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Feeling Inspired by Crain's Chicago Women of Note 2024

Yesterday I attended the Crain's Women of Note event and came out of it feeling energized! Seeing so many women come together - over 400 - to celebrate the hard work and leadership of 13 exceptional women in the Chicago community was inspiring.

Each honoree gave a wonderful speech that helped motivate the room to keep pushing for diversity in leadership, thinking and collaboration. They reminded us of the alarming reality that women are 'Breaking Up' with corporate America at alarming rates, which only exacerbates the lack of diversity in leadership. As someone who has recently stepped off the corporate ladder along with many other female colleagues and friends, I can attest to why - corporate America was not built for or around women. And it's killing us.

Yesterday did not change my mind in terms of my decision to walk away, it's a decision I had to make based on what is best for myself, my family, my friends. But there is a fear that breaking up with corporate America only further supports and affirms that system that is killing women - in other words, I have frequently struggled with the question if I walk away am I contributing to the prevention of progress for women?

Driving Change From the Outside

However, hearing these exceptional women take big, brave and meaningful swings to push women forward helped me reframe my purpose and passion to help drive that change. We have to push change from every angle in order to uproot centuries of societal norms.

There absolutely need to be female leaders in organizations to showcase why women are phenomenal leaders - many more like these 13 honorees. But we also need women that can push for change outside the corporate system - influence those in places of power to think differently, approach differently, support women differently. So I am not meant to help push to change the system from the inside - my role is to help from the outside. I am still figuring out the how part of this equation so that it's impactful, but yesterday's event clarified that change has to be holistic.

Cheers to the honorees for the hard work and leadership they have shown in their respective organizations - and their ability to inspire others!

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