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Takeaways from the 2015 Generation W Conference

It's always inspiring and empowering to attend Generation W, a women's leadership conference. As a young professional, I often explore the professional connections and partnerships others make to gain leadership experience.

Donna Orender, Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Generation W and her team of women put together an powerful event that included different voices - women and men from different sectors and backgrounds.

Alyse Nelson, President CEO of Vital Voices Global partnership shared two quotes that rings true for advocates of causes such as public education. "Cross those lines that divide" and "Lead from wherever you are and with whatever you have," Nelson said.

Every public education advocate understands the importance of having diverse voices and inclusion of different ethnicities at the table. Through Discover Duval Schools in partnership with Duval County Public Schools, our organization is working to ensure that community members are informed about the different academic offerings neighborhood and magnet schools have to offer. When community members take the time to walk the halls of our local public schools, they often discover that there are opportunities to better support those outside of their own communities.

I'd like to share Deb Walton of Thomson Reuters, 7 lessons for success for your career:

  1. Build Your Personal Brand

  2. Maximize Mentorship

  3. Color Outside the Lines

  4. Be Courageous and Take Risks

  5. Focus on Performance

  6. Practice Honest Prioritization

  7. Build Your Fanbase

Deb Walton shared her personal story of her career trajectory with accompanying for soundtrack for success. "Color Outside the Lines" was another way of saying don't be afraid to have new experiences! When building your fanbase, Deb shared that you should know the difference between coaches, mentors and sponsors. Sponsors are those that talk about you when you're not in the room.

The He for She panel moderated by John Burr was another great part of Generation W that discussed how women and men can work together in the workplace to have greater diversity and inclusion.

"We have to make the case for women in business and on boards," Audrey Moran, Baptist Health Senior Vice President for Social Responsibility and Community Advocacy, said. The panelists included Steve Halverson, Mark Lamping, Eric Mann and Tracy Toomer.

I walked away from Generation W inspired by the women and men, who came together to begin and continue the dialogue of supporting women in leadership roles. What was even more surprising was the Jacksonville All-Star Girl Drumline, a group of young students that pumped up the crowd with "Who run the world? Girls!"  

Visit www.genwnow.com for a full recap of the 2015 Generation W!

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Ale'ta Turner