by Carey-Lee Dixon
We had the opportunity to partner with Jamaica Public Service Company Limited to share our experience at the 2017 Women in Energy Conference.
Women in Energy 2017 which was held March 9-10, 2017 at the Jamaica Pegasus in Kingston with over 500 attendees from Jamaica, the Caribbean and North America where a diverse group of women shared space, connected and inspired each other.
The gathering provided a great opportunity to connect with and engage women who are contributing to their organizations at a higher level. The speakers at Women in Energy never disappoint.
To help you create impact in your own lives and careers, we want to share practical strategies, insights and tips shared at the event to help you and other women build courage and position yourselves as power players. Here are 9 of our key takeaways.
It was an incredible experience to be in the room with of diverse women who are passionate, resilient and motivated to continue working on being the best version of themselves. Being in the room reminded me, the power is in my hands. Here are my takeaways:-
1. Build Your Tribe
For years, I did so much of the work building For Women to Women on my own, I worked in silence, I didn't ask for help. But I have also achieved so much because I cultivated relationships, asked for help or had people who genuinely want to see me win reached out to help me.
A common conversation throughout the conference was cultivating relationships and building an ecosystem whether that is having a mentor, a sponsor, an accountability partner, your girlfriends, your family or people you can trust and will be honest with you when you need it!
2. Stand In Your Light
Every woman who shared their story on stage stood in her light, she was courageous, she knew her purpose and passion. One thing I constantly work on is creating a purpose-filled life (knowing what fulfills me, knowing why I do what I do, knowing what drains me and knowing what my freedom looks and feels like), one that I am proud of - not one that those around me think is best for me but what I know to be true.
One of my greatest takeaway, "When you're standing in your light, sometimes you have to stand alone." - because not everyone around you will understand.
3. Get Out of Your Own Way
I have been guilty of holding myself back. There have been times, I am stuck in my head, telling myself lies like "I am not ready", "The timing isn't perfect" or "I am not enough." I stayed in my head or stuck with what was comfortable because I was protecting myself from failing - every successful woman on the stage shared, they have felt fearful and failed at some point in their life.
A great introspective question from Kelly Tomblin, "Ask yourself what is stopping me from showing up for me." My answer, I was fearful of either failing, being judged or being told no.
But when I stand back in fear, nothing will happen and I hold back myself from becoming the best version of myself and living in my truth - "When you leave the comfort zone you are going to fail, but what is the point of life if you never fail." - Rochelle Cameron.
4. Bounce Back from the Ls
So many of the speakers spoke about their loses, failures, mistakes, rejection and disappointment while building their careers and business - which reminded me, our loses doesn't define us, in fact it builds our character and prepares us for something greater.
A great advice shared by Angella Rainford was "Sometimes they are going to say no. It's their lost, take the no and keep moving." I've heard so many nos, "you're not qualified", "I don't think you are ready" and sometimes I have dwelled on them, but I have been inspired to keep moving forward.
Women in Energy exceeded my expectations. As I sat in that room I basked in the energy of women determined to live their lives on purpose. Here is what I learned.
5. Don't do it alone
Almost every woman who took the stage mentioned having a mentor, a coach, or a sponsor. These women's greatness was not achieved on their own. I realised by trying to get all the credit I was holding myself back.
6. Own your story
I was moved by how vulnerable each woman was. Whether it was marrying the wrong man, being made redundant 3 times or getting pregnant at 17, each woman OWNED her story. She didn't use it as an excuse to stay small, she used it to propel her into her purpose.
7. Ignore the glass ceiling
During the panel with the men, they were asked, "What characteristics are common amongst successful women?" One of the most inspiring answers was that women who succeed don't acknowledge the glass ceiling they just get things done. Many times we focus on the door that has closed and completely miss the window.
8. Envy will steal your joy
I'm the type of person who honestly is discouraged by social media to be honest. I may see some executing on something that I want to do but can't figure out how. It has been a huge source of anxiety for me. I learned that I need to take that energy that I get from "grudging" people and channel it into fulfilling my purpose.
9. It is not about me
My purpose was given to me not for glory, not because it's cute but because as Marie Forleo says the world needs the special gift that only I have. When I play small because I'm scared of failing or I don't feel ready, I need to remind myself that THIS dream was placed inside me for a reason. When I hold back because I'm scared I am doing a disservice to those I serve.
The coverage of this event was made possible thanks to our support team, Monique Kennedy and Jik Photography.