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Full Steam Ahead with Men Who Get It

Posted By Mary Thorsby, Thursday, September 28, 2017

by Marlene Williamson, CEO


It seems like every day, for the past many, many months, we’ve read and heard about gender-related harassment, discrimination and disrespect, and, just the other day, this piece in The New York Times highlighting a group of men who think our desire for parity has gone “too far.”

It’s easy to become disheartened. The good news, however, is this: People – women and men – are talking. And those who thought they could get away with their continual misbehavior are finally facing the consequences.

The level of awareness and discussion around women in the workplace has risen to a new high – literally! Leaders at the very top know that they must embrace gender diversity and increase the number of women in key positions. It’s the right thing to do, of course – and it also drives the bottom line. They’re struggling with how to lead this change in a way that makes everyone feel valued.

Watermark is proud to help. We fully understand that for women to move full steam ahead, we need to honor and support men as allies. More and more men have become Watermark members (welcome!), and we’re thrilled to see so many men attending our programs. So next time you RSVP for an upcoming Watermark event, RSVP for two and bring a man!

Earlier this month, we supported the Better Man Conference, which, now in its second year, has grown by leaps and bounds. We’re encouraging our sponsor companies to sign the Paradigm for Parity ­pledge. And we’re continuing to create programming that will help bridge the diversity divide – and, we hope, speed up the pace of change.

Make Your Mark Awards: Honoring Men, Too
Another way we honor and support men as allies is through our Make Your Mark Awards. Last year, we introduced the Bill Campbell Award – or, as we like to call it, the “Man Who Gets It” award. Gordy Davidson, Partner, Fenwick & West, was the well-deserved first recipient. This year, the award goes to Juniper Networks CEO Rami Rahim, a longtime proponent of diversity and inclusion.

Congratulations to our other winners, too: Connection: Irana Wasti of GoDaddy, Development: Ritu Mangla of Mobilyte, Advocacy: Olga Mack of ClearSlide, Impact: Cloudera, Watermark Emerging Executive of the Year: Margaret Kelleher of VMware and Watermark Senior Executive of the Year: Heather Jerrehian of Massdrop.

We invite you all to join us as we honor these outstanding leaders at our Make Your Mark Awards, Wednesday, Nov. 1, at the Hyatt Regency Burlingame. The reception starts at 5 p.m., with the awards dinner at 6 p.m. If you’re unable to attend in person, please consider joining our Leadership Circles.

Entrepreneur Conference: Just a Few Tickets Left
And for all you entrepreneurs – or future entrepreneurs – don’t miss our Entrepreneur Conference, Tuesday, Oct. 17, at Fenwick & West. We’ve got Stacy Brown-Philpot of TaskRabbit, Amy Chang of Accompany – she was just featured here – and a long list of investors, risk-taking, team-building and marketing experts and our popular competition, The Big Pitch. We have just a few tickets left, so please RSVP right away.

Conference for Women: We’ve Got Amal Clooney!
Speaking of a few tickets left – our Watermark Conference for Women isn’t until Feb. 23, 2018, but the San Jose Convention Center is already filling up! RSVP today to hear Amal Clooney and other smart, inspiring speakers. We will sell out, so please don’t miss this wonderful opportunity.

How Will You End the Year on a Great Note?
We have just three months remaining in 2017. When you look back on this year, what will be among your best accomplishments?

I hope at least a few involve Watermark. Whether you landed a board seat, great new job or promotion, made new connections, learned new skills, found a new source of inspiration – or maybe you made a new friend – that’s what the Watermark community is all about.

Let us hear from you. We want to know what’s on your mind, and how we can make next year – Watermark’s 25th anniversary – even better.

Best regards,

Marlene Williamson
CEO, Watermark

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