By Shreya Datta
During Women’s History Month, the Women’s Leadership Forum (WLF) of Greater Philadelphia hosted a luncheon at the Independence Blue Cross Building in downtown Philadelphia. Interested Newtown Square BWN members were given a free admission to this event through our strong relationship with the WLF. They had the opportunity to meet and network with fellow female professionals from a plethora of industries in the area.
A little background on this organization – 10 years ago, the WLF began with a panel discussion organized by some very passionate women from companies in the Greater Philadelphia region. Since then, this forum celebrated the Women’s History Month each year with a wide range of programs. Every event has been about providing women with professional insights for successful careers, be it from being political savvy, to being resilient, to managing your brand. All of these events also place a strong emphasis on networking, because we know that’s a big key to our success. SAP Newtown Square is one of the champions and proud sponsor of this incredible organization. Our very own Dorothee Andermann is the current president of this organization.
The mission of the Women’s Leadership Forum of Greater Philadelphia is to advance the development, growth and sustainability of women’s networks and initiatives in companies throughout the Greater Philadelphia region by sharing their professional insight, supporting other networks, and influencing the companies on diverse issues.
- Leverage best practices across major companies in the Greater Philadelphia region
- Create local networking opportunities across industries to exchange information, ideas and resources
- Strengthen and extend the professional networks of women in the Greater Philadelphia region by building mutually beneficial relationships among members
- Promote the advancement of women through relevant programming, such as the Women’s History Month annual event
- Drive and expand women’s leadership skills, career development opportunities, and business acumen
The 2014 luncheon was incredibly inspiring and an excellent networking opportunity. Every attendee was seated at a table with women from different companies- big Philadelphia companies like Campbell Soup, Peco, PNC bank were in attendance. The theme was “Failure”. This theme was carefully selected because of the role failure plays in our eventual success. We had a panel discussion about the importance of failure and how women perceive it for themselves. In today’s competitive industry, everyone is focused on successes and very cautious of failing, but each failure teaches us a lot. The panel discussion focused on how it’s important for women to not be scared of failure, but embrace opportunities fearlessly and if failure does happen, take it as a lesson learned without being hard on themselves. Some of the interesting things discussed were the inherently different ways in which men perceive failure vs. women. Men are less risk averse and less hard on themselves in comparison. The idea was to be conscious as women of our natural biases towards failure and not be afraid to try new things.
It was a great opportunity to network and take advantage of the programs offered by WLF – such as the cross company mentorship program.
Imagine the possibilities if women professionals can have a strong network, not just within their company but also in the area? To me this sounds like a strong career strategy. It was very nice to see our SAP NSQ location as a sponsor and advocate of this organization.
Our kudos goes to those on the WLF board from SAP who helped make this and all WLF events a success: Dorothee Andermann, Liz Brenner, April Moore, Seema Thomas.