The Pacesetters’ breakfast event on February 27th on the topic of Networking was facilitated by Peggy Decker, Co-Chair of the President’s Circle Committee, and included a panel of three FWA leaders. Ria Davis, FWA Executive Director, opened the session providing a brief history of the FWA and its focus on equity for women since its inception. She encouraged the Pacesetters to continue as members in the organization due to its strong network of leaders, its range of programs and its commitment to advancing the careers of the next generation of leaders.
The panelists, Edna Kamara (Deloitte), Hermina “Nina” Batson (MUFG), and Lauren Leipold (PwC), shared their views on how they have benefitted from building relationships and why it is so important. The group also covered a range of networking topics in response to Pacesetter questions, including how to get comfortable in uncomfortable situations, how to use humor, how to show interest in a topic that is not of interest or familiar , and how to network at events. They began the session by recalling their most memorable experiences in networking. Nina’s favorite quote was “Just Be You” which has served her well throughout her career and allowed her to relax in what could have been uncomfortable situations. She uses humor to connect and takes advantage of every opportunity to make a connection. She encouraged the Pacesetters to “Glow Up”, trust their instincts and just make the connection. Peggy noted that she met Hoda Kotb and missed the opportunity to connect, something that she never forgot. Edna told the group to remember their power stance before going into a meeting or event as it influences how one shows up. Other participants in the group shared their various power stances. Lauren shared that finding some sort of commonality when in an uncomfortable situation has worked for her, and that it’s important to know enough about a range of topics so that you can engage in a conversation about it.