A #NEWSummit2019 Play-by-Play

What a week we had in Atlanta! OK, I’m biased. I’m based in Atlanta, so I’m so proud of the NEW Atlanta chapter and the NEW Leadership Summit that took place in our fair city.

Once again, days after a NEW event I’m still trying to process all of the great information and lots of new and renewed connections. Here are some of my #NEWSummit2019 highlights in chronological order:

Luvvie Ajayi

Luvvie Ajayi was billed as a writer, speaker, truth-teller and professional troublemaker. Going into this session on speaking truth to power, I was ready to sit up and listen. Her message encouraged each of us to do better and emphasized the importance of truth-telling now

Paul Bennett

We are All Creative. So stated Paul Bennett, Chief Creative Officer, IDEO, who views his central purpose as inspiring and bringing out inspiration in others. Paul believes that storytelling is an essential tool for creativity and sees the story as a way to mobilize people around an idea. Here’s a link to Paul’s simple test on whether a story is worth telling. I’m connecting the dots on how listening fosters learning, which leads to greater empathy and (hopefully) more inclusion.


Susan Chapman-Hughes EVP/GM, Global Digital Capabilities, Transformation and Operations, American Express, shared her mantra, “Having a giving spirit about everything that you do will open doors for you.”

Closing Your Power Gaps with Kathy Caprino

It was good to reconnect with fellow TEDx speaker and career success coach Kathy Caprino this week. Her breakout session on how to rock your career at the highest level was jam-packed with ideas, including her seven essential ways to create a career breakthrough. Here are three of Kathy’s essential skills, in case you missed the session.

Men’s Perspectives

D. Keith Pigues, CEO of Luminas Strategy, shared men’s perspectives of women in business. Keith dove into several key issues women uniquely face on the ascent to the top and the strategies they can employ to navigate them.

NEW and Deloitte’s Gen Z Research

Loved Tiffany Mawhinney Principal, Deloitte, during her Generation Z analysis and insights on how consumer-facing organizations can better understand this influential group. A shift in conversation is taking place—#Millennials are OUT and #GenZ is IN. Gen Z will make up 20 percent of the workforce by 2030, and their career priorities include building a curated work experience/skillset that they can use in any role and working for companies with values that match their own.


Damon Jones, Vice President, P&G, treated attendees to an insiders’ guide to Procter & Gamble’s “The Talk” and “The Look,” powerful and impactful commercials that urge people to have honest conversations and not pretend that unconscious bias doesn’t exist. The closing line, “Let’s talk about the look so we can see beyond it,” was really a call to action for us to have a conversation.


Good intent alone is not enough.

Michael Thorne-Begland, Vice President, Chief Transformation Officer, and Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer, Altria, was part of the panel of people that bravely asked, “Ally-ship — Worth the Risk?” We got an honest assessment of what it means to be an ally for women and people of color, why it requires a willingness to embrace personal risk and how people can be more effective allies beyond their good intent.

Leaving Summit

Reflecting on the conference, I am even more dedicated to starting difficult conversations about gender and the vastly different experiences women (and women of color) are having in the workplace. It’s time to design a future that makes space for each of us do our best work as individuals and collectively, as teams and organizations. I’m already an advocate. Will you join me?

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