The Expat Woman

Lessons from the Empowered Women’s Leadership Summit

Last weekend, Bay Area women from all over the globe gathered for the EMPOWERED Women’s Leadership Summit for a full day of inspiration, learning, and lasting connections.

Over 600 women and allies joined leaders, influencers, innovators, and rising stars at Galvanize in San Francisco. Leaders including Magdalena Yesil, Maira Benjamin, Dion Lim, Sejal Patel Daswani and Isis Anchalee shared their stories and discussed topics ranging from emerging tech, investing, workplace gender equality, and personal development and growth.

“I’ve been to many events before, this was definitely one of the best I’ve ever attended.” – Danielle Wen, founder of Lace & Liberty

Here are just a few personal development lessons learned at EMPOWERED:


#1 Failure is a lesson not an obstacle.

Angel investor Magdalena Yesil sat down with Emily Poplawski, an Associate Member at Broadway Angels to discuss her new book Power Up: How Smart Women Win in the New Economy. As a first Investor and Founding Board Member of Salesforce and Founder of Broadway Angels, Magdalena also shared her career advice for women looking to advance.

“I have always believed that neither my successes nor my failures define me. What defines me is who I am, not what I do. Failure is just a part of our career. We always survive,” says Magdalena Yesil.

Read our pre-summit blog interview with Magdalena Yesil here.





#2 Get clear about your goals.

“There are four main things you need as you move forward in your career: clarity on your goal, confidence, your networks, and then your skills,” said Heena Purohit, product manager at IBM Watson IoT, on the Women at the Cutting Edge of Tech panel

During our Strategies to Get Noticed by Recruiters panel, Jeunee Simon suggested:

“If you’re applying for jobs and find a company that you love, be sure to convey your enthusiasm for the company but don’t apply for multiple roles at the company. Demonstrate your focus by going after two roles (at most) that are relevant to your experience and align with the career you want.” —Jeunee Simon, Recruiter, University – Diversity & Inclusion at Slack


#3 Know the value you bring to new opportunities.

Olga Mack, Founder of Women Serve On Boards, led a panel of incredible women to discuss what it takes to get on your first board. In addition, to understanding the company’s corporate governance and board dynamics, they recommend you know your value proposition. What value will you bring to the table? Then, go into it with passion and evaluate whether the board is a good match for you.

“It was an honor to speak at The Expat Woman’s Women’s Leadership Summit… The day was filled with inspiring leaders who engaged in important dialog, inspired to dream, act even bigger, and offered concrete and pragmatic steps to succeed. An opportunity to shine as leaders on a global scale!” – Olga Mack




#4 Build strong networks and persevere.

During her keynote, Sejal Patel Daswani, Head of North America & Global Innovation Human Resources at Visa, talked about being the product of immigrant Indian parents and taught us her recipe for success. “You must bring together four ingredients: grit, mastery, EQ [emotional intelligence], and your relationships.”






#5 Get men involved in empowering women.

Eva Helén, founder and CEO of EQ Inspiration, welcomed a panel of male allies to discuss Creating Gender Equality in The Workplace: Engaging Men In Women’s Leadership.

Eva raised the point that many women who have been successful have had to change themselves. The panel discussed the problems that stem from women struggling to crack into the ‘boys club’ workplace culture. Both men and women can change the culture and create a more equal environment  by focusing attitude, confidence, and rewarding good behavior. Many men know they should care but are not sure how. They need to be encouraged and welcomed into conversations about equality.

On Twitter, panelist Gerard Brossard adds “ so honored to be asked to be on this panel. This is such an important matter. We still have so much to change, but I’m really hopeful!” says

Thank you to everyone who supported and joined us at the EMPOWERED Women’s Leadership Summit.

“What an inspirational and soul-nourishing day! So motivated by all these women using their gifts and making their visions happen… Thank you, The Expat Woman!” – Hillary Sinclair, Founder of Wheesearch Beauty.


Nyna is the Founder and CEO of The Expat Woman, a global platform focused on connecting, supporting and empowering women who have moved abroad or plan to relocate. She is also a LinkedIn coach, consultant, trainer and speaker. LinkedIn played a huge role in my professional journey abroad, helping me build a network of powerful expat women and allies.

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Online from Nov. 7th to Nov.9th