At 9 am on Saturday, July 15th we at The Mentor Method opened the doors of iStrategyLabs to an influx of women excited to participate in The Un-network: A women’s new leadership bootcamp. Our bootcamp was customized for the modern woman who is ready to become a leader while keeping her kindness close to her side. Having gone to countless workshops and seminars, we took note of what worked, what didn’t, and what helped us on our career to deliver a one-day bootcamp to help professional women get the advice they wouldn’t read in a standard blog article or career website. Think: the advice you’d get over brunch with your best friend’s cool older sister. We want to create inclusive communities that focus on women supporting women, events like this one encourage women to reach out to their community and build relationships with other professional, strong leaders.
Here are the 10 things that blew our Minds at #Unnetwork:
1. The people. We had over 20 amazing women of all different ages, backgrounds, and careers come together to participate in this all day bootcamp. The turnout was not surprising, as we knew this would be a hit. It was the level of authenticity and realness we saw from the group. When talking about money, networking, and promoting yourself, you can feel a need to put on a facade that you have it together. Instead, everyone was open about their career hangups, what’s worked for them, and where they want help. We are sure that each woman took away different pieces of useful, tangible advice and that everyone left feeling empowered, inspired, and refreshed.
2. Shelly Bell. Our first speaker, and Founding Partner of Black Girl Vision, Shelly Bell, brought us on a wonderful journey where we learned how to network and pitch ourselves. Shelly has an incredible story that she has perfected telling in an ultra engaging way. By engaging almost everyone to participate in her lecture, women were able to hear and meet the other women in the room and learn to perfect their pitch.
3. Adrienne Alberts. The Talent Acquisition Director at The Red Cross, Adrienne Alberts, reminded everyone that at the right work space, “You don’t have to check who you are when you walk in the room”. She reminded us that there are different challenges that come with this, but everyone has the right to be him or herself.
3. The food. Thanks to the generosity and support of The Coffee Bar and &Pizza, everyone was able to enjoy absolutely delicious treats. During our breakfast portion, the lovely participants began their day with light mingling and excitement. Over lunch, five incredible women spoke about their biggest career F* Ups. Thanks to Michelle Beaman Chang, Maggie Germano, Shelly Belle, Claire Wasserman, and Janice Omadeke for your nuggets of wisdom-- overall that the path to success is not and never will be a straight line. No one is born running a fortune five hundred company or chief of medicine. It is important to show that the road to power and success includes quite a few fumbles.
5. Feminism. The founder and CEO of Ladies Get Paid, Claire Wasserman, shared that before starting her company, she wasn’t a feminist. After hearing the alarming monetary statistics she shared with the room, she began to dedicate her life to changing the pay gap. The Mentor Method’s intern Sierra Duplantis shared that her view on feminism was changed by just a one day workshop. It’s stories like that inspire us all to keep trying!
7. The bells. Janice Omadeke recently completed an accelerator with Seed Spot where she learned a lot, one thing she brought to the table (literally) was bells that everyone chimed when they agreed with a point. This fostered participation and a community feel as the dings rang through the high ceiling room at iStrategyLabs.
8. The support. Each woman in that room was incredibly supportive and open to helping everyone else. During Speed-mentoring, participants were partnered with mentors 3:1 and were able to discuss their personal career goals and aspirations. Because there were three twenty minute sessions, everyone was able to hear multiple opinions and grow their network. Thank you to all of our speakers and Evelyn Chou, Lea Berry, Tevera Stith, and Rachel Wynn.
9.Happy hour. (And for more than the wine). The last hour of the event was filled with everyone mingling, taking pictures, and nibbling on snacks. This time helped build community in a way that we at The Mentor Method, think is so important. We must help to build each other up on our rise to power and success.
10. Get Bullish. The support of Jennifer Dziura of Get Bullish is greatly appreciated. Her attendance caused some participants to #fangirl. To learn more about Get Bullish’s conference, BullCon, where Janice will be speaking, check out this article.