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Advancing the Future of Women in Business and Female Leaders: KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit

Last month I was lucky enough to attend the 5th annual KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit for the 2nd year in a row and it could not have been more inspiring! The Summit brought together top women in business, politics, and sports to empower the next generation of women leaders with content, tools, and networking opportunities to encourage female advancement to the C-suite. 


This year, the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit was held on-site at the picturesque Hazeltine National Golf Club, which set the tone for an incredible day. The Summit kicked-off early in the morning and the sun was shining so bright that it made the blue sky look endless and gave the green golf course a sparkle. After I got seated and recognized a few familiar faces from last year, the Summit promptly started with a big welcome from host, Michele Tafoya – Sideline Reporter, NBC’s Sunday Night Football.



Michele started her opening address with this golden quote “Sometimes the adversity can be the thing that propels you.” Did you know that in the U.S. less than 5% of S&P 500 companies have female CEOs, according to the KPMG Women’s Leadership Survey. More than ever the conversation regarding leadership styles, diversity, inclusion, and women’s opportunity has never been so necessary and were core threads within each speaker’s address throughout the day. 


But, no one walks the walk and talks the talk better than KPMG Chairman & CEO, Lynne Doughtie, who has made it her mission to address unconscious gender bias, to make organizations truly inclusive, and to help elevate more women personally and professionally. She is incredibly passionate about being the best role model for future leaders, which starts with understanding the different leadership styles to help identify how you think and allow yourself to grow as a leader as you move into the C-Suite or advance in your career.


There is certainly no “one size fits all” method when it comes to leadership styles. Within the KPMG Women’s Leadership Survey I found it so interesting to learn about 5 different leadership styles in more detail. 


Which leadership style do you most identify with?


About 550 executive women polled in this survey, representing more than 150 leading companies, provided a variety of perspectives about each style. They also shared their experiences on how they think these styles relate to career advancement and other topics. 

Here are some key findings: 

  • Women believe a Transformational leadership style is needed to reach the C-Suite.
  • Transactional and Laissez-faire leadership styles are seen as less effective styles overall. 
  • Democratic and Transformational leadership styles are viewed as the best styles to motivate employees. 
  • Women believe that adapting or adjusting their leadership style to specific situations will be the key to their success in the workplace.


Now, when it comes to a FIERCE FEMALE LEADER, Dr. Condoleezza Rice sure comes to mind! There are few people I have seen capture a room and an audience like the one and only Dr. Condoleezza Rice, who is an Ambassador for the KPMG Future Leaders Program, focused on developing future generations of women leaders. She spoke about how important it is to surround yourself with diverse people, with diverse views on your team, and to find commonalities in the intersections. She reinforced the importance to truly communicate and listen to each other. When asked by @SheinelleJones about growing one’s career and leadership style, @CondoleezzaRice recommended to: “Take the time to do the work. Don’t jump the staircase. Take each step at a time. Remember – someone helped you – so go help someone as you grow.”


And to top off an already INCREDIBLE day, I had the privilege to chat via live stream with, Alison Levine – New York Times Best-selling Author and Climbed Mount Everest 2x, Suzy Whaley – President, PGA of America, and the incredible Mia Hamm – Olympic Medalist, FIFA Women’s World Cup Champion and the 2019 recipient of the KPMG Inspire Greatness Award. 

Definitely take a moment to check out our powerful conversations – they are sure to #inspiregreatness in you! 


Suzy Whaley

Alison Levine


Some of my favorite takeaways from all of my conversations: 

  1. Failure is part of growth and development
  2. You can’t control the situation, but you can control your reaction
  3. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
  4. Don’t focus on getting to the top, focus on the next step
  5. Prepare more than you have to so that you are the smartest and most valuable in the room


Ultimately, a strong woman loves, forgives, multi-tasks listens to her gut, perseveres, fails, forgives, and tries again no matter who tells her no or what life throws at her. ????

I can easily say that after speaking with all of these incredible women, I have never felt more hopeful about the advancement of women’s leadership and our ability to break glass ceilings. When powerful women come together our strength and force is undeniable.

I am so passionate about women’s entrepreneurship and leadership and wanted to help propel this conversation forward, so to amplify the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit’s key insights and inspiration we came together for a dynamic #MillennialTalk Twitter Chat. Women and men from all different careers, backgrounds, and lifestyles came together to discuss how we can empower each other as leaders, shatter stereotypes, and create more opportunity for Women in the C-Suite. 


Click here to read the powerful #Millennialtalk Recap:

*This post was sponsored by the 2019 KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit however all thoughts and opinions are my own*



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