On October 23, 2018, the first chapter in the story of the Philadelphia Chapter of Professional Women In Construction (PWC) began as over 150 women joined together to proudly and confidently exclaim “WE GOT THIS!”
In the amazing FMC Tower’s 17th floor conference space, provided by our generous Event and Founding Giving Partner Brandywine Realty Trust, the views of the city beyond paled in comparison with the excitement on the faces of our attendees. The evening kicked off with interactive discussions on topics that encouraged those in attendance to share their experiences:
- As women we bring a unique perspective to the table. What is your superpower?
- Being confident is not the absence of fear. It’s recognizing fear and moving beyond it. What is your greatest professional fear?
- Your inner voice is like a GPS for your life. It can build you up or undermine your confidence. What is your inner voice telling you?
Throughout the room, large boards were filled with responses, telling the stories of our superpowers, our fears,and our inner voices.
Board President Ronda Bailey kicked off the celebration of the inaugural event. Ronda began with an emotional thank you to Leslie Whitby, who was the force behind the creation of the PWC Philadelphia chapter. Leslie was passionate about women in construction in the Philadelphia area needing a collective voice to tell our stories, support each other,and grow in all aspects of the industry. Ronda introduced the founding board members, who have created the backbone of our organization, before turning the microphone over to board member and Brandywine Realty Trust representative Jennifer Unterberger to introduce the keynote speaker, Grace Killelea, CEO and Founder of The GKC Group.
Grace lead the group through an incredibly thought-provoking and moving presentation on what she has learned about leadership skills, training, relationships, and more throughout her career and how those experiences culminated in her book, The Confidence Effect.
Key points we will all carry with us from Grace’s presentation:
- “As women, one of the things that keeps us playing small is that we will not admit that we don’t know how do to..so put your superpower on the table and share it with another woman”
- Ask for what you need. If you don’t know something, find another woman who does and ask her.
- “‘Perfect’ is a trap. Don’t forsake the good in search of the perfect.”
- “Every single day, sometimes multiple times a day, I have to say, “Hell no!” to my Inner Critic. The Inner Critic kills Confidence. I can’t let that voice win.”
- “Stop Apologizing.”
- “Hearing yourself saying ‘I’m just…?’ Get rid of the word ‘just.’ It minimizes you. When you do that, the world is happy to let you be small.”
- Your network is not your support group. Your support group is wine and crying. Your network is the people who you exchange information, power and opportunity with.
- 78% of all voices we hear in co-ed meetings are male…this isn’t a new story, but this is a wave we can start to move.
- You make a first impression in 7 seconds. It takes 9 interactions to overcome a bad first impression. Have a firm handshake. Make a good impression!
- We can amplify other women’s voices, but this only works if we start speaking
- Executive presence is made up of appearance, communication, and most importantly, gravitas. Be confident!
- Be confident in your competence.
- “I’m just getting started.”
- “WE GOT THIS!”