Written by Susan Irving, Senior Director of Marketing, Global Snacks Group at Pepsi Co.
On August 8th, WISE Toronto hosted an inspiring night in the stunning VIP BMW Lounge at the Rogers Cup. Over 150 women and men gathered for an incredible discussion and keynote from Stacey Allaster. For those of you who do not know Stacey, she has a remarkable resume including – WISE Woman of the Year, Rogers Cup Hall of Famer, former Chairman and CEO of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and now the Chief Executive, Professional Tennis with the United States Tennis Association (USTA). One of Allaster’s many trailblazing accomplishments includes being instrumental in the WTA’s longstanding quest to achieve equal prize money for women’s tennis at all four Grand Slams. The empowering discussion at the Rogers Cup was followed by an incredible match between Serena Williams and Elise Mertens.
Allaster, with her straightforward and spirited energy, shared her key lessons for all in the room to put into action. These powerful takeaways were from a letter she was asked to write to her younger self, delivered at a recent WISE National - Women of Inspiration Event. Some of her most important lessons are as follows:
- Work for companies and bosses who value family. Companies who embrace strong confident women and those who, not only have diversity and HR policies in place but who execute and hold people accountable for those policies and the equitable treatment of all employees.
- If you have a family, find a partner that will support your career and your goals and is willing to make personal sacrifices for your career.
- Manage your emotions. 75% of leaders fail because of their lack of emotional intelligence. It is not just about getting the job done and the results; you need to be self-aware of your strengths and blind spots. You also need to have political awareness of what is going on around you.
- Keep these four books on your bookshelf and read them often: “Play Like a Man, Win Like a Woman”; “Nice Girls Still Don’t Get the Corner Office”; “Reboot your Life” and “Educated”.
- Throughout your career you are going to be told you are not strategic enough, you are not smart enough….don’t listen to them. Fight for your goals! Allaster was turned down three times before she received the Tennis Canada role. Find a place to be happy; find your sponsors, find your passion and find your purpose. And remember to have fun!
- When you are knocked down, get back up. Have the tenacity and perseverance that you can do anything. Dig deep and get back up as your decisions are in your hands and no one else’s.
- Take time to recharge. It’s important to take the time to refocus, recharge and LEARN to take care of yourself.
- And most importantly have more FUN. This is NOT a dress rehearsal.
We thank Summer Social attendee and Marcom committee member, Susan Irving, Senior Director of Marketing, Global Snacks Group at Pepsi Co, for penning this article and capturing such great takeaways for all of us. If you're interested in covering future events and would like to be featured on our website please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.