On July 1-2, more than 325 women gathered in at the Gaylord Texan in Dallas, Texas, for LEADDD 2018, Tri Delta’s inaugural leadership development conference hosted by women for women. The event featured keynote speakers, including Laura Bush, First Lady of the United States (2001-2009) and philosophy’s Heidi Guest, California/Davis, along with workshops designed to empower women to lead and serve in their careers, communities and families.
The conference officially kicked off on July 1 with an opening “regiception” sponsored by Frost Bank and a welcome from Fort Worth Mayor and Tri Delta alumna Betsy Price, Texas Tech, who spoke about her Tri Delta experience.
“I don’t think of myself as a politician, I think of myself as a servant,” Betsy said. “My time in Tri Delta solidified my commitment to serve.”
On Monday morning, attendees were treated to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, as they heard from Laura Bush, First Lady of the United States (2001-2009), who shared the importance of giving back to our communities and service to others.
LEADDD offered something for everyone — no matter their path or phase of life — with workshops that addressed topics such as: Women & Networking, Women & Wages, Women & Transition, Women & Leadership, Women & Investing and Women & Philanthropy.
In her workshop, “Collecting Relationships,” Tri Delta alumna, volunteer and Managing Director for Beautycounter Laura Stenovec, Denver, shared best practices and resources to help attendees master the art of networking.
In Women & Leadership, Laura Lopez, award-winning author of “The Connected and Committed Leader,” shared five insights to help attendees think about leadership in an entirely new light and to leverage their natural strengths to overcome perceived weaknesses.
“I believe everyone, in their own way, can be the most effective leader by being their true self,” Laura said.
Motivational speaker and personal excellence expert, Anne Barab, shared three easy-to-apply techniques to retrain your brain to think positively. In her workshop, “I Had a Life Plan but the Magnet Fell Off the Fridge,” Anne addressed the three elements that bring joy to one’s life: gratitude, forgiveness and having a positive mindset. Through personal experiences and through the lives of her sorority sisters of the Delta Gamma Chapter at Texas Christian University, she found that happiness is getting what you want, but joy is wanting what you get.
Anne closed her workshop by encouraging the women to find what brings them joy. “Joy is a skill, but joy as a skill can become a habit,” said Anne. “Joy is also a choice, but joy as a choice can become a lifestyle.”
Emily Musser, Vice President, Client Relations & Business Development for AMG National Trust Bank in Denver, Colorado, and Tri Delta Foundation Trustee Janet Timmerman Miller, Toledo, senior partner in Rowland & Company , an Atlanta-based investment advisory firm, participated in a panel discussion where they shared insights into developing personal investment policies, socially responsible investing and getting your money to work for your purpose.
In her “Giving with Intention” workshop on Women & Philanthropy, President and CEO of Dallas Women’s Foundation Roslyn Dawson Thompson shared about the importance of supporting women philanthropies and inspired attendees to think about the way they give and to whom they give.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s one dollar, one million dollars or one billion dollars; every dollar and every hour you give really counts in this world. With those dollars and hours, you truly are making it better for all,” Roslyn said.
Lead from Where You Stand
In her impactful keynote address, Heidi Guest, California/Davis, Senior Director of On-Air Media and Leadership Development for philosophy, shared the power of personal leadership and how Tri Delta’s Purpose has served as a blueprint for her own leadership journey. Heidi encouraged everyone to “lead from where they stand.”
“One critical element as you begin or continue your personal leadership journey is acceptance – accepting who you are and making the most of it,” Heidi told attendees, as she stressed the importance of discovering what you do better than anyone else and focusing on doing that with excellence.
Heidi also shared how Tri Delta’s Purpose has inspired her to lead by assisting others in every possible way. She closed out her keynote address by telling attendees, “The world needs more people who operate on the power of Tri Delta’s Purpose everywhere…The principles of Tri Delta’s Purpose apply not only to a life well lived but a life well loved. If you practice the power of Purpose and leading from where you stand, then you are the best example of a Tri Delta anywhere and everywhere you go.”
Closing the Gender Gap
LEADDD also provided an opportunity for Tri Delta to tackle the challenges women face in the workplace, including the gender pay gap and the gender gap in corporate leadership.
Tri Delta partnered with the American Association of University Women (AAUW) to offer AAUW’s Start Smart and Work Smart Workshops at LEADDD to help women take an important step toward closing the gender pay gap.
AAUW’s research on the gender pay gap shows that, one year out of college, women are already paid significantly less than men. In 2009, women — one year out of college who were working full time — were paid, on average, just 82 percent of what their male peers were paid. Attendees had the opportunity attend the AAUW Start Smart session to learn how to negotiate their salary and benefits package for their first or new job.
And through facilitated discussion in AAUW’s Work Smart session, attendees learned how to “work smart” and develop an arsenal of persuasive responses and other negotiation strategies, and how to articulate their personal value to help them negotiate a raise, promotion or improved benefits.
Closing out the conference was Tri Delta Executive Board Director Sandy Beach Lin, Toledo, who spoke on Paradigm for Parity, a coalition of business leaders dedicated to addressing the corporate leadership gender gap. Sandy built her career through the sales and marketing functions, leading to general management roles, the most recent of which was Chief Executive Officer of Calisolar Inc. (now Silicor Materials), a provider of raw materials for the solar industry.
Sandy is a founder and co-chair for Paradigm for Parity and it was hard to not be passionate about creating change after her inspirational closing remarks.
As Sandy explained, Paradigm for Parity is committed to achieving full gender parity in corporate leadership positions by 2030.
To achieve this, Paradigm for Parity has created a five-step action plan to catalyze change and enable substantial progress toward gender parity. When Paradigm for Parity first launched in December of 2016, they had 27 companies sign on. Today, 76 companies have committed to achieving gender parity in the leadership levels of their organizations and Paradigm for Parity is on its way to having 100 companies sign on.
“Our goal as P4P leaders is to create corporate cultures where women can succeed and thrive as leaders,” Sandy said. “Tying this back to Tri Delta, I want to see business environments where our collegians can succeed and grow as they enter the workforce. I want to see corporate cultures where each of you can grow and succeed. From this group of women who were dissatisfied with the status quo came a movement. From today’s great content will come steps that each of you can take to make the changes most important to you.”
As an organization founded by women for women, LEADDD is another example of how Tri Delta is boldly leading the way in developing and empowering women. And 2018 was just the beginning. After piloting LEADDD in Dallas, Tri Delta will take this new conference on the road beginning in spring 2019.
Be on the lookout for more details about LEADDD 2019 coming soon!