More than half of the Keynote team is female. We are proud of that fact. In celebration of International Women’s Day some of us came together for an enlightening discussion.
Why is it important for you to participate in international women’s day discussions/events, etc.?
Heidi: Equally around the world remains a work in process. It’s always a great opportunity to celebrate the success and to reflect on what can be done to continue to move the needle on women’s rights.
Donna: Women represent 50% of the population but are still under represented at the c-suite level in business. It’s important to raise awareness and celebrate the success of female leaders and to inspiration to the next generation.
Candice: To encourage, support, and learn from strong women with varied and unique backgrounds.
Jemellee: To celebrate the achievements of women from various backgrounds and build continued support for gender equality.
Meg: To celebrate, stand up for and encourage the developments and success that has been made in women’s rights and equality and to inspire the future women leaders of the world to support one another.
Arpita: This is an opportunity to reflect,rejoice and recharge ourselves together in community with women all across the globe.It’s also a day to connect with one another physically, virtually and spiritually.
What are some ideas of how companies can celebrate International Women’s Day?
Heidi: Acknowledging the day in anyway that you can would be a great start - even if it is a simple email to the team!
Donna: Celebrate the day, encourage females in the business to attend International women's day events.
Meg: Start the conversation; bring awareness to the statistics and encourage their members to take part in the celebration of women.
Arpita: Welcoming woman with a flower and make them feel special by providing gift vouchers/beauty products. Organizing an event for women where both men and women participates to recognize women’s efforts and their achievements (organizational level).
What is one word that comes to mind when you describe the female team at Keynote?
Who is one woman that continues to inspire you? Why?
Heidi: My mother. She is a role model for me as a wife and mother. She always makes being a mom look easy (it’s not!). I value her life wisdom, work ethic, caring spirit, her selflessness, patience and her ability to look on the bright side. Yes...big shoes to fill!
Arpita: My mother . She is a caring and a generous person.She made me a better person.
What career advice would you provide to the female graduating class of 2018 as they prepare to begin their careers?
Heidi: Never be afraid of and/or apologize for going for what you want and for asking for what you want and need.
Donna: Take risks, believe in yourself, set goals and strive towards them, never give up, dream big, always believe you can, ask for help.
Candice: Mistakes are inevitable and perfection does not exist. Don’t let fear stop you from living and pursuing your goals.
Jemellee: Don’t be afraid to take risks. Don’t be afraid to fail. Those experiences will lead you to success. You will regret the things you don’t do more than the things you actually do.
Meg: Be unapologetic and honest. When life throws you challenges, know that they are there to help you grow; analyze them, speak to them, even if it makes you uncomfortable. They come with a purpose and it’s your job to figure that out. Work hard, but give yourself grace. A passion will always trump a pay cheque; take the risk.
Arpita: Be honest and be fearless. Make mistakes so that you can learn things faster.Pursue your dreams and do what makes you happy! Do not hesitate to take guidance or being mentored by an experienced individual .Help other women to step up and progress well in their lives!
What advice would you give your younger self if you could?
Heidi: I would have started my gratitude journal a long time ago. Today I write a few things in it everyday that I appreciate and/or am grateful for. It brings perspective and acts as a great reminder when I look back at other points in time.
Candice: Life is short. It’s about people and experiences, not things and money.
Jemellee: Surround yourself with people who inspire you, challenge you to rise higher and make you a better person. Success is built from the stepping stones of our failures.
Meg: Stop spending time focusing on the success of others; it only leaves you with less time to focus on your own.
Arpita: There is no harm to be an introvert person but be fearless and share more!
How do you find work-life harmony?
Heidi: It starts with defining what work-life “harmony” means to you. Find a job that you love so you never feel like you are working a day in your life! Find a life partner that supports you (your dreams) and shares your values and life goals. Be grateful for what you have in the moment. These things can truly shape your happiness.
Donna: Do something you love and love what you do. Surround yourself with people that support and empower you.
Meg: I think a lot of it comes down to what “balance” is for you individually; whether its structure, routine or flexibility, find the time to appreciate even the smallest of moments throughout the day. Remember to exhale; give yourself grace and book time into your day to do one thing for you. Find a passion in your career and it will never feel like work.
Jemellee: Life is busy! Make sure to take the time to slow down and spend quality family time. Be “present”; disconnect from work and connect with your loved ones instead. It’s also important to make the time to re-energize yourself.
Arpita: I find work-life harmony when I know what I am doing and am able to balance my time between work and family,friends.It’s a well balanced formula of work, travel,time for myself,family,friends.
What is one book that has had a profound impact on your life?
Heidi: You Are The Placebo (Dr. Joe Dispenza)
Candice: aring Greatly (Brenee Brown)
Jemellee: Thrive (Arianna Huffington)
Arpita: Last queen of India-Jhansi (Michelle Moran)
Who is one of your favorite female artists?
Candice: Annie Lennox
Arpita: Jennifer Aniston
Heidi: Jennifer Gardner
What is the best thing about being a women today in 2018?
Donna: There are less boundaries for women. You really can do and try anything.
Candice: Having a voice and being an equal member of the team
Jemellee: I am optimistic about what the future holds for my young daughter. She is discovering that she can be strong and vulnerable, sweet and headstrong. The world has endless possibilities for her.
Meg: The opportunities are endless. There is a profound strength in women working together, and not against one another. If you want it, go get it.
Arpita: I feel honoured and privileged to be part of this era as today’s woman is fearless ,understands and uplifts other women. Best thing is today’s women are great achievers and knows how to balance work and family at the same time as well.
Heidi: No other time have Women had more rights, a stronger voice, higher presence, better opportunities, and broader support to life the live we want to lead than now.
What is one thing that still needs to improve?
Candice: More women in executive leadership roles
Meg: Women supporting women. We need to remind ourselves that we are there to uplift and encourage; we are not in competition and together, we are stronger.
Jemellee: For many working moms, a better work-life balance will empower and enable their successes.
Arpita: Empowering and encouraging more women to become independent financially. Improving the working conditions of working moms and elderly women in the private sectors is very much needed.
What qualities do female leaders bring to the table?
Heidi: Relationship building and the ability to wear multiple hats, while actually being productive.
Donna: Empathy, drive, the ability to get things down
Candice: Courage, determination, and passion
Meg: Dedication, drive and ambition.
Jemellee: Optimism, gentleness, resilience and the ability to multi-task
Arpita: Multi-task, Empathy, great team building skills and relationship management skills.
What is your anthem (i.e. favorite empowerment song!)?
Heidi & Jemellee: Katy Perry’s song Fireworks
Arpita: Helen Reddy’s song I am Woman
Candice: Bon Jovi’s It’s My Life