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Two Evenings with Deborah Tannen

Posted By Mary Thorsby, Thursday, July 20, 2017

Tuesday, August 15    |    5:30-7:30 p.m.    |    Deloitte    |    San Jose


Wednesday, August 16    |    5:30-7:30 p.m.    |    Fitbit    |    San Francisco


We've had such great response to our upcoming Evening with Deborah Tannen at Deloitte in San Jose that we've added a second event the next night at Fitbit in San Francisco! So now you have two opportunities to bring friends and enjoy this special event.

In her new book, You’re the Only One I Can Tell: Inside the Language of Women's Friendships, Deborah Tannen, renowned linguist at Georgetown University and a regular on The New York Times bestseller list, deconstructs the ways women friends talk and how those ways can bring friends closer or pull them apart. From casual chatting to intimate confiding, from talking about problems to telling what you had for dinner, Deborah uncovers the patterns of communication and miscommunication that affect friendships at different points in our lives.

Drawing on interviews with 80 women of diverse backgrounds, ranging in age from nine to 97, You’re the Only One I Can Tell gets to the heart of women’s friendships – how they work or fail, how they help or hurt and how we can make them better.

Add the book to your summer reading list and join us for a Watermark evening with Deborah and those closest to you!

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What Women Want – and Why You Want Women – in the Workplace: Watermark and CCL White Paper

Posted By Cathleen Clerkin, PhD, CCL, Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Updated: Monday, July 24, 2017

Note: Our new study with the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®), a global provider of leadership development and research, reveals the powerful influence that women have on workplace cultures – and explores the steps organizations must take to recruit, promote, and retain female talent.

“What Women Want — and Why You Want Women — in the Workplace” by CCL senior researcher Cathleen Clerkin, Ph.D., is now available. Below are the highlights that Cat captured and shared at our Tuesday, July 18 unveiling at Ericsson.

Organizations that don’t realize the importance of women in the workplace are missing out. Besides doubling your talent pool, recruiting women into your organization may also increase your company’s financial performance.

Previous research shows that Fortune 500 companies with the highest representation of women on boards financially outperform companies with the lowest representation of women on boards. Moreover, gender-diverse teams have higher sales and profits compared to male-dominated teams, and a recent Gallup study found that gender-diverse business units have higher average revenue than less diverse business units.

But women in the workplace might do even more than boost the bottom line.

In this study, we found that having more women in the workplace actually makes an organization a better place to work. Our hundreds of survey respondents estimated what percentage of individuals in their workplace were women. Answers ranged from 0–100%, with the average being about 45% (pretty close to the national average).

Having a higher percentage of female talent in an organization predicted:

• More job satisfaction.
• More organizational dedication.
• More meaningful work.
• Less burnout.

Our research shows that companies with more female employees have:


But that’s not all — we found that having more women in the workplace was also positively related to employee engagement and retention. Specifically, when asked why they stay with their current employer, people from organizations with a high percentage of women were more likely to cite positive and meaningful organizational culture, including having:

• Enjoyable work.
• A job that fits well with other areas of their life.
• Opportunities to make a difference.

These new findings persist regardless of participants’ age, industry, organization size, leadership level, ethnicity, and gender.

In fact, while both men and women in our survey responded with this same positive pattern of results, our findings were even stronger for men on some measures — specifically being satisfied with their job, enjoying their work, and not feeling burned out.

For our respondents, having more women in the workplace is associated with positive organizational outcomes for both men and women.

These are just some of the many findings of our latest research report, based on responses from almost 750 leaders and aspiring leaders. Download the full white paper below to dig deeper into our findings about women in the workplace and to learn how your organization can empower female employees and also improve retention, outcome, performance, and happiness for both men and women.

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Leadership Conference Survey Results + Fave Photos and Tweets!

Posted By Mary Thorsby, Sunday, July 16, 2017

Thanks so much, everyone, for attending our Watermark Leadership Conference this past Friday at Intuit's beautiful Building 20. What a wonderful, action-packed day! We so appreciate Intuit and Veritas for sponsoring the event, the expertise of our Emerging Executive Advisory Committee, Social Media Street Team and our  volunteers – and a very special thank you to Elyssa Rae for working with us to ensure that we delivered a spot-on, exciting and worthwhile conference!

Whether you're at the beginning of your career, somewhere in the middle or you've hit the C-Suite, our outstanding speakers and panelists shared content that applies to us all.

Among our survey results:

• "So well organized! I appreciate that it was on a Friday and started a little later (less traffic). Each speaker was terrific! I wrote a page of takeaways."

• "Charmaine McClarie's session was very compelling, and I loved that it interactive. I also enjoyed Daina Middleton's talk about grace vs. grit. It further solidified that it's important to know your own style and flex into the other when needed – self awareness is key here."

• "I particularly loved the workshop by Charmaine McClaire as it helped me come up with action items for myself to become a better leader and gain more confidence. I hope to see more workshops similar to this."

• "The speakers were outstanding, and I really enjoyed meeting other professional women. I'm a new mother, so I found this environment very supportive."

• "Watermark did an excellent job of showcasing women at varying levels of their careers. From registration to the cocktail reception, this conference was so well planned and organized. Kudos to the event planning team! Excellent job!"

If you attended the conference and haven't yet completed our survey, please take a moment to do so now.

And as part of Watermark's commitment to supporting girls' leadership programs, we are pleased to donate a portion of our conference proceeds to Girls Who Code!

We'll post event video shortly. In the meantime, enjoy our Facebook Live speaker interviews and keynote coverage on our Facebook page – and, below, a few of our favorite tweets (you'll find more by searching Twitter for @wtrmrk and #LeadOn):


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We're Ready for Your Nominations

Posted By Mary Thorsby, Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Who Are The Women (and Men!) Who've Made Their Mark?

Watermark is currently accepting nominations for our 2017 Make Your Mark (MYM) Awards. Entries will be accepted online only through Monday, July 31.

The MYM Awards are open to all professional women – and we even have an award for men!

Our award categories:

• Connection Award: A woman who connects women (and men)
• Development Award: A woman who helps develop women
• Advocacy Award: A woman who advocates for the advancement of women
• Bill Campbell Award: A "Man Who Gets It"
• Impact Award: A company that demonstrates a commitment to advancing women

Click Here to Submit Your Nomination

You may recall last year's fantastic winners:

Lauren Diehl of Oracle: Connection Award
Ana Corrales of Google / Nest: Development Award
Susan Lovegren of AppDynamics: Advocacy Award
Intuit: Impact Award
Gordy Davidson of Fenwick & West: Bill Campbell (Man Who Gets It) Award
Bindu Garapaty of Juniper Networks: Watermark Emerging Executive of the Year
Julie Brush of Solutus Legal Search: Watermark Senior Executive of the Year

Who else has created such an indelible legacy? Submit your nomination today.

Deadline: Monday, July 31

Mark Your Calendars: Our Make Your Mark Awards are set for Wednesday, Nov. 1, at the Hyatt Regency Burlingame, featuring keynote speaker Libby Schaaf, Mayor, Oakland. Purchase your ticket to the event and to the VIP reception beforehand.

Questions? Please send an email to: events@wearewatermark.org.

Make Your Mark

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Authentically Bindu

Posted By Colette Marcellin, Thursday, June 29, 2017

by Colette Marcellin
Watermark Intern

Meet Bindu Garapaty (right), a leader in marketing talent and leadership development at Juniper Networks and co-founder and CEO of The Happy Leader, LLC.

Bindu holds a doctorate degree in clinical psychology and is always encouraging and exploring the various aspects of what authentic leadership looks like. Bindu's belief system is deeply shaped by her Indian culture and philosophy. She believes that authenticity and the meaning of the “true self” is “the integrity and alignment of your body, your mind and your soul.”

Bindu joined Watermark in 2012 after moving to the Bay Area and became a member of Watermark’s Emerging Executive Advisory Council in 2014. She co-leads the South Bay Women Like Us Network, and was honored last fall with the Emerging Executive of the Year award at Watermark's Make Your Mark Awards.

She describes the first Watermark events she attended as “eye-opening experiences” that offered authenticity and candor about the challenges that women face in the Silicon Valley.

In her webinar, Authentically You, set for 10-11 a.m., Wednesday, July 5, Bindu will explain the concepts of the true self and the false self and explore where the authentic self begins and where the false self emerges. The webinar will incorporate exercises and questions that Bindu considers important for women to understand, including how to decide when you want to be authentic, to what degree you reveal your authenticity and the appropriate context.

With the mixed messages women receive regarding authenticity and the need to adapt to different contexts, Bindu finds that “defining a context and assessing your environment is important, as you start to build trust with your peers, you feel more comfortable revealing your true sense of self, especially as leaders. Authentic leadership incorporates our values, pushes us out of our comfort zone and challenges us to answer the age-old question, ‘Who am I?’”

Ultimately, Bindu says authenticity means, “keeping it real and knowing what is right for you.”

Curious about when Bindu knows she’s being her most authentic self? Here's what she told us:

1. “When I’m with my kids. There’s something about being with young children that creates a sense of psychological safety – they accept us unconditionally.”
2. “When I’m surrounded by people I trust immensely and who will accept me for the vulnerabilities I bring to the table.”
3. “When I’m living my truth and there is alignment with my head, my heart and my gut.”

Join us for the Authentically You webinar and learn more about how to be your best, most authentic self through Bindu’s experiences, insights and strategies.

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Q2 Watermark Message from Marlene

Posted By Mary Thorsby, Wednesday, June 28, 2017

An Incredible Momentum
is Moving Us Forward

by Marlene Williamson

There's no doubt about it: The incredible momentum from the Women’s March and our Watermark Conference for Women earlier this year continues to grow at an exciting pace. Every day, it seems, we learn about a new organization or coalition dedicated to gender parity, and we're seeing the positive change that occurs when enough good people combine their ideas and voices.

Paradigm for Parity and CEO Action for D&I
One such strong pairing is our new alliance with Paradigm for Parity (P4P) – a coalition of CEOs, senior executives, founders, board members and business academics who are committed to women and men sharing equal power, status and opportunity. Our ultimate goal: achieve full gender parity by 2030, with a near-term goal of women holding at least 30% of senior roles.

P4P’s Five-Point Roadmap calls for CEOs and business leaders to:

• Minimize or Eliminate Unconscious Bias
• Significantly Increase the Number of Women in Senior Operating Roles
• Measure Targets at Every Level and Communicate Progress and Results Regularly
• Base Career Progress on Business Results and Performance, Not on Presence
• Identify Women of Potential and Give Them Sponsors as Well as Mentors

At Watermark, we partner with our sponsor companies, delivering our guidance, expertise and customized leadership development programs, to help them achieve these very steps. We encourage all companies, especially our sponsors, to sign the P4P pledge, indicating their true commitment to gender parity.

Our first signer is Watermark’s own board member Shellye Archambeau, CEO, MetricStream. Is your company ready to sign the P4P pledge? If so, send me an email and I’ll help you get started.

We’re also excited to align with CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion, a new coalition of CEOs who are asking companies to take a pledge for parity that includes gender, race and orientation. The more organizations working toward parity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace, the better. Watermark is here to support them all.

And that includes companies struggling to create the proper workplace culture. We see these kinds of instances as opportunities for Watermark to help companies do better. You can read my thoughts on the Uber shakeup in this recent San Jose Mercury News article by Marisa Kendall.

Sold-Out Events and Expanding Our Reach
The momentum has definitely carried over to our programs. Our Watermark Conference for Women made the Top 100 Events in San Francisco list (under Trade Shows & Conventions) for the second year in a row, edging out HempCon 420 Freedom Festival and the Bay Area Tattoo Convention – now that’s some impressive competition! Our next Watermark Conference is set for Feb. 23, 2018. Tickets will go on sale later this year.

Our conference is one of the more than 50 events we hold each year. If you missed our sold-out Innovation Conference, or our evenings with Sallie Krawcheck, Ching Valdezco, Rachael O’Meara or Kim Scott, you’ll find the videos on our YouTube channel. Please subscribe!

Last Tuesday’s How to be Heard in a World that Interrupts Women with Dr. Miluna Fausch was such a special evening hosted by DLA Piper, with the Q&A covering so many challenges that we all face. You can read the recap on our blog.

And, of course, our Women Like Us (WLU) Network continues to grow. In fact, we’ve added a new WLU in Marin. We hope you'll join us there Tuesday, July 11 – or that same night at our Peninsula WLU. Our East Bay WLU is Thursday, July 13. Our South Bay and San Francisco WLUs are coming up in August. These are excellent opportunities to get to know Watermark women who live or work near you.

Join Us for More

Also coming up: Our Friday, July 14 Leadership Conference at Intuit, which combines engaging and inspirational speakers with diverse, interactive panels and sessions. Learn more about leadership, and yourself, at this very special conference. Seating is limited and the conference close to selling out, so RSVP today to ensure your spot!

And we’ve got Authentically YOU with Bindu Garapaty on July 5, What Women Want – and Why You Want Women – in the Workplace on July 18, Joann Lublin on Sept. 7, our Entrepreneur Conference on Oct. 17 and our Make Your Mark Awards on Nov. 1 featuring Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. Make Your Mark nominations are now open! We invite you to submit the names of those you think are most deserving of our signature awards.

On top of that, we hope you’ll join us Sept. 29-Oct. 1 for our Watermark Weekend for Women at 1440 Multiversity. Bring a friend and enjoy hiking, yoga, farm-to-table meals and some excellent leadership development sessions with Watermark facilitator Abigail Stason – all at a beautiful resort in the Santa Cruz mountains.

Use Watermark at the promo code for 20% off. But RSVP soon – the code expires July 7.

We have many, many more upcoming events. Be sure to visit our website regularly – we add new events and content on a regular basis.

Let's Make the Momentum Work for You
I always like to remind our members: Watermark is here for you in good times and in bad. We support you on your way up – and we’re here for you during those inevitable career setbacks that we all have faced. Let us hear how we’re doing – and what more we can do to support your success.

Here’s to a great first half of 2017 – let’s keep the momentum going.


Best regards,

Marlene Williamson

CEO, Watermark

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Upcoming Women Like Us (WLU) Events

Posted By Mary Thorsby, Monday, June 26, 2017

NEW! 6-8 p.m., Tuesday, July 11 Marin WLU, The Hivery RSVP
5:30-7:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 11 Peninsula WLU
, Perkins Coie RSVP
5:30-7:30 p.m., Thursday, July 13 East Bay WLU
, Future State RSVP

Use the RSVP links above to register.

Ready for some mid-year networking and making new connections? Watermark's popular Women Like Us (WLU) events are continuing to grow and expand, offering valuable networking opportunities where you can connect with other Watermark women who live or work near you – and enjoy some nice wines and hors d'oeuvres while you're at it.

And new this summer: We've added a WLU for Marin! If you live or work near Mill Valley, be sure to stop in at The Hivery, a collaborative and creative coworking space where women can pursue their work, passions, ideas and what's next. You'll meet Grace Kraaijvanger, founder of The Hivery, and mix and mingle with members of The Hivery Circle.

WLUs are open to all Watermark members. Non-members are welcome to attend up to two WLUs before deciding on membership.

Join us – we'd love to see you!

Questions? Send us an email, and we'll get right back to you.

What Watermark Women Are Saying About Our WLUs

"I meet the most interesting women at our WLUs. Great conversations among a very welcoming group of professional women. I highly recommend the WLUs to any members and potential members."

Indigo Ocean Dutton
Awaken, LLC


"WLUs provide an easy way to connect with other Bay Area women leaders. I have learned so much from our meaningful conversations about our challenges and successes – it's helped me become a better leader in my business."

Elizabeth Dean
TM Financial Forensics, LLC
San Francisco WLU Co-Lead

"Attending WLUs has fulfilled something I was really craving – connection with other business women I can relate to. I've met so many inspiring and enjoyable women at these events and have made valuable connections for my business."

Joie Seldon
Executive, Leadership & Emotional Intelligence Coaching

"I love attending the WLU events. Since the focus of the evening is on networking and getting to know one another, I find that you have more time to spend engaging in fruitful conversation with members and guests!"

Allison Padilla


"I have been to several WLUs and have always felt welcome – never having awkward moments where you don’t know anyone at first. There are always interesting conversations to join and interesting women to meet."

Jackie Kleinman
KB Financial Advisors

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Watermark Sponsor Thank You Do Recap

Posted By Mary Thorsby, Friday, June 23, 2017
Updated: Monday, June 26, 2017
Photos by Michele Nur
What a great evening! A special thanks to everyone for coming to our Watermark Thank You Do. And for those who couldn't join us – we missed you!

Special thanks, too, to our friends at Nest Labs and CCL. Such a beautiful setting for excellent presentations and rolling up our sleeves to brainstorm what leadership could – and should – look like as we all move forward.

Our survey responses indicated that you thought the event was a valuable use of your time. Among your favorite experiences:

  • "Hearing different perspectives. Thinking about the difficult questions we tend to shy away from ordinarily."
  • "It was thought-provoking to hear and talk about what we would like to see in the world to support women leaders. We still have a lot of work ahead."
  • "Great to see so many people who are passionate about women in leadership."

Among the many commitments we're making:

  • "Commit to myself not to conform, but to see the value in using my voice."
  • "Think about how I can initiate more female partnerships and conversations."
  • "Be more intentional about creating spaces to promote other women and their perspectives."
  • "Connect with three new people I met today."

And our favorite:

  • "Attend another Watermark event this year."

Sponsor Toolkit Follow Up
As we continue to refine our Sponsor Toolkit, we'd like to remind our Watermark sponsors to email Kate the names of those you've identified as admins and sponsor leads. We'll then give them special access to the toolkit and we'll set up toolkit on-boarding calls to customize your group page.

What Women Want: Join Us July 18 for More!
If you'd like to hear the full results of our "What Women Want" survey, plan to join us for What Women Want – and Why You Want More Women – in the Workplace, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 18, at Ericsson. CCL's Cathleen Clerkin will be back to share her findings and provide actionable steps that will ensure your workplace is one where your female talent can grow, thrive and excel in their careers – and boost your bottom line. We'd love to see you there.

Paradigm for Parity Reminder
If your company is ready to sign the Paradigm for Parity pledge that Watermark CEO Marlene Williamson referred to in her opening remarks, please email her and she'll provide you with more information. We hope all Watermark sponsors will sign the pledge.

Watermark Weekend for Women
And we hope you will join us at our Watermark Weekend for Women at 1440 Multiversity, Sept. 29-Oct. 1, in the beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains. Use Watermark as the promo code for a 20% discount. Along with hiking, yoga, great food and adult beverages, we'll gain valuable new insights via Abigail Stason's popular Conscious Leader presentation and workshop.

Again, many thanks for such a special evening. Please let us know if you have any follow-up questions!

In the meantime, have a look at our favorite tweets!

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How to be Heard in a World that Interrupts Women Recap

Posted By Mary Thorsby, Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, June 28, 2017

We certainly struck a chord with this topic! Our How to be Heard in a World that Interrupts Women #LeadOn Workshop with Dr. Miluna Fausch was a great success! The audience packed the room at DLA Piper, Tuesday, June 20. Many thanks to Monica Phillips for hosting us, to the folks who stepped up for Miluna's "laser coaching," to our volunteers (especially those from DeWinter Group!) and to all of you for joining us for such a special evening.

How about that amazing Q&A session? Among Miluna's "be heard" tips:
  • Your real job when giving presentations is to be in the present moment – in your body, out of your head and maintain focus. This is where the magic occurs for you and for your audience. It is not about the PowerPoint. It's about bringing value to the audience.
  • Give yourself time to prepare and practice before a presentation – it's key.
  • Plant your feet and make sure they're lined up, unmoveable and grounded. Speak loudly enough to be heard. Don’t let a big audience intimidate you.
  • Don’t say “sorry” without a valid reason.
  • Breathe fully from the lower belly so you can project to the back of the room – sing from your feet. Your voice has depth, width, height and 3D volume.

And among our survey comments:

  • "Loved the insight on working on my voice."
  • "The speaker's great. Excellent interaction with the audience."
  • "I appreciated the vulnerability and flow of the Q&A."
  • "Very interactive. Allowed opportunity to practice techniques in real time."
  • "Very valuable advice on dealing with day-to-day scenarios. Highly interactive session."

Another great Watermark evening. We'll post video shortly. In the meantime, here are a few of our favorite tweets:


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Members on the Move

Posted By Mary Thorsby, Monday, June 19, 2017
Updated: Thursday, June 22, 2017

Week of June 19

Along with her awesome new newsletter, Above the Bottom Line, Watermark Board Member Nikita T. Mitchell, Senior Manager, Strategy and Planning, Cisco, is featured in a Nicole Antoinette podcast titled Making an Impact and Running Toward Fear. In this episode, Nikita shares stories from business school and from being a woman in the corporate workplace. Nikita and Nicole talk about the role of money in both art and activism, and about the fact that women often struggle with the ability to openly ask for the money they need to do the work they're doing. Congrats, Nikita!

And Watermark Board Member Cindy Solomon is raising the #allmalepanel red flag with a LinkedIn post. She’s invited to an upcoming LIMRA conference – and there’s not a woman scheduled to speak on the main stage. Cindy asks, incredulously: “Women don’t sell or buy financial products?” Weigh in with a comment. The more we remind event planners about the importance of diversity among presenters, the better.

Watermark Emerging Executive Advisory Committee Member Bindu Garapaty of Juniper Networks was featured on a Tapping Your Talent's Authenticity panel at a Harvard Business Publishing's The Power of Authentic Leadership conference earlier this month. Bindu is quite the expert in authenticity. Don't miss her Authentically YOU webinar, 10-11 a.m., Wednesday July 5. Great job, Bindu!

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