Women of Power: Exercise Your Own Power

It seems like today’s theme at the Women of Power Summit is all about power, with all three morning sessions, “The Power is You!” “Negotiate Like You’re Holding Trumps (Even When You’re Not),” and “Reinvention: A Brand New You,” each session charging women to leave the conference tomorrow with a stronger clarity of self, and most importantly, a renewed sense of power!

In “The Power Is You!” session, facilitated by Carla Harris, managing director of global capital markets at Morgan Stanley, the author of Expect To Win charged women to own their power, leverage their voice, and not to be afraid to play tough (but always with a smile). Harris shared with women her secret pearls of success: authenticity and perception is the copilot of reality. All her other pearls of wisdom can be read in her book, which sold out within the hour after the session ended.

Women were just floored by how she encouraged us to own our space of power and to leverage it professionally.

Harris said one key thing to success is to always know your worth and ask for what you want because if you don’t somebody else will. She also said that it’s critical to have a mentor, advisor, and a sponsor for corporate advancement. As she explains in her book, all three will play very different roles in a woman’s professional advancement but all three relationships are necessary to cultivate.


“You have the right to exercise your power,” said Pam El, marketing vice president at State Farm, in “Reinvention: A Brand New You” session. El, along with co-panelist, Bridgette Heller, global president of baby care at Johnson & Johnson, both live and breathe branding. Both women, top marketing experts, believe that personal and professional branding always collide; your brand is who you are on and off the job.

El says branding is all about yourself, which includes your personality, interests and goals that have nothing to do with your job, “You are not your job, your brand is not your job,” El says. “Your brand is that person you wake up with every morning.”

El also says it’s okay to tweak your brand. She says that there are times in one’s life where your brand might need to be tweaked to fit the current path you’re traveling on. For example, one panelist spoke about the adjustment of motherhood and how her experience indirectly reshaped her brand in the workplace among co-workers in a positive way. The panelist’s point was that along the journey of life you never know how your personal and professional brand might shift to make you a stronger person and/or executive in the long run.

Heller shared how she re-branded herself as a digital expert in the marketplace. For Heller, mentoring is professional priority for her. Heller says talking to young children inspire her in more ways than imaginable. “Mentorship works both ways,” Heller says. She credits her re-branding as