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Reflections on the 2018 Watermark Conference

Medallia: Watermark Conference

For the first time ever, Medallia sponsored the Watermark Conference, a women’s leadership conference that has been hosted annually in San Jose for the past 3 years. Other sponsors included Oracle, Cisco, Dell, Salesforce, Thermo Fisher, Silicon Valley Bank and more. The conference brought together more than 6,500 women at various stages of their career for a single day of networking, keynote sessions, and practical breakout sessions on important topics including time management, imposter syndrome, and radical honesty.
Our very own Shannon Audino, Area Vice President, Solutions Consulting, led the breakout session on negotiating with speaker Amy Trask, former CEO of the Oakland Raiders and football analyst for CBS Sports Network. Medallia sponsored 46 women from various departments to attend this event to show our commitment to supporting women’s leadership development and career growth.
Medallia: Watermark Conference
Reese Witherspoon, actor and entrepreneur, led the event with a keynote conversation with Elaine Welteroth, former editor, Teen Vogue. Reese discussed her challenges and successes including her relentless drive to speak her mind and build a production company that shows women’s stories (such as the movie Wild based on the phenomenal book, which she both starred in and produced) with strong women as leading characters. She said, “If we want different stories, we need different storytellers.” She also promoted her upcoming movie, A Wrinkle In Time, which comes out on March 9th. She also discussed her leadership and work in creating the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund which provides subsidized legal support to those who have experienced sexual harassment, assault, or abuse in the workplace.  
Jodi Kantor, the New York Times investigative reporter who first broke the story about Harvey Weinstein’s decades of abuse towards women, discussed her commitment to bringing light on these abuses, and the bravery of the women who were willing to go on the record publicly. Amal Clooney provided perspective on her career as a human rights lawyer having appeared before the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, and making the leap from corporate law.
Other inspirational breakout sessions were led by Dr. Jen Welter, the first female NFL coach, who joined the Arizona Cardinals as a linebacker coach in 2015. Laura Vanderkam, author of I Know How She Does It, provided time management tips. Patty McCord, former Chief Talent Officer at Netflix (who helped create the famous NetFlix culture deck), talked about the importance of real-time feedback in her session on radical honesty. Kim Azzarrelli spoke about imposter syndrome and ways to develop confidence and find your voice. Bonnie Marcus provided a blueprint for career advancement, based on her research and her book, The Politics of Promotion.
With several books in hand, we left the event energized to continue on our leadership paths, embracing the growth mindset, and inspired to continue to make an impact and achieve success. Medallia is committed to supporting the success of women at all levels (check out this blog post We Stand for Equal Pay), and our participation at Watermark emphasized that commitment. At Medallia, the sisterhood is strong.