November 9, 2017
2017 TEDxStLouis Women Recap
By Kerry Crump
This year's TEDxStLouis Women was about BRIDGES. The bridges we have among each other, the bridges over obstacles, and the bridges that we build to move forward. The messages that were shared are relevant to both men and women, but happened to be delivered by a line up of exceptional women from all walks of life.
In this blog post, UPBrand's own strong and exceptional women shared what stood out to them most.
Kerry Crump, Brand Manager
I was really inspired by a combination of learnings from Samantha Ettus and Crystal Martin. As a self-proclaimed perfectionist who sometimes wonders how I got to where I am, their messages really resonated with me. We become so obsessed with being "the best" that we can forget about what actually matters. Ettus preaches that life should be about "Fulfillment over Achievement" and that perfection, along with its best friend guilt, is an obstacle in our journey to fulfillment.
Martin spoke to us about how, as a woman, hard work does NOT speak for itself, despite what we've been told. It isn't enough to just put your head down and work hard. For women in today’s workplaces, we need an advocate—someone in a senior position to speak up for us. She teaches the notion of "Acknowledge. Advocate. Advance."
This is how Martin summed it up:
> Acknowledge people and the ideas they contribute
> Advocate for those around you and help create opportunities for them
> Advance by "lifting while you climb"
As we experience our own successes, we should pay it forward to those coming up behind us. This realization made her think about the women who lifted her while they were climbing the ladder of success. This in turn made me think about the women to helped me get to where I am. In that spirit, here's my list of women who believed in me, inspired me, pushed me to be better and advocated for me:
Kathy, Becky, Krista, Courtney, Aubrey, Allison
Joanna, Meredith, Chelsey, Sara, Karol, Amy
Jennifer, Beth, Donna, Liz, Emily, Bitsy, Lauren
Rachel Geringer, Producer
There were many inspiring moments and "ideas worth spreading" from the panel of powerful speakers at TEDxStLouis Women. But, as a Millennial who sometimes feels the world is against us, I was most energized by the talk given by Ann Shoket. It was both refreshing and motivating to hear Shoket be a champion for millennial women and to truly believe that "Millennials are changing the way work works"—not just for Millennials but for everyone. It's Shoket's mission to help us recognize our own power so the world can recognize our power. “Entitled?" she asks. Sure, we Millennials are, but we should be. We should all be.
McKenzie Telthorst, VP, Brand Management
I was positively enthralled with the presentation by Chelsea Roff, whose journey inspired her to coin the term "the diagnosis effect." As a teenager, she was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa and told many times that she would struggle with the disorder her entire life. After studying neuroscience at university, specifically the placebo and "no-cebo" effect, she began to wonder if a diagnosis might, psychologically, inhibit patients from getting better. She now owns a non-profit whose aim is to help people with mental illness overcome their disorders. I found her approach both data-based and heartfelt, and it changed the way I think about my family and friends who have struggled with eating disorders and other mental illnesses.
Erin Barner, Assistant Brand Manager
There were numerous takeaways throughout the day and great ideas were shared by each woman that took the stage, but I was most impacted by the thoughts shared by Samantha Ettus.
Ettus shared a poignant reminder that I definitely needed to hear again. Life is overwhelming. Everyone has their own set of priorities to juggle and the balancing act we attempt when trying to serve all of these masters is exhausting. This constant pursuit of perfection and the guilt associated with feeling that you're falling short is detrimental to your overall happiness.
Ettus reminded us that there are seven pieces of the "pie" that make up our life: Health, community, friends, family, relationship, career and hobbies. Rather than focusing on perfecting each of those areas, we're encouraged to embrace and enjoy participating in each of them. True participation doesn't require perfection, but it does require being present in the task at hand and not feeling guilty for doing so. In the words of Ron Swanson, “don't half-ass two things, whole ass one thing."
The greatest part about her message was that she wasn't saying perfection is impossible or that pursuing success is a waste of time—we should always strive to do things well— but we need to replace the guilt we feel about perceived shortcomings with a little bit of grace. Allow yourself some grace and acknowledge that you don't have to be perfect at all seven areas of your life for your participation to be worthwhile.
This year's TEDxStLouis Women line up of speakers really delivered on the promise of TED - Ideas Worth Sharing. We invite you to live and share the heck out of these ideas. Each highlighted speaker includes an interview with Vidzu Media, one of our Nitrous Partners.