A Star (and Entrepreneur) Studded Event: Power Women Forum 2016

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My friend Jeanette invited me to this year’s Power Women Forum hosted by Moves Magazine.  It was an open-floor discussion on how to improve the roles of women. The panel consisted of impressive females from various industries: actress and producer Alysia Reiner, US Army Colonel Irene Zoppi, journalist Obiekwe Ojinkia, and Padma Lakshmi (whose multihyphenate title includes host, writer, actress, and model).

This is the look I always have on my face when I’m eating something and someone abruptly goes, “Let’s take a pic!”  I was noshing on the passed appetizers.  Yes, there was food!  And a gift bag with some substantial goodies like a Timex watch, heavenly hand cream, and a carryon tote bag from Shark Tank’s Biaggi.

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I am quite proud of my paparazzi photo. Doesn’t Padma look ridiculously gorgeous?  She seems to shine inside and out. When she was speaking, I admired how eloquent and honest she was.

Padma talked about how she guarded her privacy and didn’t appreciate the double standards of male and female celebrities who date after divorcing. In response to the judgment, she said, “I own my body-and it’s my business what I do with it.” Agreed!  Despite my annoying interest in celebrity gossip, I support that they are humans who have the right to privacy.  However, I also applaud her choosing to open up about some personal struggles in her new book Love, Loss, and What We Ate.  “I wanted to write this book for brown girls everywhere.”  She shared about her experience with severe endometriosis and how it negatively affected her marriage. “It’s not fun to talk about your period; it’s not very sexy. But it’s helpful.”  I could definitely see many people benefiting from the information that she truly wanted to share with the world.  In person, Padma totally seemed humble and genuine. “I learned more from my failures than from some of my successes.”

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Look at Jeanette getting interviewed next to actress Juno Temple on the red carpet.

When I saw Alysia Reiner, I was so excited! Tall women have a special place in my heart (giant Asian here), and I loved her in Orange is the New Black and How To Get Away With Murder– both very long TV show titles.  My favorite quote from her was, “Tell stories that other people are afraid to tell.  Tell stories that will help the world.”  Her new film Equity is a female-driven Wall Street story. And totally different from Wolf on Wall Street or The Big Short.  I was laughing when I saw Alysia in an interview saying that there wouldn’t be any cocaine or someone in a bubble bath.

Two other take-aways from the night were the following statements:

“Don’t be afraid to apply for jobs you’re not qualified for.”  A lot of men don’t worry about not meeting the requirements.  They just go for it, and see what happens.  Whereas many women feel more comfortable checking off all of the requirements before applying. We need to be more bold and take more risks.

Many of us suffer from the Imposter Syndrome, which makes us feel self-doubt about our position even though we have earned it. The feeling of “Someone is going to figure out I’m not supposed to be here”.  Yet, if you keep the question “How can I serve?” in mind as you navigate your role, then the Imposter Syndrome doesn’t matter.

Thanks to Jeanette and Moves Magazine for the opportunity to attend this awesome event!

xo,

Erica

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