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Thank You for Joining Us at Daniel Pink

Posted By Mary Thorsby, Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Updated: Sunday, February 18, 2018

Many thanks to everyone for making our Daniel Pink event such a success this week – and especially to Nevro for hosting us! What a great night!


Your feedback is important to us. Please take a few moments and share your thoughts about the event. We use your suggestions as we plan our many programs throughout the year.


We so appreciate all the great posts to social media! We've included our favorite tweets below. If you don't already, please follow us on Twitter and Instagram and @WeAreWatermark on Facebook and LinkedIn. #WeAreWatermark


We hope to see you at the one of our many Watermark events coming up!


Thank you again, and may your timing always be perfect!

– Watermark Team


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Do Women’s Networking Events Move the Needle on Equality? Ours Do!

Posted By Mary Thorsby, Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Updated: Sunday, February 18, 2018

Watermark is thrilled to announce our new study with happiness researcher and Conference for Women veteran Shawn Achor, published on Feb. 13 in the Harvard Business Review. You can read the full article at HBR, but here are our main takeaways:

  • People can be cynical about the utility of women’s professional conferences. Shawn's [male] seatmate on a recent flight said “I’m all for equality, but I’m not sure what good it will do.”
  • What good CAN it do? Shawn spoke with fellow happiness researcher Michelle Gielan, and the two decided to survey attendees in advance of the 2017 Conference for Women.
  • They wanted to know what, if any, financial or intellectual impacts could be measured among attendees.
  • They surveyed 2,600 women, using prior attendees to study outcomes and first-time attendees as a control group.
  • Among attendees who had never attended the Conference, 18% had received a promotion over the past year. During the same economic period, 42% of women who had attended the Conference received a promotion.  
  • The likelihood of receiving a promotion doubled after attending the Conference for Women.
  • 5% of women in the control group received a pay increase of more than 10% compared to 15% of women who had attended the Conference.  
  • Attendees of the Conference for Women had triple the likelihood of a 10%+ pay increase.
  • 71% of prior attendees reported that they “feel more connected to others.” Shawn’s book Big Happiness argues that social connection is the greatest predictor of success and happiness, and tangentially leads to longer, healthier lives.
  • 29% of prior attendees reported that they “agree a lot” with the statement “I feel happier.” 78% of prior attendees reported feeling “more optimistic about the future” than before the Conference. 25% of prior attendees reported that they “agree a lot” with the statement “I feel more capable of handling stress in a positive way.”

"Something special happens when you see that you are not alone," notes Laurie Dalton White, founder of the Conferences for Women. "Making connections and building relationships with other attendees and speakers helps women form an understanding of their worth, and then they learn strategies to ask for promotions, seek fair pay, and even become a mentor to others.

‘We invite women like Michelle Obama and Sheryl Sandberg to speak at our conferences not just because of their own personal success stories, but because they are role models who inspire women in both big and small ways," Laurie adds.

Shawn's findings suggest that business leaders ought to encourage employees to find social connections in a professional context. The result may be a happier and healthier workforce.


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25 Women | 25 Stories: Denise Brosseau and Jennifer Gill Roberts

Posted By Claire Johnson, Monday, February 12, 2018

In celebration of Watermark’s 25th anniversary, we’ve taken a step back to reflect on all that we’ve accomplished so far and commend the ambitious women – and men who get it – who are leading us into the future.


Today, we're kicking off our 25 Women | 25 Stories series with profiles on our co-founders, Denise Brosseau and Jennifer Gill Roberts, who have truly made their mark on our community and beyond.


Denise and Jennifer shared instant chemistry when they met as MBA students at Stanford University more than 25 years ago. After graduating, they came together to address one particular statistic: Less than 1 percent of venture capital financing was going to women-run or women-founded businesses. Their shared vision: Boost that statistic to 50 percent, if not more.


Together, they founded the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs (FWE), which later became known as the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs and Executives (FWE&E) – and now is known as Watermark.


Twenty-five years later, we still have a long way to go. Female CEOs still get only 2.7 percent of all venture funding. Yet, according to a study by First Round Capital, companies with a woman on the founding team outperform their all-male peers by 63 percent.


The upcoming annual Watermark Conference for Women is one of the most powerful ways Watermark helps fortify our expansive network, and Denise and Jennifer are proud to have helped ignite that movement.

"I remember so clearly coming to the first Watermark Conference for Women," Denise recalls. "Women entrepreneurs, executives, consultants, newbies, college students – there were people of all walks of life, all energized as women leaders. That energizes me to keep going, to keep fighting. How could that not be the most incredible legacy you can ever hope to have? To create a genesis for a conference where everyone is coming together to make change in the world."


That electrifying power of community is at the heart of Watermark and the Conference for Women. The sense of having a sisterhood to support one another is invaluable to advancing our collective and individual impacts in various business sectors.


 Upon reflection, the two share powerful advice to other women entrepreneurs:

“It’s OK to fail. It’s most important to attract the best and brightest people you can. To take risks, to think big, to think about billion-dollar businesses – not smaller businesses. To think about your hiring advantages, your authentic self and the leadership style that you bring to it.” – Jennifer Gill Roberts



“It is not about playing it safe. It is not about taking the easy road. It is about having a big vision. Finding a partner. Be bold. Take things on and get things done. That, to me, is what I’m most proud of – that we were those kinds of people from the very get go.” – Denise Brosseau


We'll post more 25 Women | 25 Stories via social media, so be sure to follow us on Twitter and Instagram and @WeAreWatermark on Facebook and LinkedIn. #WeAreWatermark


We hope to see you at the one of our many Watermark events!

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Is Your Voice as Powerful as You Are? Two Workshops with Hillary Wicht

Posted By Mary Thorsby, Thursday, February 8, 2018

5:30-7:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 28
Fitbit, 215 Fremont St., San Francisco


5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 29
Veritas, 500 E. Middlefield Rd., Mountain View


When you walk into a room, you may look the part. Your business accomplishments may indicate that you’re an achiever. But the moment you begin to speak, your audience will be listening carefully to gauge if your voice and message are congruent with your appearance and resume. How we show up vocally leads people to definite and immediate conclusions about how we show up in the world. How we say it is far more persuasive than what we say.

Your listeners decide in just seven seconds. Simply put, there is a strong relationship between vocal acoustics and the psychology of perception: who we are as individuals, our personality, our strengths, what we bring to the table and also our weaknesses are unmasked in the voice.

Hillary Wicht is a voice expert who has been tapped as a specialist by the Wall Street Journal and the Stanford Entrepreneurial Graduate Program for her work on the impact of gender communication styles in the corporate sector.

In this experiential workshop – scheduled for San Francisco and Mountain View – Hillary unveils the ways in which women unknowingly give up their power through the way they communicate. She will uncover the most common “power-leaks” in female communication styles and give insights and tools for communication “power-plays.”


Make you voice at the table as powerful as you are and be the leader you are meant to be in your business, community and the world.

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Your Story is Your Power: An Evening with Elle Luna a​nd Susie Herrick

Posted By Mary Thorsby, Thursday, February 1, 2018
Updated: Thursday, February 8, 2018

5:30-7:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 14
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
650 Page Mill Rd., Palo Alto


Whether we realize it or not, we define ourselves through stories. Understanding your own story is the key to understanding yourself, your world and your capacity to act within that world. And in the heart of your story, you will find you – your voice, your power and your truth.

In Your Story is Your Power: Free Your Feminine Voice, Elle Luna, bestselling author of The Crossroads of Should and Must and creator of the Instagram 100-Day Project, and Susie Herrick, acclaimed psychotherapist and author of Aphrodite Emerges, ask readers to discover their own stories, challenging them to use that story to cultivate their own feminine power and move forward both as an individual and as part of a strong female community seeking positive change.

This inspiring and practical talk – for both women and men – will show us how to collectively uncover and understand our own stories about feminine power in order to live more confident, unapologetic lives.


Please plan to join us for this very special Watermark evening.


Many thanks to our host:


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Women in Leadership Survey: Win a Google Home Mini!

Posted By Mary Thorsby, Sunday, January 14, 2018

As part of our yearlong celebration, we want to hear about your insights and your experiences in the workplace. Please complete our State of Women in Leadership survey by Friday Jan. 26 and your name will go into a drawing for a Google Home Mini!


We'll share highlights of the survey throughout the year.

Thank you in advance for your time!

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Wonderful WLU at Luisa Spagnoli!

Posted By Mary Thorsby, Wednesday, January 10, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, January 16, 2018

What a great evening! Thank you all so much for attending our Jan. 9 Peninsula WLU at Luisa Spagnoli – and many thanks to Julia, Irene and the entire Louisa Spagnoli team for making us all feel so welcome and fashionable! Italian prosecco and hors d’oeuvres, gorgeous clothes and accessories and such a wonderful gathering of our Watermark community! What a great way to kick off Watermark's 25th Anniversary.


Check our events calendar for more upcoming WLUs and other world-class programming!

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Happy New Year! And Happy 25th Anniversary from Watermark!

Posted By Mary Thorsby, Thursday, January 4, 2018

Happy New Year, everyone – and Happy 25th Anniversary from Watermark! Can you believe that we've been a lively, vibrant part of the Bay Area community since 1993?

A Little History….
We began as the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs (FWE), founded by Stanford MBA graduates Jennifer Gill Roberts and Denise Brosseau (pictured below) with the intent to connect women entrepreneurs with funding – and with one another. Their work led to more than $6 billion (and counting) in increased investment, dramatically changing the landscape for women-founded and women-led businesses. What a legacy!

Over time, we added “and Executives” to our name, making us FWE&E. In 2010, we became Watermark, a term that indicates the highest level to which water has risen.

While our name has changed, our intent has never wavered. We are here to help you reach your full potential as leaders, executives and entrepreneurs as we work to increase the number of women in leadership positions.

World-Class Programming Ahead
You’ll learn more about our history – and our plans for the future – as we celebrate our anniversary throughout the year. We begin next week with two exciting WLUs and our Breaking the Confidence Code webinar with Charmaine McClarie – and then on Jan. 18, don’t miss our Are You Ready to be a Thought Leader? workshop facilitated by Denise Brosseau, herself.

You’ll find more Watermark events here, with more to come! And remember, we most definitely welcome men – “men who get it,” as we like to call them. The more men who recognize the value of diversity, the better for us all.

For our corporate sponsors, we’ve added 12 new customized workshops – including several dedicated to diversity and inclusion. And for sponsors and members, we’ve almost doubled our number of new webinars this year. Our webinars are included in all membership packages and are available for purchase for non-members.

Take Advantage of Our Alliances
Watermark is proud to partner with several outstanding organizations that complement our own programs and services. Our members enjoy a growing list of special invitations and offers from 1440 Multiversity, Athena Alliance, Better Man Conference, Marketo, ReBoot, Insights, The Guild and more.

Get Social with Us
We’re boosting our social media this year, as well – and we need your help! If we’re not already connected, please join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube, and help share our posts with the hashtag #WeAreWatermark.

Our State of Women in Leadership Survey
Your feedback and experiences are very important to us and help us continually refine how we can best be of service to you. Please take a few moments and fill out our State of Women in Leadership survey. Complete the survey by Friday, Jan. 26, and you’ll be entered into a drawing for Google Home Mini!

Members on the Move
Last, let us know how you’re doing. New job? Promotion? Successful product launch? Speaking engagement? Whatever it is, we want to hear about it and help you share the good news in our Members on the Move column. We firmly believe that when one of us takes a step forward, we all take a step forward.

Here’s to the Next 25!
Many thanks to you all for helping us achieve 25 wonderful years. What an incredible milestone. We’re very excited about the future and working together as we build and shape the next 25.

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Watermark's 2018 Webinar Line Up for Q1

Posted By Mary Thorsby, Monday, January 1, 2018

Webinar Wednesdays | 10-11 a.m. PST | WebEx

Happy New Year! If continuous development is part of your 2018 career plan – and we bet it is – tune in for our popular webinar series – each covering a special topic designed to move you to the next level. Our webinars are guaranteed to engage your team and generate productive discussions – consider using them in your monthly Lunch and Learn!

Or access them later – anytime, anywhere. Our webinars are accessible all year long. Be sure to register and we'll send you the log-in link beforehand and the password to the recording afterward.

Our webinars are free to Watermark members and $30 for non-members. Ready to join? Learn about our different membership offerings – and contact Kate for more details.

10-11 a.m. PST, Wednesday, Jan. 10


Have you ever felt that your lack of confidence was holding you back from getting that promotion or higher pay – or from greater joy and ease? Do you wonder how some manage to look and act confident even in the most challenging situations? What's their secret?

Learn more as Charmaine McClarie unveils those secrets, demonstrates how to turn your ideas into powerful action, shows you how to be seen and heard for the value you add and empowers you to have your best year ever.

Charmaine is a senior executive coach who has worked with leaders in 27 industries across five continents. Her clients include top executives from Coca-Cola, DuPont, Humana, Johnson & Johnson, Starbucks and T-Mobile. During her 20+ years as an executive coach, 98 percent of her clients have been promoted within 18 months.

mcclariegroup.com LinkedIn @McClarieGroup

10-11 a.m. PST, Wednesday, Feb. 7


Navigating the corporate world can be difficult. Surviving vs. succeeding involves an intricate dance of placating the masses and expressing your authentic self. Leadership and inclusion expert Sumayyah Emeh-Edu shows you how to develop and build your social capital, gain perspectives on the unspoken rules of engagement, manage microaggressions and pay it forward.

Sumayyah is the founder and principal strategist at Embedded Consulting. She has more than 15 years of professional experience leading various initiatives within higher education and corporate sectors, focused primarily on diversity and professional development. In that time, she has successfully organized Tech Inclusion and The Better Man Conference, with clients also including Kaiser Permanente, PG&E, Asana and Oracle.

sumayyahdni.com LinkedIn @Sumayyah_EE

10-11 a.m. PST, Wednesday, Feb. 28


Forget Type As and Bs. The future lies with Type Rs – the resilient individuals, leaders, businesses, families and communities that turn challenges into opportunities in times of upheaval, crisis and change. In this webinar, Ama Marston explains how you can cultivate Type R strategies and mindsets in your own lives, work, leadership and businesses, and in the larger world as you navigate disruptive change and stress.

Ama is a international strategy and leadership expert and a recognized thought leader focused on Transformative Resilience. For 20 years, she has provided advice, strategy and leadership to the UN, NGOs and FTSE Index and Fortune 500 companies, as well as to global leaders like Mary Robinson (the first female President of Ireland) and economist Joseph Stiglitz (Nobel Laureate).

Her new book, Type R: Transformative Resilience for Thriving in a Turbulent World, comes out Jan. 9.

type-r-resilience.com LinkedIn @AmaMarston

10-11 a.m. PST, Wednesday, March 7


The #MeToo moment offers new case studies for understanding the impact of bias on your daily workplace experiences and your long-term career roadmaps. How are these incidents at once prevalent and under-scrutinized? In this webinar, Laura Mather, Ph.D., will dive deep into research findings on the ways implicit bias seeps into your day-to-day decision-making and influences. She'll also present solutions that organization leaders should implement to mitigate these kind of microaggressions, as well as strategies for recognizing when you are the victim of implicit bias and steps to combat it.


Laura is an expert on unconscious bias and the neuroscience behind decision-making. She has built advanced technology solutions for the National Security Agency, eBay and her own startups, Silver Tail Systems and Talent Sonar. She is the winner of the Anita Borg Institute's 2017 ABIE Award for Technology Entrepreneurship.


talentsonar.com LinkedIn @TalentSonar

More Great Webinars on the Way!

Mark your calendars for more Watermark webinars! You'll find these and other events at wearewatermark.org. Check back frequently! We're always adding world-class programs to our calendar.

Wednesday, April 4
Ditch the Doubt: How Gender Intelligence Will Make You Rethink Imposter Syndrome with Holly Berkley
Wednesday, April 25
From C-Suite to Boardroom: What You Can Do Today to Become a Board Member with Olga Mack
Wednesday, May 2
Mentors, Sponsors and Coaches – How to Leverage All Three with Jackie Welch
Wednesday, May 16
Workplace Sexual Harassment – Tearing Down Gender Barriers with Kelly Armstrong
Wednesday, July 11
Self Compassion – Your Competitive Leadership Edge with Marie-Jeanne Julliand
Wednesday, Aug. 1
Stop Striving and Start Thriving – Create a Juicy Integrated Life™ with Anisa Rashad
Wednesday, Sept. 12
Wednesday, Oct. 3
The Thoughtfully Ruthless Guide to Rapid Growth with Val Wright
Wednesday, Nov. 7
Wednesday, Dec. 5
Courageous Leadership with Cindy Solomon

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Kick Off the New Year with Women Like Us Networks

Posted By Mary Thorsby, Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Our Women Like Us (WLU) Networks, held 5:30-7:30 p.m., are among our most popular events – an excellent way to network and connect with other Watermark members and fans who live or work near you. Enjoy some great wines and hors d'oeuvres while you're at it!

Plan to join us for the first four of the new year:

Tuesday, Jan. 9, Peninsula, Luisa Spagnoli, Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto

Thursday, Jan. 11, East Bay, Merit Resource Group, 2121 North California Blvd., Walnut Creek

Thursday, Feb. 1, San Francisco, MM.LaFleur, 125 Maiden Lane, San Francisco

Tuesday, Feb. 6, South Bay,TBD

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