The 2022 Women|Future Conference Highlights

The fifth annual Women|Future Conference brought together hundreds of ambitious, forward-thinking women across industries and career stages to connect and discuss key issues that impact their industries, careers, and lives.

The agenda featured more than 25 discussion panels and breakout sessions hosted by 80+ women CEOs, founders, small business owners, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, coaches, and executives from organizations such as Accenture, Goldman Sachs, Hilton, IBM, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Nestle, T-Mobile, and others. 

Attendees gained powerful insights to help them in their professional and personal lives through sessions ranging from entrepreneurship to workplace diversity, mental health, overcoming imposter syndrome, how to think like an investor, social media best practices, and more. 

The #WomenFuture22 agenda was divided into seven tracks: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Entrepreneurship, Future of Work, Leadership, Marketing, Personal Development, and Technology.

The Opening Keynote 

Rashmi Verma, Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion at HUGO BOSS, was the 2022 Opening Keynote Speaker.

HUGO BOSS is one of the leading companies in the premium segment of the global apparel market, employing 13,800 individuals representing 112 nationalities. As the Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Rashmi develops creative methods to increase team engagement while establishing an inclusive culture across the company globally.

Keeping with our tradition of past Stevie® Award winners keynoting the conference, HUGO BOSS is a multiple-time Stevie winner in the Stevie® Awards for Great Employers for COVID Response and HR Achievement in 2019 and 2020. 

In her Women|Future Conference Keynote, “Dream Big & Chase It,” Rashmi shared how she navigated these work and life challenges, including managing cultural differences and experiences, and ways to carve out possibilities and dreams along the way.

Rashmi’s life and career have spanned continents. She grew up in India in a conventional family yet managed to excel in the tech industry. She started her career working for

 General Electric (GE) where she led and drove multiple high-profile strategy projects within various GE businesses. She also launched her own business recently called YogaDaan, a charitable organization that offers yoga classes to raise money for a school for the underprivileged and differently abled children in India.

Rashmi walked attendees through this journey, explaining how she navigated through each challenge that brought her to where she is today.

Top Attended Sessions From the Week​

Throughout the three-day conference, Women|Future Conference attendees heard sessions about business networking, work-life balance, wealth attraction, overcoming adversity, mentorship, and more. 

Below were the top conference sessions at #WomenFuture22:

  • Building Your Community of Mentors
  • Find Your Voice: Insider Secrets from Seasoned Speakers
  • Dream Big & Chase It!
  • Think Like An Investor: How to Get the Funding You Deserve
  • Resilient Leadership in a Changing Business Landscape
  • The Ever-Changing World of Social Media

On Tuesday, November 8, in the opening session “Building Your Community of Mentors,” speakers shared  their stories and wisdom on how to find a mentor, types of mentors, creating a community of mentorship, and getting the most from a mentor relationship—whether as the mentor or mentee. 

Brenda Jimenez, Chief Executive Officer of MENTOR (New York, NY), noted that “one in three individuals in this country grow up without a mentor.” She said we need to step up for those younger women, but the onus is also on young professionals to seek out mentors and maintain the relationship. 

Brenda acknowledged that there is a cultural aspect around asking for help, and some may feel like they are seeking a mentor out of weakness, to which she asserted: “When you’re asking for a mentor, you’re asking for an additional superpower to the superpowers you already have.” This superpower, though, is contingent on the mentee’s attitude and openness. The mentor relationship must be built on trust and integrity on both sides if women hope to have their mentor go the extra mile for them:

“For someone to activate their social capital, they have to value not only who you are but trust that you’re going to be a good steward of that relationship that they’re activating on your behalf, so you have to be authentic–you have to be very clear on what you’re moving toward and you have to show up with dignity, integrity, and authenticity.”

Director of Brand Personality at Hilton, Whitney Knight, MBA, shared another type of mentor relationship she initiated with her close friend and fellow business woman. “I have a mentor who serves as my accountability partner. We were friends for over a decade before we said we’d like to have more conversations about our careers. We started having dedicated time together each month to focus on what are you doing this month, what are the challenges you’re having and maybe I can help.”

Brenda reiterated: “The magic sauce is the relationship, and that’s always complex because relationships themselves take time and evolution.” No matter the type of mentor relationship, she encouraged attendees to reflect on their needs and bring their authentic selves to networking and mentorship relationships.

In another popular panel session on Wednesday, speakers discussed “Strategic Storytelling: Advertising and PR Tactics for Your Business.” The conversation centered around storytelling as it relates to a company value proposition as well as individuals’ personal story and brand.

Research shows that, when people are in storytelling mode, their brains are in a different space where they are more likely to receive and remember information. “When you have your own story and when you own that, people pay attention….There is a way to create commonality in a room of diverse people and beliefs through that storytelling,” noted Star Bobatoon, Business Storytelling Coach and Founder of Own Your Stage Training.

Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Why Group Inc., and Ciara Ungar Coaching & Consulting, Ciara Ungar shared that businesses and individuals often need to take a step back and really reflect on their core purpose. “People can feel how authentic you’re being. You’re always performing….If you’re not understanding that first ‘why,’ then it will be hard to deliver that authenticity and form a true connection.”

Star explained that we need to adjust our thought habits to draw from our authentic self: “Because we are so often making ourselves small and taking the back seat, we are not comfortable sharing the wonderful things about us, and that starts to become normalized within us….The way we live our lives is a result of the stories we believe about ourselves…there is the story that we are repeating inside our minds all the time and that story is directing our work,” she said.

Women-Owned Business Pitch Competition

The third annual Women-Owned Business Pitch Competition at the Women|Future Conference provided a platform for five women-owned businesses to compete for a chance to win funding. Pitch Competition finalists included Equability, Good Mood Treats, The Village App, Tiny Fish Co., and XpertPatient, LLC.

During this live, “Shark Tank”-style competition on November 9, a panel of judges and attendees watched each finalist present a three-minute pitch and then answer questions from the judges about their business model, target market, and operations strategy. 

Judges ultimately determined that Equability was the winner, an online clothing modification service for individuals with disabilities. It was launched in 2020 after their research had identified lack of adaptive clothing as a barrier to social and professional participation. Equability gives people the ability to conveniently modify clothes to suit their style and lifestyle.

Founder and CEO, Hilary Pham, won a $5,500 cash prize funded by the Stevie Awards and Autumn Consulting, LLC, as well as a certification from Certify My Company (a $4,800 value).

 

Access the 2022 Conference Sessions On-Demand

Did you miss this year’s conference? You can register to watch the replays of over 25 panels, workshops, including our opening keynote for just $39.

On-demand attendees will have access to the 2022 virtual Women|Future Conference platform through November 2023. The platform includes three days of sessions and lists of speakers, attendees, and sponsors that participated in #WomenFuture22.

Special Thanks to Our 2022 Sponsors and Partners​

We are proud to partner with the following publications, media outlets, and organizations that share our mission in supporting women in business. 

 If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities for the 2023 Women|Future Conference, sign up here to get notified of the 2023 prospectus release.

Autumn’s Coaching

Autumn’s Coaching empowers women to find their inner knowing. There are times in life when we have an opportunity for growth. Sometimes this happens during a transition in life, such as relationship changes, a new decade older, or a job gain or loss. Sometimes, it is because you are just ready to change your life. Autumn’s Coaching helps women connect with their essential selves so they can hear their own wise voices. Autumn does this by giving her clients the tools to work through the obstacles so that they can once again find joy in life.

Executive Women

Executive Women is a global platform constantly portraying inspiring and innovative women entrepreneurs, who have the emotional strength and intelligence enabling them to change the face of business by fearlessly daring to pursue their dreams. We are on a mission to equip women with the know-how to thrive as entrepreneurs, and we offer our community the latest managerial articles, inspirational stories, leadership skills and so much more.

Rashmi Verma

Rashmi’s life and career have spanned continents. She grew up in India in a conventional family yet managed to excel in the tech industry. She started her career working for General Electric (GE) where she led and drove multiple high-profile strategy projects within various GE businesses. Rashmi paused her career around 2008 to focus on raising her son. The family moved to Germany soon after, and Rashmi navigated the difficult task of raising her child in a strange country with a drastically different culture and language. Rashmi spent the next 10 years at SAP, a German multinational software company, serving in multiple positions of increasingly higher levels of responsibility. During this time, she expanded her personal and professional networks in Germany and pivoted to her current role at HUGO BOSS. As the Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Rashmi develops creative methods to increase team engagement while establishing an inclusive culture across the company globally. But being a mother and holding a high-level role at a global fashion giant were not enough; Rashmi also launched her own business recently. YogaDaan is a charitable organization that offers yoga classes to raise money for a school for the underprivileged and differently abled children in India.

Freelance Life Magazine

Freelance Life Magazine is dedicated to publishing up-to-date information for freelancers and solopreneurs. On our website freelancelifemagazine.com, you can find the latest freelance news, tips for freelancers, articles on psychology, suggestions for a freelance lifestyle, as well as personal stories and interviews. Find new articles every week and stay informed.

BOBA CHiC®

BOBA CHiC® is a brand Celebrating Humanism in Committing oneself to the taste of life and a brand aiming at blending tea, taste, and a twist of cultures. The birth of BOBA CHiC starts with the conception of Build Optimism! Boost Achievement! and Celebrate Humanism in Commitment (to life), hence the acronymous BOBA CHiC in English and the transliteration of CHiC in Mandarin Chinese xuke ‘to commit (yourself to the taste of life)’, hence the Chinese 徐可波, a blending of 許可 ‘commitment’ and-波霸(茶) ‘boba (tea)’. BOBA CHiC embraces commitment to the taste of one’s own life and encourages everyone with “ MY CHIC! MY RULE!”. BOBA CHiC commits to making the West meet the East by twisting the refined local taste of Taiwanese tea and the renowned boba pearls with the western milk and caramel. The harmonious taste at BOBA CHiC symbolizes the harmony of the globe beyond the barriers of languages, ages, and cultures.

Professional Woman’s Magazine

Professional Woman’s Magazine (PWM) is the premier resource magazine dedicated to the advancement of multi-cultural diverse women. PWM provides and informs cutting edge concepts and is the link between the qualified students, career & business candidates, educational institutions, corporate America, and the federal government. Website: https://professionalwomanmag.com/

PR Newswire, a Cision Ltd. Company

PR Newswire, a Cision Ltd. company (NYSE: CISN), is a leading global provider of news distribution and earned media software and services.  In conjunction with Cision’s cloud-based communications product suite, PR Newswire's services enable marketers, corporate communicators, and investor relations officers to identify key influencers, engage target audiences, craft and distribute strategic content, and measure meaningful impact.  Combining the world's largest multi-channel, multi-cultural content dissemination network with comprehensive workflow tools and platforms, PR Newswire powers the stories of organizations around the world. PR Newswire serves tens of thousands of clients from offices in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific regions.

Women Entrepreneurs Inc.

Featured in Forbes, Women Entrepreneurs Inc. is the membership that makes women entrepreneurs #VISIBLE through speaking, partnership, press, and award opportunities. Discover the real ROI of #womenhelpingwomen by becoming a member, speaker, or partner. Website: https://womenentrepreneursinc.com/

March8

March8 is an inspiring and informative community of women executives, entrepreneurs, professionals and overachievers. March8 recognizes, celebrates and champions the achievements and contributions made by women in both business and society. Our community offers practical and compelling career, financial and lifestyle resources to help women take their careers to the next level and achieve a work-life balance. Website: March8.com

Enterprising Women

Enterprising Women is a print and digital magazine designed to help women entrepreneurs grow and scale their businesses to the next level. It is a vibrant community of women-owned businesses, many of whom have more than one million in annual revenues, who share best practices and support each other's growth. Now in its 22nd year, the company also hosts the annual Enterprising Women of the Year Awards where the world's top women entrepreneurs are recognized for fast-growth revenues, leadership in their communities, and mentorship of other women or girls. A sister nonprofit, The Enterprising Women Foundation, hosts the Young Enterprising Women Mentoring Forum Program at high schools across the U.S. and Canada. Learn more at www.enterprisingwomen.com and www.enterprisingwomenfoundation.org

Luxurious Web Design

Luxurious Web Design is a modern forward thinking company that creates clean luxurious websites that are loaded with plenty of advanced features. We offer 360° solutions for you and your business. Our strategy, design, and development deliverables are curated support one goal: creating a valuable, impactful experience for the user. We create proprietary solutions that connect deeply with your target audience’s needs, and inspire not just affection, but action.

Lindsey Brill
Marketing & Event Coordinator

Lindsey assists in the coordination and marketing efforts that surround the Women|Future Conference. She is passionate about the conference's mission to connect and empower women in business from all walks of life. Lindsey began her event planning career at Clemson University where she received a Bachelor of Science in Marketing. Over the past five years, her love for event marketing and coordination has blossomed as she has gained valuable experience in the hotel, hospitality and corporate industry. In her free time, she enjoys photography, relaxing on the water and playing with her puppy, Sonny!

Alissa Soriano
Digital Marketing & Design Specialist

Alissa is responsible for creating graphics and visual elements for the Stevie Awards and the Women|Future Conference, as well as managing digital marketing efforts. From brochures and social media images to advertising campaigns, Alissa prioritizes professionalism and clarity. Previously, Alissa spent time as a Design Manager and Marketing Coordinator in the hospitality and nonprofit industries. Alissa is certified in Social Marketing and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts.

Michael Gallagher
Executive Chairman

Michael Gallagher’s career reflects his passion for recognizing achievement across the diverse spectrum of business. To honor the millions of business executives and workers worldwide who quietly accomplish innovative and extraordinary things in the workplace every day, Michael founded the Stevie® Awards in 2002. In 2018, he started the Women|Future Conference in conjunction with the already successful Stevie Awards for Women in Business program to give high achieving women a place to come together, share ideas, and network. Michael’s commitment to honoring excellence was sparked during his tenure as Vice President of The New York Festivals, organizer of the some of the world’s largest international awards competitions for film, television, advertising, and other media. Under his leadership from 1982 to 1988, The New York Festivals significantly expanded its global influence by adding new awards competitions in fields such as radio and print advertising. Michael holds a bachelor of arts from Fordham University in New York City and a master of business administration from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

Maggie Gallagher Miller
President

Maggie has been with the Stevie Awards organization for eight years and is thrilled with how much the Women|Future Conference has grown, even through the hardships of COVID-19. She is passionate about equal opportunities for women and encouraging change and diversity in all industries, especially those that have been male-dominated. At the Stevie Awards Maggie oversees all marketing, event, and HR efforts. Though the Stevie Awards is approaching it’s 20 year anniversary, the creation of the Women|Future Conference has led to increased collaboration and learning opportunities that were untapped in prior years. Maggie received her Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and Political Communications from James Madison University and received her Master of Business Administration from George Mason University. In her free time she enjoys running, playing with her dog Samoa, comedy, bargain shopping, keeping up with politics, and trying new restaurants.

Nina Moore
Director of Marketing & Communications

Nina is responsible for creating and implementing marketing strategies that set the vision and evolution of the Women|Future Conference and Stevie Awards programs. Her expertise in content writing, event planning, campaign management, and social media has positioned her as the full-stack Marketer for the Women|Future Conference. Her insight has influenced the growth of the Women|Future Conference over the past year and its transition from in-person to virtual. Before the Stevie Awards, Nina spent five years in the technology services industry in various marketing and event management roles- helping to scale a global IT partner. Nina is passionate about the conference mission of women helping other women succeed in all areas of life. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, tennis, golf, and spending quality time with her husband and dog. Nina graduated from Muhlenberg College with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Marketing.

Ruslana Milikhiker
Senior Manager, Events

Ruslana manages the Women|Future Conference from planning to execution. From agenda framework and speaker management, to sponsorship sales and live-streaming the virtual event, there is no task Ruslana can’t handle. Bringing over six years of event planning expertise to the Stevie Awards, Ruslana is dedicated to producing a memorable experience, every time. Transitioning the Women|Future Conference from in-person to virtual has been a fun challenge for Ruslana and her team, and has set the precedent for future successful events. Ruslana has produced events in all industries, and is particularly passionate about this conference as it helps women progress in both their personal and professional lives, while connecting them with an international community. As a first generation American, Ruslana is empowered by the connections that are made across borders. In her free time, Ruslana enjoys traveling, exploring the foodie scene, reading mysteries and thrillers, and spending time with her family and friends (especially at a winery!). Ruslana is Certified in Exhibition Management, holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Maryland, Global Campus.