Soroptimist International of Waikīkī Foundation, Inc.
Wahine Forum
Wahine Forum

Wahine Forum

This year for the first time I had the privilege of attending the Wahine Forum, Hawaiʻi’s largest leadership and career development conference for women. You could feel the undeniable power of that many women all in one place, a shared energy connecting executives, entrepreneurs, up-and-coming leaders, and young professionals. I thought I would share some advice I received from the experience.

  • Build your own diverse “board of directors” – a circle of trusted advisors who challenge and champion you, who tell you the kind truth and help you check your blind spots. This happens to be one of the side effects of being a Soroptimist! Besides the inspiring women and girls we support through our programs, I am also grateful to have our members to look up to and admire as role models and mentors.
  • Listen to your own voice. Pick out the valuable nuggets amidst the noise and let go of feedback that does not serve you, whether it comes from others or yourself. There is a cost of doing big things, but you can receive feedback graciously and act on it visibly.
  • As a leader, cultivate a culture where there is a demand for feedback in order to grow. Giving feedback to someone means appreciation for them and recognition of their accomplishments, not their identity. Check your motive before giving feedback. As the saying goes, “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”
  • It’s not in your head. Patriarchal, racist, biased systems make us anxious. Understand how anxiety shows up for you, for example: micromanaging, overwork, hypervigilance, perfectionism, “fortressing”, imposter syndrome, catastrophizing, etc. Recognize the patterns of untrue thoughts so ingrained that they arise automatically to ensnare us. Control what you can. Claim the space between stimulus and response. Practice listening… and then do nothing.

As the saying goes, “Every system is perfectly designed to get the result that it does.” As Soroptimists, we not only mentor women and girls; it is so important that we sponsor women and girls. Thank you all for never losing sight of our mission and for supporting each other along the way.

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