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It’s Time for All of Us to Speak Out

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 2, 2020

What does it mean to be a leader now? How do we create organizations that support everyone’s humanity? And most urgently: How do we support our Black colleagues and leaders in ways that create lasting, systemic change? 

At Watermark, our core mission is to advocate for women’s leadership and support companies as they work to create diverse and inclusive workplaces. And while none of us has all the answers, we are committed to bringing our community the resources it needsand to making space for the hard conversations we all need to have. 

The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and far too many others at the hands of police, and the systemic racism that perpetuates inequality, challenge us all to speak up more consistently and openly about injustice. We are committed to being part of the change we want to see, and will be adding programming and membership offerings in the coming weeks to make that pledge a reality. 

We’re inspired by the many examples of compassionate leadership and allyship we see at our sponsor companies and within our community and are proud to work with you to create a world that works for us all. 

If you have any questions, we invite you to contact us. Stay Healthy, Stay Empowered, Stay Connected.

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How to Take Your Child to Work (Reinvented)

Posted By Administration, Thursday, April 23, 2020

For decades on the fourth Thursday of April, parents and mentors have been encouraged to give children a first-hand look at the real world of work for a day. This year, Take Your Child to Work Day can’t be the same. But it’s still the perfect time to share with children the responsibilities and impact of your career, the difference between wants and needs, and the adjustments we are all making to a new world. Here are three quick tips for how to make the most of this special day:

  1.  Plan Ahead: This may feel daunting, but it’s no different than scheduling an intentional meeting with someone you enjoy.
  2.  Align Common Interests: Think about what you want your child to learn about you and your job, and what might align with their current interests. Find a meeting they can join (and explain to your meeting attendees in a quick note that X child will be joining you today to experience a meeting).
  3.  Expand Your Influence: Now is the perfect time to mentor a friend or colleague’s child, as many are craving interactions with people other than their parents. Invite a friend or relative’s child to join a specific activity, such as a 30-minute Q&A where you answer questions about your job and they draw a picture about what you discussed. Or have them join our Special Edition Office Hours today at 2pm, featuring CEO & Co-Founder of Girls Leadership, Simone Marean, where we will discuss the value of women in the workplace and how to support future female leaders from all backgrounds. 

 And above all, make it authentic, be realistic and have plenty of snacks. This is the one day when a child barging in during a call should spark compassion, understanding, and unity among us all. At the end of the day, DROP US A NOTE OR PHOTO of the day with your mini-mentored human and let us know how it went.

Tags:  #FutureLeaders #Watermark #WeAreWatermark 

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The Key to Connecting

Posted By Peggy Northrop | CEO, Watermark , Thursday, April 16, 2020
Updated: Thursday, April 16, 2020

I’ve started filling pages in my little green notebook with all the things I’m learning from the generous leaders and thinkers in the Watermark community. Shellye Archambeau’s Office Hours session this week delivered dozens of useful insights in answer to our members’ questions, from the first steps to becoming a founder to setting expectations both at work and at home. (I was delighted to learn that she loathes the term “work-life balance” as much as I do--”integration” is what she aims for.)

But looking over my notes I realized that everything she talked about had communication at the core.

Managing a team? They need calm, clear guidance more than ever, so step up your communications, even when you don’t have all the answers. Tempted to lay low rather than contact your customers? The companies that build good will now, when their customers may not be able to buy anything, are the ones who will be remembered. Thinking long term, and wondering what skills will be most needed in the future? Communicating effectively and with empathy is turning out to be the most essential business skill. (“And guess what,” Archambeau says, “women are better at that.”) Relentless communication extends to your inner self too. “Strengthen your strengths,” Archambeau urges. To do that, you need to know what they are. So ask people for feedback, and use this time to invest in yourself. (We can definitely help you there.)

Now that I’ve got the theme of “relentless communication” in my head, I’m seeing examples of it everywhere. Our own Watermark Board Member Divya Ghatak, Chief People Officer at Sentinel One, recently shared a blog post with a whole section on the topic, and it’s full of useful ideas for communicating well while operating remotely. My favorite idea: Setting up a virtual company ‘living room’ where people can drop in at any time of day just to talk. Casual communication matters too, because it keeps us sane and connected. And we all need more of that.

What are you learning that’s helping you communicate more effectively right now? We’d love to hear about it. Talk to us on LinkedIn and Twitter, or drop us a note HERE, Meanwhile stay safe, be well, and hope to see you at one of our upcoming virtual events.

Tags:  #WeAreWatermark #Communication 

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Generosity: The New Sharing Economy

Posted By Administration, Thursday, March 26, 2020
Updated: Thursday, March 26, 2020

There are endless resources being made available for free or at substantially discounted prices to support us all as we navigate this period of crisis. That’s great — but it can also be overwhelming. If you’ve been wondering about where to focus your attention, we’re here to help. These “best of” links and recommendations are from the wisest and most creative coaches and business leaders in the Watermark network. Plus, we’ve found some just-for-fun stress-relievers.

Courageous Leadership Institute | Disruption MicroLearning
The Courageous Leadership Institute (headed by Cindy Solomon, a frequent speaker at Watermark Conferences for Women and a Watermark board member) has launched a new series called Courageous Leadership through Disruption. This online, On-Demand MicroLearning mini-course is designed to help you build the leadership skills it takes to not only to survive through workplace disruption but to thrive during it. They currently have five episodes that specifically tackle disruption and are releasing new episodes to address the real-time leadership challenges we are all facing.

Technonomy | (REPLAY) The Modern Organization, with John Chambers
“Don’t hide. Leaders have to be visible. You have to be very transparent.” A reality-check for leaders, this article recap and video session with John Chambers (also a past Watermark Leadership Conference keynote) offers a variety of hard-earned lessons derived from his own experiences of leading during change and crises.

Malala.org & Starbucks Foundation | Inspirational Playlist Celebrating Women
Malala published an International Women’s Day playlist on Spotify, featuring songs from female artists like Janelle Monáe and Quratulain Baloch. Her 2020 playlist in partnership with Starbucks Foundation and Malala's Fund's Envoy, Malala has asked young women and education advocates around the world to help curate it. LISTEN NOW

Watermark | Virtual Programs and Events
Watermark has moved virtually 100% of its programs (webinars, workshops, Mastermind Groups, networking events, etc.) online, in addition to launching its newest offering, Office Hours. These one-hour open Q&A sessions are limited to 25 people and feature leaders, thinkers and coaches to address and solve the immediate issues you are facing. REGISTER NOW

Are there resources we’re missing that you find valuable? Please let us know because in the coming days and weeks, we will be adding them here. The generous sharing of knowledge in our community is what makes Watermark work! Tag us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn — or just email us— and we’ll include your own “best of” recommendations in our newsletter.

Stay Healthy, Stay Calm, Stay Connected. Please EMAIL US!

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Stay Healthy, Stay Calm, Stay Connected

Posted By Administration, Thursday, March 19, 2020
Updated: Wednesday, March 18, 2020

There’s really no substitute for connecting in person--and Watermark meetups are one of the best things about our community. But the new norm (at least for a while) is here, and that means a shift in how we connect. Whether you’re working from your bedroom, working while taking care of family members, or just working and trying to stay sane, we’re here for you. We have launched several new ways to connect online, with more webinars and virtual networking opportunities. And we now have open “office hours” with leaders, thinkers and solution-driven people you’ll want to meet.


Pull up your laptop or tablet with a cup of tea, a snack, or a glass of wine. You won’t be judged for partners taking work calls in the background, children running through your room, or pets begging for attention (that’s true for us too!). And please let us know how we can support you and what you need during this time. ( We wish we could airdrop hugs.) Meanwhile, please CONTACT US


Peggy, Kim, Lauren, Erin & Asa
The Watermark Team

Tags:  #CoronaVirus #WeAreWatermark #Connect 

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Watermark Announces a New Board Member

Posted By Administration, Thursday, March 5, 2020
Updated: Thursday, March 5, 2020

Watermark is pleased to announce the appointment of the newest member to its Board of Directors: Melynnie Rizvi. The Board provides leadership for carrying out Watermark's mission to increase the representation of women in leadership roles by empowering them to make their mark in and for their companies, their careers and their communities.

"I am incredibly passionate about cultivating diverse and equitable communities both within our workplaces and beyond.  Empowering women and people of color to be the best that they can be is core to who I am," says Melynnie Rizvi. "I am absolutely thrilled to join the Board of Directors for Watermark and be given the opportunity to help empower women to become leaders in their companies and communities."

Melynnie Rizvi is the director of employment, inclusion, and impact at SurveyMonkey.  Rizvi provides strategic guidance to the People team, oversees global employment law, and leads SurveyMonkey for Good, the company’s diversity, equity and inclusion, and social impact initiative. Prior to SurveyMonkey, she was the senior director of global employment, litigation, chief sustainability & diversity officer, and chief compliance officer at Veritas, a global technology company. Prior to Veritas, she was a director of global employment law at Symantec. Prior to Symantec, she was a partner at Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith and an associate at Baker & McKenzie. Rizvi is a board member of Fresh Lifelines for Youth and former board member of Success Through Education Program. Rizvi is a recent graduate of Northern California Grantmaker’s Racial Equity Action Institute and The Leadership Consortium, Harvard Business School’s Executive Leadership Acceleration Program, and was named Silicon Valley Business Journal’s 2016 Employment Counsel of the Year. She received her JD and Bachelors of Commerce degree from the University of Alberta, In Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Watermark is a non-profit organization and community of top women executives, emerging executives and entrepreneurs in the San Francisco Bay Area whose mission is to increase the number of women in leadership positions. Led by the current Watermark Board of Directors, the organization connects, develops and advocates for the advancement of women in the workplace by offering regular leadership development programs and networking opportunities and promoting gender diversity and equality initiatives. Watermark also supports girls’ leadership programs to help build a well-qualified workforce for the future.

For more information about Watermark, contact press@wearewatermark.org.

Tags:  Board of Directors  Make Your Mark  Watermark  WeAreWatermark 

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Tina Tchen: Make Your Mark Award Winner Spotlight

Posted By Administration, Friday, January 24, 2020
Congratulations Tina Tchen, the winner of our 2020 Advocate Award. We will be honoring Tina (and our other winners) at our annual Make Your Mark Awards on Wednesday, January 29 at the Schultz Cultural Arts Hall in Palo Alto.

Tina TchenPresident and Chief Executive Officer, TIME’S UP. Tina Tchen serves as president and CEO of TIME’S UP Now and the TIME’S UP Foundation, overseeing the organizations’ efforts to change culture, companies, and laws in order to make work safe, fair, and dignified for women of all kinds. In 2017, Tina co-founded the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund with Robbie Kaplan, Fatima Goss Graves, and Hilary Rosen; since then, the Fund has connected nearly 4,000 people to legal or PR support for sexual harassment across dozens of different industries. Tina served all eight years in the Obama White House, including as an Assistant to President Obama, Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls, and Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama. While at the White House, Tina spearheaded the first-ever White House Summit on Working Families and helped form the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. Prior to taking the helm at TIME’S UP, Tina was a lawyer specializing in workplace culture, advising companies on gender inequity, sexual harassment, and diversity. She has served on numerous strategic advisory boards for organizations, businesses, and nonprofits, including the United State of Women, which she continues to co-chair.

Twitter | LinkedIn

“Change is not inevitable - it happens only when each of us does what we can.” - Tina Tchen

Tags:  #MYM  #WeAreWatermark  Make Your Mark 

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Charles Meyers: Make Your Mark Award Winner Spotlight

Posted By Administration, Thursday, January 23, 2020
Updated: Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Congratulations Charles Meyers, the winner of our 2020 Bill Campbell Award. We will be honoring Charles (and our other winners) at our annual Make Your Mark Awards on Wednesday, January 29 at the Schultz Cultural Arts Hall in Palo Alto.

Charles J. Meyers joined Equinix in 2010 as President, Equinix Americas, leading the company’s largest P&L through a time of significant growth and strong operating performance. Mr. Meyers then served as the Chief Operating Officer at Equinix, where he led the Global Sales, Marketing, Operations and Customer Success teams. For the past year, he was President, Strategy, Services and Innovation (SSI) leading Equinix’s strategic business teams including Corporate Strategy, Technology Innovation, and Product Management and Engineering. Under Mr. Meyers’ leadership, SSI worked to optimize the company’s position as a cloud enabler, identify key growth areas, and evolve our services portfolio in response to market, competitive and technology trends.

Mr. Meyers has built a distinguished 25‐year career in the high‐tech industry. Before joining Equinix, Mr. Meyers served as Group President at Verisign where he led a P&L portfolio including the company’s Security, Communications and Mobile Messaging businesses. Prior to Verisign, Mr. Meyers held various executive positions at Level 3 Communications, including Group Vice President of Global Marketing, President of IP and Data Services, and Senior Vice President, Softswitch Services. During his tenure, Mr. Meyers helped Level 3 emerge as a premier global provider of Internet and VoIP services. Mr. Meyers also held senior operating roles at BellSouth, was a member of the pre‐IPO executive team at Internet Security Systems and served as a Senior Associate with Booz‐Allen & Hamilton Consulting. Mr. Meyers earned dual master’s degrees from Northwestern University’s J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management and McCormick Graduate School of Engineering. He also holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Colorado.

Twitter | LinkedIn

Upon his appointment, Charles made a commitment to making Equinix a place where every employee can confidently say, “I’m safe, I belong, I matter”, and has embedded diversity, inclusion and belonging as a critical component of Equinix’s strategy and identity. 

Tags:  #MYM  #WeAreWatermark  MYM 

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Dr. Shelia Robinson: Make Your Mark Award Winner Spotlight

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Updated: Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Congratulations Dr. Sheila Robinson, the winner of our 2020 Develop Award. We will be honoring Sheila (and our other winners) at our annual Make Your Mark Awards on Wednesday, January 29 at the Schultz Cultural Arts Hall in Palo Alto.

Sheila Robinson is Owner and Publisher of Diversity Woman Media, a professional business magazine for women leaders, executives and entrepreneurs of all races, cultures and backgrounds. Due to the overwhelming national response to her first magazine, North Carolina Career Network, the publication expanded nationally in April of 2008 becoming Diversity Woman. Ms. Robinson is a former Marketing Director with the textiles division of global chemical giant DuPont, where she traveled throughout the U.S. and abroad tracking apparel trends displayed at industry events including Essence magazine’s annual “Essence Award Show”, GQ magazine’s “Men of the Year Award”, and New York’s “7th on Sixth” fashion shows. 

Sheila achieved early career success at DuPont but after she had been with the organization for 14 years, her division was sold. Faced with relocation, she resigned from the company to pursue a long awaited dream - to launch a professional magazine for women seeking career advancement opportunities. As an African-American woman Sheila was no stranger to adversity, and she was strongly committed to providing what she thought to be a much needed resource for women. Sheila is a graduate of North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Pre-Law.

In 2011, Sheila graduated with Beta Gamma Sigma honors in the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Masters Program at Western Carolina University, and was selected as the “Most Outstanding Student” by the College of Business faculty. Sheila is a graduate of Leadership Greensboro (2006), and Leadership North Carolina (2007) and holds certificates from Stanford University’s Professional Publishing Program (2007) and Wharton’s School of Business Chief Learning Officer Program (2013). In 2009 she was honored with the MEAC Image Award for her career achievements and as a positive role model for young women. Other honors include the 2011 Minority Business Person of the Year by the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce, one of the 2012 Diversity MBA Top 100 Leaders by Diversity MBA Magazine and most recently during the 50th March on Capital celebration she received Kingonomics’s Corporate Diversity Award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Sheila has been featured on the cover of Publishing Executive Magazine and named as one of 50 Top Women in Magazine Publishing for the significant contribution she has made in her industry. She has received a Doctor of Education in Talent Management from University of Pennsylvania.


"What someone else says or does is a reflection of who they are and what I say and do is a reflection of who I am." - Dr. Sheila Robinson

Tags:  #MYM  #WeAreWatermark  Make Your Mark 

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Anne Devereux-Mills: Make Your Mark Award Winner Spotlight

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Updated: Monday, January 20, 2020

Congratulations Anne Devereux-Mills, the winner of our 2020 Connect Award. We will be honoring Anne (and our other winners) at our annual Make Your Mark Awards on Wednesday, January 29 at the Schultz Cultural Arts Hall in Palo Alto.


Anne Devereux-Mills is the Founder and CEO of Parlay House, a global modern "salon" series designed to spark authentic conversations and build meaningful, supportive relationships across a diverse range of women. With over 5,000 members in San Francisco, Oakland, New York City, London, Paris, Atlanta, Denver, Los Angeles, Amman and Seattle, Parlay House provides space for the conversations that aren’t held in other places. Anne’s story and journey are chronicled in her recently released best-selling book, The Parlay Effect: How Female Connection Can Change the World. Anne is a mentor for SHE-CAN, and organization supporting and grooming the next generation of female world leaders coming from post-genocide countries. An activist on issues related to social justice, she was a key member of the team that helped pass California's Proposition 36, which brought fair sentencing to thousands of non-violent inmates as part of California's Three Strikes reform. Following that victory, she was the Executive Director for the Emmy-nominated documentary film entitled, The Return.

Anne supported Stanford University by serving as the Executive Director of Healthy Body Image Programs, which then grew into the digital mental health company called Lantern. Before taking on these roles in more philanthropic ventures, Anne raised two daughters in the New York area, with a significant career that specialized in the healthcare marketing. Specifically, she was the Chairman and CEO of LLNS and TBWA/WorldHealth (and their worldwide marketing network) after her successful roles as Chief Integration Officer at BBDO and Managing Director of their highly successful healthcare unit. She also served as CEO of Consumer Healthworks, a division of Merkley and Partners, as well as President of Harrison& Star.

She is the former Chairman of the Board of Marchex, a public company in the mobile technology space. Anne recently completed a successful sale of a home healthcare company as a board member for Angelo Gordon, and was a founding board member of of Braven, a non-profit organization which focuses on identifying and empowering our nation’s high-performing yet underserved youth. Anne also helped launch the iHUG Foundation, a not-for-profit school in Uganda supporting some of that nation's most needy children. She continues to participate in many activities that mentor and nurture underserved women.

Anne is a Wellesley College graduate, a 2003 Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. She has been honored by a range of organizations including SHE-CAN, Advertising Women of New York, The All-Stars Foundation, and Project Kesher.


In her spare time, Anne can be found doing motivational speaking, working out in a pilates studio, skimming waves on a paddle board, sitting at the kitchen counter making jewelry or traveling the world.

Tags:  #MYM  #WeAreWatermark  Make Your Mark 

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