Recently, I attended the 2018 KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit in Chicago where I had the opportunity to speak with some of the most courageous and inspiring women of today’s generation. The KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit serves as a catalyst to empower women on and off the golf course and takes place annually at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, a major tournament on the LPGA Tour. Around 300 women leaders fill a beautiful pavilion overlooking the 18th green on a premier golf course, that’s known for hosting men’s major tournaments in the past. 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.
The hot Summer day started off a bit gloomy and grey, yet there was an undeniable energy in the air as soon as host, Michele Tafoya, announced the official Summit Welcome. The entire room was on pins and needles waiting for the first speaker of the day to make her way out on stage…and let me tell you, the wait was WELL worth it. It doesn’t matter how many times you have seen the 66thU.S Secretary of State, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, on television or heard her speak on the news, there is absolutely nothing like watching her captivate the room and hearing her speak in person.
Dr. Condoleezza Rice is the KPMG Future Leaders Program Ambassadorwhere she has pledged to pay it forward to future generations of women leaders through scholarship, leadership development, mentoring and an introduction to golf for high achieving senior girls entering their freshmen year of college. The class of 2018 KPMG Future Leaders each received a $10,000 scholarship for 4 years of college, a 3-day leadership retreat at Stanford in July, and a mentoring pairing with a next generation leader who attended the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit.
In addition to a moving special presentation where she talked to students from the KPMG Future Leaders Program that she is the ambassador for, Dr. Condoleezza Rice shared so many incredible leadership lessons at the Summit, here are some of my favorite golden nuggets:
“Be a mentor. Help younger people find their footing. We’ve all walked that wilderness for a while. Find ways to help the next generation navigate when they feel lost.”
“Democracy is something we have to work on every day. As women, we have to walk into the room hyper-prepared and like we own it. A combination of preparation and confidence will help you gain respect from those in the room.”
“Build your team with people that make up for your deficiencies and that will always tell you the truth. Learn how to ask questions, get the information that you need, and move on! Leaders need to be collaborative, encouraging, but challenging at the same time.”
“Don’t let anything slow you down if there is a barrier find a way to get over it, through it, or around it no matter what.”
After, Dr. Rice spoke, the day just kept getting better and better. Soon after the morning keynotes ended, I made my way to the outside pavilion where I had the opportunity to speak with the KPMG Future Leaders Ambassadors, Olympians Nancy Kerrigan, Hilary Knight, and Maia Shibutani, KPMG U.S Chairman & CEO Lynne Doughtie the first woman to hold this position at KPMG, and LPGA Champion Stacy Lewis on FB LIVE.
Each conversation was enlightening and exciting and I noticed that there was a common thread throughout each interview. All the women were unanimous in their mission to propel the conversation about women’s empowerment forward but more importantly to develop, advance and empower women to take action, raise the bar, and stand up for equality both in and out of the workplace! To keep up the momentum, the @KPMGInspire Twitter handle has pledged to keep the conversation about women’s leadership going all year long. I hope you join us in this effort as every voice matters and will make a difference!
The electric energy from the day left an impact on every attendee and even on Mother Nature. As I started to wrap up my interviews the sun began to break through the clouds, the sky turned ocean blue, and the golf course became more vibrant than ever. (see all FB LIVE links below)
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.
To say it was an honor to attend the incredibly successful KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit and speak with Nancy Kerrigan, Hilary Knight Maia Shibutani, Stacy Lewis, Lynne Doughtie, and the KPMG Future Leaders is an understatement. These women are the definition of a #Girlboss. They #InspireGreatness in me and I I think they will do the same for you!
Olympians: Nancy Kerrigan, Hilary Knight, and Maia Shibutani interview:
Lynne Doughtie CEO of KPMG US & LPGA Pro Stacy Lewis Interview:
KPMG Future Leaders Ambassadors Interview:
*This post was sponsored by the 2018 KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit however all thoughts and opinions are my own*