Tracey Mendrek, Executive Vice President

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Womenetics POW! Awards honoring purposeful women in Chicagoland. Womenetics introduces career women to issues that impact, ideas that inspire, individuals that lead and institutions that matter.

It was truly an inspiring group of women and men coming together in support of energetic and dynamic women who were honored for their leadership within their companies and teams, as well as their business units.   This year’s theme, “The Defining Moment,” featured interesting stories from each participant about their defining moment; perhaps as a student, or as a business leader of an entire team, or as a woman at a crossroads in her career. Do you go left or right? But never, ever stay the same.

A few key thoughts stayed with me a week later

– “Bring your whole self to work.” Ilene Lang, former President & CEO, Catalyst (luncheon keynote speaker)

– “As a young, woman leader don’t respond to hate with hate, make positive space for change.”  Sara El-Amine, National Grassroots Organizing Director, Organizing for Action

– “Young women should have global experience. If you don’t work globally, you will work with someone global.”  Kathy Gramling, Principal, Global Client Services Partner EY

Give some thought to your defining moment as you face your next challenge. It doesn’t have to be a dramatic, cataclysmic event, but a moment when you changed your viewpoint, changed your course of action or your attitude.

Mine? Losing my job while I was six months pregnant. Life changing? Completely.  Best thing that ever happened to me? Emphatically, yes and I’ve never looked back.