I am so excited that Karen May will be speaking at EWlive this year. She's the head of learning, talent and career development at Google, which was rated the #1 Best Company To Work For by Fortune Magazine this year. As one Googler puts it, "Simply by being here, I feel very naturally motivated to be (and also very proud to be) my best possible self." While there are a lot of factors that contributed to Google winning the #1 position, I can't help but admire Karen and her commitment to developing the whole person within the corporate structure. This is the future!
I was watching Karen's interview with Eckhart Tolle from our friends at Wisdom 2.0 (you can watch the fabulous video on our site) and was struck by her framing of the question, "How do we integrate story in a healthy way into self, particularly in connection to others." It got me thinking about the power of our own personal stories.
Since the dawn of civilization, humans have been using story-telling to record history, disseminate wisdom, and foster connection within communities. Yet in our Western culture, we are taught to keep to ourselves, share as little as possible, and put on a show that we have it all together. The result is that we have built a society devoted to image and illusion and reverence of the fantastic, rather than one the celebrates the magic of our everyday experience.
Hearing the stories of others helps us to make sense of our world. As women, we need to know that we are not alone in our struggles to be seen and heard. The best mentoring-moments I have ever had are when a woman more experienced than myself opens up honestly about her journey. Hearing the stories of the women who are blazing trails ahead of us helps us to identify with the strongest parts of ourselves - giving us that powerful "If she could do it, so can I" feeling.
That's the power that Emerging Women speakers are able to bring to the audience, and that Emerging Women participants are able to bring to each other. It's a place to show up, get real, and be strengthened by the reality of each others' stories so that we can continue to do meaningful work in the world. Thank you so much for being a part of it.
Founder, Emerging Women