All Posts in Events
At Cutline, we’re always excited to check out new events and support organizations dedicated to female empowerment and career growth. Recently, a couple of us Cutliners decided to check out an event held by Women Catalysts at General Assembly, for their monthly “Lightning Talks.” The fact that it was hosted on International Women’s Day made it all the better! Read more
At Cutline, we’re always excited to learn more about the latest and greatest in digital marketing; so when we heard Fast Company was hosting a panel with Sephora on social influencers, we jumped at the chance to attend. Set in Sephora’s beautiful Union Square store, we were in for an evening of insightful conversation on how Sephora finds and builds meaningful relationships with passionate beauty fans around the world. The panel was moderated by Didi Gluck of Fast Company, and Sephora executives included Mary Beth Laughton, SVP of Digital; Bridget Dolan, VP of Innovation; and Bindu Shah, VP of Digital Marketing. Here were some of our biggest takeaways: Read more
At Cutline we believe that all companies have a story to tell, and we love helping them tell those stories to the world. We know how powerful our voices can be in positively influencing others and creating change. And all of us have a voice, whether you are just getting started in your career, or you are the CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
A couple of us Cutliners recently jumped at the chance to hear Sophia Amoruso, Founder and CEO of Nasty Gal, speak at an event put on by The Commonwealth Club. The session, #Girlboss, was moderated by Alison Pincus, Co-Founder of One Kings Lane. The discussion covered Sophia’s latest book, Nasty Galaxy, and gave us the inside scoop on her unconventional approach to style, philosophy and advice for #Girlbosses everywhere.
A few of us Cutliners recently had the opportunity to hear Tristan Walker, founder and CEO of Walker & Company Brands, speak at an event put on by The Commonwealth Club. The session, Redefining Design, was moderated by John Maeda, global head of computational design and inclusion at Automattic, and provided a fun and lively discussion around how brands are making products that are both visually appealing and highly effective available to all.
As always, The Commonwealth Club delivered! Tristan and John’s discussion was not only incredibly inspiring, but provided a number of valuable, actionable takeaways. Here is a snapshot of what we learned.
This was one of the best talks I’ve attended in recent months -- thank you, Cutline! I think, above all else, my biggest takeaway was related to empathy. More specifically, how critical it is to design empathetic products and hire or partner with truly empathetic people. It’s what makes us human after all. I’m also certain it’s one of the many reasons both Tristan and Walker & Company’s brand are so beloved. It underlines everything they do and stand for -- talk about inspiring! -- Rachel
Tristan said something during his talk that has honestly changed my perspective. He was discussing when he first started Walker & Company, and how he had these ideas for the products he would sell. First, if you’re not familiar with Bevel razors, you NEED to check them out. Life changer. Although his ideas were truly innovative within the beauty market, particularly for people of color, many investors were hesitant to back his vision. Tristan said, “It was at that time that I realized, folks on the other side of the table might not be smarter than me, they just might not have the context I have.” This has made me really believe in myself, and given me a deeper understanding for others’ viewpoints. -- Shaq
What really stuck with me was Tristan’s philosophy around the phrase “culture fit” and the role a company’s core values can play in reducing individual bias. One of the first things he did when he started Walker & Company Brands was determine the six values he wanted to guide his company: courage, inspiration, respect, judgement, wellness and loyalty. During interviews, candidates are measured against each value; the same goes for performance reviews. In fact, everything Walker & Company does centers back to the values they have at the company. I love this philosophy and it’s an interesting approach to building and maintaining an inclusive company culture. I also am inspired to create my own list of personal guiding values to live my life by. -- Esther
Missed the event? You can check out the full conversation on YouTube. Enjoy!
Last week, a few Cutliners went to check out Pop-Up Magazine in Oakland to see what all the hype was about. Pop-Up, billed as a live magazine, is a one-night event that includes live music, photography, art, and incredible story tellers.
One thing’s for sure: it did not disappoint! It was beautiful, raw and incredibly moving. These 11 “magazine” features had us feeling so many different emotions: from uncontrollable laughter to tears of empathy and everything in between. The show was full of wisdom, lessons learned and reminders to appreciate life, culture and our roots. While still respecting the wishes of the producers to keep the content of the show a true surprise for attendees, we wanted to recap a few big (non-spoiler!) takeaways.
Role models are hard to come by. Most of the famous role models out there fit one archetype: they’re all skinny, beautiful and live extravagant lifestyles. Look outside of the public eye to find your role model, and when you find someone who you can truly look up to, hang on to them.
Embrace your identity. We’re all different; we come from unique backgrounds, have different strengths and weaknesses, and unique physical qualities. Love who you are and be proud of what makes you different, because at the end of the day, it’s all you’ve got!
Such an amazing cultural opportunity. So much fun and so much learned! Some of my key takeaways:
According to science, the present only lasts approximately three seconds. Don’t take any single one for granted.
Never judge anyone. Although we’ve all heard this life lesson a billion times in our lives, the Pop-Up show reminded me that you never know what someone is going through or why they have made the decisions they have. And above all, always be grateful for your blessings.
As a black woman, my hair has been a constant battle in my life. It continually defines who I am and how others perceive me, and for the longest time, I let these facts get in the way of who I was. Embracing my curls inspired a self-confidence that I never knew I had, generally and culturally.
What a great show this was! It made me feel nearly every emotion - happy, sad, captivated, inspired, and more.
Be in the moment. Your present thought / moment only lasts three seconds, so make every moment count and pay attention to what’s important and what’s right in front of you.
Love what makes you different. Everyone has insecurities but it’s how you handle those insecurities that get you through the day, happy. You may not love everything about yourself, but you should love what makes you different.
All I can say is it really was pure magic! The way they brought each of the 11 stories to life using beautiful illustrations and visuals, combined with live music (and even food!) was perfection.
Be proud of where you came from. Sometimes we feel ashamed or embarrassed of our backgrounds or families, but that’s what makes life so beautiful. The little differences in everyone’s upbringing and the stories we can share are all lessons we can learn from (while laughing along the way).
Be proud of who you are (including what you look like!). Another story reminded me of how important it is to be confident in yourself and that includes how you look. It’s silly to be so set on looking perfect, when your imperfections are what make you... YOU!
When the CEO of a company valued at $16B speaks with the passion of a college-aged aspiring entrepreneur, it’s a rare thing to witness -- and it makes people listen. WeWork’s energy, soul and vibe are what has made it such a unique business concept, and when you hear Founder and CEO Adam Neumann talk about it, you can see why. That was what my colleague Hyeri and I got to experience at Fast Company’s recent “Inside the Issue” cocktails and conversation event, moderated by deputy editor David Lidsky and reporter Sarah Kessler.
As WeWork members ourselves (shout out to Cutline NYC!), we were excited to hear what Adam had to say about his highly buzzed-about coworking business that we get to experience day in and day out at WeWork Bryant Park. Earlier this month we got an in-depth look at the history and growth of WeWork from Sarah’s feature read in Fast Company; Adam touched on some of this during the event, and highlighted insightful learnings that had the packed audience’s full attention from start to finish.
Source: Hyeri Kim
Don't kill people’s dreams. When Adam first presented the concept of WeWork during his time at Baruch College -- what he called “concept living” -- he didn’t even make it to round two of a business plan competition. When he spoke about it to the dean, he was told, “There’s no 23-year-old, or any inexperienced real estate person, who will ever be able to raise enough money to do anything like ‘concept living.’" Adam stated: “You never know what someone is capable of.”
Ask people for advice -- don’t tell them. If you’re trying to grow your business, e.g. to gain a new client or expand to a new location, you have to adapt your model to theirs, because it’s their expertise that will allow yours to flourish. “Let the world, let your customers give you feedback. Listen to the sounds of the environment coming back to you,” Adam said. He spoke about their current expansion to India, and why it was important to ask what the people there are in need of, instead of the other way around; in this case, it’s helping to counter the country’s poverty, which is why WeWork is hiring all local employees. Part of Adam’s mission is to figure out how WeWork can help others. He noted, “Everyone wants to be part of something greater than themselves.”
“CEOs need to be agents of change.” When speaking to WeWork’s many acquisitions over the last few years, Adam emphasized how important it is to feel a sense of community on all ends. Do you like their moral standards? Will their company raise your own culture? If you say yes to these, that’s about half the battle.
Ask, “why?” Adam said, “Millennials will give up so much to be where things are happening.” There’s a shift happening in consumption, especially with millennials who are emotionally tied to products and experiences. So if you’re running a business, you have to ask yourself, “Why are you making his product or offering this service?” If the goal is to make money, that’s not enough.
Living in Silicon Valley, I have a lot of opportunities to meet women who constantly support, uplift, and celebrate like-minded techies. Most recently, I had the pleasure of attending the second annual Women in Tech Festival and hearing from a diverse group of coders. Polyvore’s Cindy Chu, SugarCRM’s Jenny Gonsalves, Microsoft’s Liv Erickson, Femgineer’s Poornima Vijayashanker, and Hackbright Academy’s Hadiyah Mujhid answered questions about how they got to their leadership positions in engineering, what inspired them along the way, and how the industry can expose more young women to technical positions.
Some key takeaways:
There are so many (too many) factors leading to the gender imbalance in tech. Many brands have traditionally marketed certain toys, gadgets, and consumer electronics to boys, leaving girls to actively look for hobbies or games that hone programming skills. Once they get to school, they see the people teaching most of the computer science classes are not the same gender, race, or ethnicity as them -- it hurts their ability to relate and get inspired. And, they don’t see proper representation of their identity in the workforce; the demographics in power tends to be made up of old, white men. Then you add in the whole media bias and Silicon Valley HBO show stereotype thing, and you’re left with headlines that argue programmers are geeky, unfashionable loners.
Do you think of coders when you think of creative types? I didn’t, and many people may not know how liberating coding can be. You can create something out of nothing - how much more creative can you get!?
We need to stop “encouraging” girls to get more involved in tech. Encouragement implies a sort of forcefulness. Instead, we need to expose them to it first-hand, and individualistically show how technology gives you the freedom to make an impact in the world.
Kids know what a doctor does. Kids know what a lawyer does. Kids don’t know how the engineers building Snapchat, Instagram, and other top apps are some of the most powerful techies in the world. They don’t have easy access to information, movies, cartoons, etc. on what engineers actually do, and we need to influence (not encourage) more people to make STEM role models easily accessible.
It’s never too late to start coding. If you can’t make a full career switch right now, pick a passion project on the side and use Hackbright Academy, Khan Academy, Udacity, or other online tools to learn the skills!
Thank you to Silicon Valley Forum for putting on this event, to Microsoft for hosting it this year, and to all the women around the world who constantly inspire and challenge me to do more!