36-hour #PowerTrip Brings Boss Women Together
Hosted by Marie Claire magazine, Dell, and Intel, check out highlights from the second annual #PowerTrip
This October, more than 200 women gathered at the W Hotel in San Francisco for the Marie Claire ‘Power Trip’, in partnership with Dell and Intel. Organized as a bi-coastal networking and educational event, it also coincided with National Bosses Day.
During the chartered Jet Blue flight from NYC to San Francisco, Dell representatives equipped the women with commercial-grade XPS 13 2-in-1s, designed to give them the power to work everywhere and anywhere. Once they arrived, the VIPs were treated to a networking dinner on the AT&T field and an after-hours experience at the Museum of Ice Cream.
The powerful attendees included a who’s who of female CEOs, entrepreneurs and executives – like 23andMe’s Anne Wojcicki and jewelry magnate Kendra Scott – as well as actresses and philanthropists Mila Kunis, Taraji P. Henson and Priyanka Chopra.
EMPOWERING WOMEN IN THE WORKPLACE
During a panel focused on the future of the office, Liz Matthews, Senior VP of Global Brand and Creative, told the crowd that, “only 45% of Dell team members in the Round Rock headquarters come into the office 5 days a week.” Dell doesn’t just tolerate a remote working reality for its employees, but actively promotes one. Matthews added that, “Dell has the goal to encourage more than 50% of our worldwide team into a flexible work schedule by 2020.”
While Becky Brown, VP of Global Marketing and Communications at Intel, admitted her company had a different overall view of remote working, she did agree that, “Agility and productivity are important. To achieve those things, you need new productivity tools.”
Brown championed new working methods and more investment in worker education. “A workplace needs to embrace how we’re going to train people for the future and foresee skill sets we don’t have yet.”
Designer and philanthropist Kendra Scott told the attendees that she’s constantly reimagining how her company works in order to optimize the experience for her customers. Their systems were created when the company was valued at $250 million. Now that they’ve grown into more than a billion dollar enterprise, Scott said, ““It’s feels like we’ve just started again, but if you’re doing what everyone else is doing, you’ve already failed.”
One way she’s shaking things up is by bringing her IT and Design department closer together, allowing technical aspects of the business to inform the creative process earlier. “Technology is the future of Kendra Scott," she said. “IT is the brain, and design is the heart, but if the brain and the heart aren’t talking to each other, it’s not good.”
FOCUSED ON THE FUTURE
When it came to business advice, most panelists recommended forging ahead towards new, uncharted territory. “Part of being a mission driven company is that we’re focused on change,” said 23andMe founder, Anne Wojcicki.
Aileen Lee, founder of Cowboy Ventures, recommended investing in technology, and educating your workforce for new skills sets.
“Technology is a key driver in every aspect of society,” she said.
While women still face uphill battles in the boardroom and society at large, Marne Levine, COO at Instagram, told the crowd that there is hope. “Technology is creating new opportunities for women at an unprecedented scale.”
BUILDING A NETWORK
A wave of support and encouragement surged through the event, with speakers inspiring other powerful women to pave the path for those following in their footsteps. Bozoma Saint John, Chief Branding Officer for Uber, told the crowd that women, “don’t do enough to encourage each other when something is going right. We need to shine each other.” Actress Taraji P. Henson reminded the attendees that the “little steps I’m making will make it easier for the young women coming up behind me.”
The 200 pivotal women left the #PowerTrip with numerous new contacts, shared memories and an additional support network that will continue to aid their future success and that of other women leaders around the world.