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Day two of the Multicultural Women's National Conference brought another round of valuable messages to and from women across all fields. I was especially impressed by Maritza Montiel, the Vice Chairman and Deputy CEO of Deloitte.
Maritza's advice to women in the room? Find your passion. As a young girl, Maritza had wanted to be a doctor, but when the holidays came around, her brother was given a doctor’s costume while she was given a nurse's. She didn’t become a doctor, but she does love where she ended up instead! She recommended that women exploit and celebrate who they are, knowing that they are special, and take risks to help them continue to grow. She also shared a belief that who you work for is more important than your role. Sound advice for women in any profession.
A Trailblazers Panel followed, moderated by Gwen Houston (the Global Diversity & Inclusion Manager of Microsoft). Maritza was accompanied by Susan Jin Davis (Comcast's VP of Strategic Services) and Edith Hunt (Goldman Sachs's Advisory Director). All three women were candid and to the point. I asked them how they see women sabotaging themselves at work. They replied that women frequently don’t ask their managers for what they want, and can often be too quick to apologize. Women also allow that self-critical “inside voice” to become the “outside voice,” when sometimes those doubts are better kept inside.
Soledad O’Brien issued a keynote to cap the awards luncheon. She encouraged women to take a stand and let their voices be heard (amen!). What a great day—thanks to all involved!