Highlights from Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit 2015

Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit is one of the world’s best discussion and interview sessions with leading women who have excelled in government, philanthropy, education, and the arts. This year’s event held at Washington DC from October 12th to 14th and the theme was “Leading with Purpose”. According to Fortune, the event’s agenda featured panel discussions, interactive breakout sessions and high-level networking.

Several leaders were spoke or were interviewed at the event and they had some inspiring words for business, education and career development. Catch a few highlights below.

Michelle Obama

First Lady of the United States of America, Michelle Obama advocated for girl child inclusion in education systems worldwide. A staunch advocate of Let Girls Learn Initiative, she indicated that governments around the world do not necessarily have all the answers and resources to address the global girl education crisis. She said companies and organizations like Xerox, UPS, IBM had already donated funds and resources to aid the initiative. She believes that organizations and companies can make positive impact on girl child education around the world.

Katie Couric

During her interview with Pattie Sellers, which was centered on career mistakes, journalist and author, Katie Couric, revealed a lack of diplomacy during her time with CBS as one of her career errors. She noted the importance of steering the course of change at a much slower pace as opposed to the “too much too soon” mechanism. Speaking on her current capacity as Global News Anchor with Yahoo, she said she could have decided to stay on television but wanted new challenges and the opportunity to stretch herself and explore new grounds.

Virginia “Ginni” Rometty

Ginni Rometty is the first woman to assume the position of CEO, President and Chairman of International Business Machines (IBM). She spoke with Alan Murray and revealed three tips to successfully transform a business/organization. First of all, never protect the past, because when you do, it becomes difficult to let go of errors and the usual ineffective ways of getting things done. Secondly, never define yourself by your product or whatever service you provide because it becomes really hard to reach out to your customers on a human level. Finally, never define yourself by your competition, there are more effective ways of running a business.

Anita Hill

In her interview with Leigh Gallagher, American academic and attorney, Anita Hill centered her conversation on young women entering the workplace. She believes that ambition and willingness to work hard and smart are key qualities they should have. She also thinks there are certain traditions within the workplace that tend to set women back in their careers. If these traditions that often suit men more than they do women, are adjusted, the work environment will be better for women and by extension, better for everyone else.

Mary Barra

Mary Barra is the CEO of General Motors (GM), in her interview with Michal Lev Ram, she spoke insightfully about the strength of GM, indicating that the company has recently undergone growing margins as opposed to revenue, she implied that GM has been able to make tough decisions that will sustain the business. This is commendable as the restructured business and improved policies will lead to an increase in revenue in the future.

For select sessions, view below:

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