Last week I blogged about, “we’ve just been so busy,” referencing Oprah’s tour and Adweek. A few of you may have wondered, “what does Oprah and Adweek have to do with STAR”? A lot!
If you don’t mind – a bit out of sequential order, but let me start with Adweek that took place in New York City’s Time Square from September 29th – October 2nd. Outside of it being one of the most inspiring, educational, impactful, positively emotional life-changing weeks of my life :-), I too had the opportunity to meet and briefly speak with this fabulous, well-dressed, bubbly personality of a woman, Shelley Zalis.
I was so moved by her story and motivation for why she does what she does, I became somewhat of a “groupie”, lol! Admiring her personality, attire … on down to, “how in the world does she continue to walk in those sharp stilettos”!? Ms. Zalis was well put together and a sista’ had it going on! Hey! I give credit where credit is due …
Shelley Zalis’ Twitter bio captures her essence: Chief troublemaker, innovation junkie, big idea thinker-upper. Uber-connector who chases smart technology, passionate people & solar eclipses. But, what got my attention was the cool, sexy and exciting “Girls’ Lounge.”
Shelley says, I had my first ‘aha’ moment in the business world when I realized that empathy, balance, collaboration and passion were rarely represented at a table filled only with men. I also discovered that if I wanted to solve the tug-of-war challenges between my personal and professional life, I would need to start out on my own and reimagine the existing business model, moving it from one dominated by ‘rigidity, command and control’ to one of ‘flexibility, connection and care’.
We are at an exciting moment for women today. There is a lot of energy around helping women discover, share and empower confidence. Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg has opened up a national dialogue empowering women to take a seat at the table. Princeton’s Anne-Marie Slaughter is exploring important issues around how to balance motherhood and career and discussing what it truly means to ‘have it all’. And, Arianna Huffington is defining life beyond money and power. Women are turning to each other, looking for inspiration. And, that’s how the The Ipsos Girls’ Lounge first came about.
What started as a sleepover with a few girlfriends at the International Consumer Electronic Show in 2013, has become the go-to destination at some of the largest industry conferences in the advertising, marketing, media, research and technology spaces. Nearly 2,000 women have visited The Ipsos Girls’ Lounge to talk business or life with a cross-section of women from the C-suite executive to those on deck for advancement. There is power in conversation and we are seeing first-hand how really good ideas come about when women get together. The Ipsos Girls’ Lounge is now championing, supporting and mentoring women by energizing the self, soul, and sisterhood by providing a ‘girls only’ environment which allows us to advocate for each other, energize confidence and ignite the sparks that will drive real change.
With her business card in hand, over the weekend, I reached out to Ms. Zalis via e-mail – all while at the same time thinking to myself, “she’s not going to respond. This woman’s circle of friends and business acquaintances are Arianna Huffington, Oprah and others alike; you’re just “Jennifer Payne,” but I did so anyway, and to my surprise, she responded with a, “when are you free to chat by phone.” Can you say one super cool chick … I love it! #GirlPower 🙂
I’ve already made this post a tad bit too long :-(, but please allow me to encourage and influence you to visit the Ipsos Girls’ Lounge and follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
My fellow sistas, this is what it’s all about … Stepping up, helping out, paying it forward! Until the next time …