Advancing Life & Work

Simmons Leadership Conference: Empowerment of Women Professionals

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I had the great privilege of attending the 2019 Simmons Women’s Leadership Conference on April 2nd, spending a full day listening to inspiring women and joining engaging workshops on a broad range of topics.  The conference compelled me to think about my career with a wide-angle lens, occasionally focusing in on varying aspects of my interests, opportunities for growth (what are the next steps?), and high level goals (are they aligned with my values?).

I learned from Susan David, PhD Harvard Medical School Psychologist, about Emotional Agility. Understanding the importance of experiencing the full range of life’s emotions because denial of negative feelings often leads to amplification. A great quote, I have reflected back on from that session was “life’s beauty is inseparable from its fragility”. Dr. David’s presentation highlighted the importance of living a life you consciously chose and to not be afraid of discomfort as it is necessary for growth.

HPE Attendees at the 2019 Simmons Leadership ConferenceHPE Attendees at the 2019 Simmons Leadership Conference

The former Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard shared how to overcome adversity. Her presentation included strategies such as “making sure your sense of self is not held hostage to the critique of others”. She recommended writing out your purpose and carrying it with you and scheduling time on your calendar for deep, reflective thinking.

Susan O’Malley, the first female president of a professional sports franchise told us to be your best every day and to never take your career for granted. She provided humor and memorable stories regarding NBA greats such as Larry Bird.

Trans-Rights and Equal Rights Activist, Laverne Cox spoke about empowering youth and shame resilience research by Brenè Brown.

simmonsdaphneandjulia.jpgKate Biberdorf, PhD, is a passionate and animated STEM activist, giving her audience engaging and interactive chemistry experiments to create entertaining ways to engage and recruit girls and underrepresented youth in science.

There were numerous breakout sessions throughout the day to choose from. During breaks, the other attendees shared what they learned in the sessions they attended. This inspired me to research and learn more about these amazing women and their contributions.

Women like Kathrine Switzer. Kathrine was the first woman to officially enter the Boston Marathon, breaking down barriers and making a meaningful and lasting impact for future generations.

HPE supported 150 women leaders to attend. It was wonderful to spend time getting to learn about many different roles across the company. This event and other development resources throughout my career at HPE has allowed me to discover rewarding opportunities for growth and professional development.



About the Writer:

Julia Arnold,  Supplier Diversity Program Manager at Hewlett Packard EnterpriseJulia Arnold, Supplier Diversity Program Manager at Hewlett Packard EnterpriseJulia Arnold currently manages the Supplier Diversity program for Hewlett Packard Enterprise.  She has held varying roles throughout her career in business operations, analytics and global procurement. 

Stay connected to Julia via LinkedIn and to learn more about our culture or career opportunities visit HPE Careers website







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