact for women and other marginalized groups? Think about intersectional benefits.
  • Sustainability is the ultimate team sport inside business. It is a place where we need everybody to be playing alongside us. No matter what function you work in, there is something you can do to impact your business’ sustainability efforts.


Women, Money, and Power
Rachel Rodgers, Author, We Should Be Millionaires

  • Trimming your budget does not create wealth
  • 4 steps to wealth:
    • Tell a million dollar story (change the way you think about money and what you believe about money).
    • Make million dollar decisions.
    • Set million dollar boundaries.
    • Have a million dollar squad (to be more successful, hang out with successful people).
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