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Days later, I’m still feeling the exhilaration of our annual Know Your Value conference in San Francisco.
I was thrilled to see nearly 600 women at our Dec. 1 event at the Fairmont Hotel. They connected to our incredible speakers and with one another. We tackled issues that matter most to women: building confidence, realizing our true value and getting everything we deserve.
Academy Award-winning actress Mira Sorvino joined me on stage at the conference, about one year after she and several other women publicly accused Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment. Mira is dedicating herself to eradicating sexual misconduct in the workplace, with efforts that include continuing to lobby the California legislature to pass laws. It’s part of the #TakeTheLead campaign, a movement spearheaded by the California-based Equal Rights Advocates.
“I had to rise up with all the honesty and courage that I had even though I was very, very frightened,” Mira said on stage, later adding that “we’re going to change this culture brick by brick…Our children are not going to grow up into the same rape culture that we grew up in.”
Also at the conference, Sen. Kamala Harris of California broke the news that she will decide with her family over the holidays whether she will run for president in 2020: “It’s going to be ugly; there’s breaking involved. And when you break things, it is painful.”
And, of course, we talked about careers, money, networking, wage inequality, mental health and so much more.
Body language expert Janine Driver showed attendees how to be their authentic selves – and explained why it’s important for us all to recognize our worth, not just for ourselves but for the world around us.
“Repeat after me: Frame yourself to fame yourself,” she said. Later, she explained, “you are who you are. Figure out who you are because your biggest weakness has a corresponding strength.”
I know it isn’t easy to recognize your true worth and use it to your advantage every day. I gave the audience my own tips: Stop apologizing. Keep notes on your successes. Dress for your message. Be in the moment. And above all, value yourself every single day.
We wrapped the inspiring day with the Grow Your Value bonus competition, in which our three California finalists – Jodee Brown, Jenny Nixon and Danielle Oceguera – pitched me and our judges about why they deserve a $25,000 raise. These three amazing women received professional coaching, styling and other support from experts to help break through barriers that had been holding them back. Danielle, a 25-year-old student and talent development coordinator, took home the grand prize. But all the women were winners.
“I know that I may be small, but my future is big and my dreams are big,” Danielle told us at the event, “and they’re going to get done.” I have no doubt they will.