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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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Q3 Watermark Webinars

Posted By Mary Thorsby, Sunday, June 11, 2017

If professional development continues to be part of your 2017 career plan – and we bet it does – 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 as your monthly Lunch and Learn. Or access them later – anytime, anywhere. Just register below beforehand, and we'll send you links and passwords to the recordings.

All webinars are free to Watermark members, and $30 for non-members, so please be sure to take advantage of them. Here's what we have lined up for the next few months:

Wednesday, July 5
Authentically YOU with Bindu Garapaty


Have you ever been compelled to respond in a certain way or held back a reaction because it was not the appropriate time or place? Have there been times when your head, heart and intuition were not aligned? This is the dance between the false and true self.

In this webinar, Bindu Garapaty will address how our false and true selves are developed and deepened. We will explore the value and the purpose of knowing which ‘self’ surfaces and identify practical skills to integrate our reactions and experiences. You will walk away from this webinar with a strategy to identify your most authentic self, have greater insights into your leadership character and embrace the authentic YOU.

Visit Bindu's website, connect with her on LinkedIn and follow her at @BinduGarapaty.

Wednesday, Aug. 2
Successfully Managing Challenging or Difficult People, One Opportunity at a Time with Marvell Allen


There’s no question about it: We are all human, and there will come a time when we will experience interactions with challenging or difficult people, both in the workplace and in our personal lives.

In the workplace, difficult people can create a negative environment, impede team progress on projects and reduce employee engagement and motivation. In our personal lives with friends and families, they can be disruptive to our family structure and create tension that often surfaces over and over again.

In this webinar, Marvell Allen will review a few reasons why people can be difficult in the workplace and several ways you can begin to have control in your interactions with these team members or colleagues.

Visit Marvell's website, connect with her on LinkedIn and follow her at @MarvellCAllen.

Wednesday, Sept. 6
Stepping Up Your Success Strategy with Jennifer Blair


You’ve got one quarter left in the year. Are you where you want to be in your career? Your life? Are you achieving the goals you set at the beginning of the year, and if not, what will it take to end your year on a high note? Join Life Coach Jennifer Blair as she helps you identify what’s working and not working, and then strategically gives you the tools to move forward to achieve what you want. 

In this webinar, Jennifer will help you:

  • Identify your 2017 accomplishments to date
  • Define what success will look like at the end of the year
  • Prioritize inspired action items and your workload to move you forward
  • Use strategic leadership techniques to step up your game
  • Help you find ways to boldly move through what blocks you or holds you back
  • Communicate your brand
  • Claim your success and value

End the year on an excellent note – and ace your annual review!

Visit Excavive.com, connect with Jennifer on LinkedIn and follow her on Facebook.

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July WLUs: Now in Marin!

Posted By Mary Thorsby, Sunday, June 11, 2017

Our Women Like Us (WLU) Networks continue to grow, with a new group starting in Marin! Use the links below to register for our July WLUs:

Tuesday, July 11: Women Like Us – Marin, at The Hivery in Mill Valley
Tuesday, July 11: Women Like Us – Peninsula
, at Perkins Coie in Palo Alto
Thursday, July 13: Women Like Us – East Bay
, at Future State in Oakland

Our Women Like Us (WLU) Networks are valuable Watermark networking opportunities where you can meet other Watermark women who live or work near you. We hope to see you there.

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

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Welcome Colette Marcellin, Our Summer Intern

Posted By Mary Thorsby, Saturday, June 10, 2017

Welcome aboard to Colette Marcellin, our Watermark Marketing and Events Intern for the summer! Many of you met Colette at our June 6 Women Like Us event at Samsung in San Jose. And she has already written a member profile on Dr. Miluna Fausch, below.

Colette is from the Bay Area and attends the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. She is a rising third year student, double majoring in Economics and Political Philosophy, Policy and Law and minoring in Women, Gender and Sexuality.

Colette's greatest passion is connecting with and empowering women, from her campaign experience for female political candidates to her leadership role in One Less, a sexual assault education and prevention group at UVA.

Colette is also interning for Watermark sponsor Juniper Networks this summer – so Juniper employees, keep an eye out for her!

We're excited to have you, Colette!

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