PART 1: GATHER 2013 – CELEBRATING AUTHENTICITY AND SUCCESS
May 17, 2013
On Wednesday, a few of us Carat ladies were lucky enough to attend the WACL Gather Conference. WACL (Women in Advertising and Communications, London) is a group of the most influential women in the UK Communications Industry who invest their time and energy in helping to develop women in our industry and run training workshops throughout the year which culminates in Gather – a day of inspiration and training.
This year Gather 2013 tackled the topical subject of ‘Authenticity and Success’ – helping you to succeed midst challenging and turbulent times in business & remain true to yourself whilst making the most of business opportunities as they arise.
The first speaker was Facebook VP Global Marketing Solutions, Carolyn Everson. Her presentation entitled ‘A Work in Progress’ focussed around passion, persistence and prioritisation. Carolyn was honest and open about “trying to have it all”, explaining that “there’s no such thing as work-life balance”. Instead Everson’s motto is “work-life integration”, describing her career more as a jungle gym as she blends work and home together. Everson is fortunate enough to be in a position where she can bring her twin daughters on at least one business trip per quarter but she said for all of us, balance issues are people ones, not men vs. women. We all need to understand what is important to us and be clear what your priorities are on any given day. Everson’s rule is to attend every ‘first’, first school play, first hockey game, first graduation and if that means missing a meeting then so be it.
Carolyn’s second piece of great advice was building your own personal board of directors. People that you can go to for career and life advice, who act as your sounding board, giving you objective guidance to help make those important life decisions. Everson’s most difficult decision was taking the job at Facebook after being headhunted by Sheryl Sandberg, which would mean leaving Microsoft after only 9months employment and breaching certain elements of her contract. She received some negative press in the media, but it is clear from her current success that her personal board gave her some good advice to make that difficult decision.