The SheBelieves Summit was an opportunity to hear from incredible women in sports, entertainment and business. As college students, we were able to listen in on panel discussions, participate in workshops and network. Female empowerment was a constant overtone throughout the day, and I definitely left inspired and felt so fortunate to be in a room with some amazing women.
SheBelieves is a movement started by the USWNT after the “I Believe” chants of the Men’s World Cup to inspire girls and women to reach their dreams. Women’s soccer has always pushed the boundaries in sports, as evidenced by their recent gender discrimination lawsuit.
Safra Catz, the CEO of Oracle, delivered the summit’s opening keynote address. She emphasized that opportunity is always present where change occurs. Catz was able to recognize that technology was going to be vital in the future. This led her to cover the software industry while she was working in finance, which led to her current role. She also discussed thinking about solving problems without thinking about the way it has always been done. For women who are in the sport industry or trying to break in, I think this is a wonderful reminder to why our voices are so valuable. Catz shared her top ten rules and two of my favorites were:
Rule #1: If it doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t make sense.
Rule #5: If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
The summit also featured two “breaking barriers” panels. The first featured Crystal Dunn, Katayoun Khosroyer, Ibtihaj Muhammad and Katie Sowers. I was struck by how honest these women were about dealing with self-doubt. The main takeaway I had from these women was that when you stop worrying about what other people think, you can truly become the best version of yourself. You can start recognizing where you add value to the organization and become amazing in your role. You also can stop letting ignorance sidetrack you reaching your goals. The second panel featured Dr. Celine Gounder, Erin Magee, Leslie Osborne, Monica Rustgi, and Rosemary St. Clair. The passion that these women all had for their jobs was obvious and helped them break into traditionally male-dominated fields. The main takeaway I had was that when you display passion and combine it with relentless effort, opportunities will open up for you.
If those two panels weren’t amazing enough, there was also a leadership interview with Jennifer Fisher, Chief Well-Being Officer at Deloitte and Jill Ellis, Head Coach of USWNT. Fisher and Ellis had a really honest conversation about self-care and embracing failure. While Fisher was in the midst of burnout at Deloitte, she had a conversation with her superiors about taking on a role that helped with the well-being of employees and created her own job. Ellis is the head coach for a U.S. team with an incredibly successful history. In order to have the confidence to take that job, she couldn’t be afraid to fail. She talked about learning how to not let failure consume her or be a reflection of her but to fuel her tank and make her better.
Besides the summit, there is the SheBelieves Cup, SheBelieves interns, and a SheBelieves Hero. You can catch all the videos from the summit and learn more about the SheBelieves movement here.