SMITHFIELD, RI – Recognizing a 25-year commitment to women’s leadership, the 2022 Bryant Women’s Summit® held April 27 highlighted the theme “Leadership through a New Lens” and featured inspiring keynote speakers and panelists who shared their perspectives and addressed the changing context for leaders. For a quarter century, the Women's Summit, a signature Bryant University event, has provided women—and men—throughout the region with an opportunity to be inspired and build critical skills as they explore issues related to professional and personal development.
"Women are going to lead the charge and help redefine what happens in our world."
“Having powerful conversations and building strong relationships is at the heart of what we do and what makes us successful in achieving goals and having positive impact,” noted Bryant University President Ross Gittell, Ph.D. “This is our objective for the Women’s Summit today, as it has been for the past 25 years.”
“The Women’s Summit is part of our efforts to ensure that Bryant is a place where women can thrive and succeed,” President Gittell said in opening the day and introducing the three keynote speakers who shared important lessons from their careers at organizations that impact daily life for almost all of us: CVS Health, Google and Netflix.
With an audience of more than 1,000 participating both in-person and virtually, the day’s opening speaker, leadership strategist and podcaster Ginny Clarke, declared, "Women are going to lead the charge and help redefine what happens in our world."
“The business world is in the midst of an enormous transformation,” she said. Extending far beyond workplace adaptations resulting from the COVID pandemic, Clarke foresees a dramatic change in corporate culture, where women and other underrepresented groups play a crucial role in reimagining the workforce. “We need to start stepping up and really claiming what we know we’re good at and where we can add value,” she said. “As a civilization we cannot afford to not have everyone active. Activate what you can do to do what is good for all.”
As a former Director of Executive Recruiting at Google, where Bryant has more than 30 graduates employed despite Google’s millions of applicants for its coveted positions, Clarke developed a keen eye for talent. “Critical leadership competencies include developing a talent mindset and decision making ability,” Clarke noted. “The organizations that are thriving are the ones with conscious leaders- competent, curious and engaged.”
"Have a purpose, have a passion, and pull up that extra seat at the table. There’s room for all of us.”
Karen S. Lynch, president and Chief Executive Officer at CVS Health, a Fortune 4 diversified health services company, received the Kati C. Machtley Businesswoman of the Year Award and delivered luncheon remarks in an interview with exectutive leadership coach and Bryant Trustee and alumna Nancy DeViney. Lynch is the highest-ranking female executive and leads more than 300,000 colleagues who are passionate about transforming health care. Under her leadership, CVS Health touches the lives of millions every day through its unique combination of assets.
“We are on a journey,” Lynch said. “Have the courage to try new things, get the best information you can and be decisive, make the tough calls.”
Lynch shared the adage that it can be lonely at the top and her goal of fostering a culture that manages from the heart. She encouraged the Summit audience to “make a seat at the table” for other women. “Have a purpose, have a passion, and pull up that extra seat at the table. There’s room for all of us,” she said.
“Learn to be masterful with people, starting with yourself. Lead with influence. Win hearts and minds in a way that is uniquely you.”
“Mastering your craft is half the battle,” said closing keynote speaker Nikkia Reveillac, who is widely recognized as a change agent in the areas of innovation and organization; as Director of Consumer Insights at Netflix, she leads a team at the intersection of content, marketing and product.
“Learn to be masterful with people, starting with yourself. Lead with influence. Win hearts and mins in a way that is uniquely you.
Established in 1997, the Bryant Women’s Summit is the largest and longest-running event of its kind in Rhode Island and the region. Over the past 25 years, the Bryant Women’s Summit® has featured prominent speakers who have helped thousands of women and men discover and achieve their full potential. The Women’s Summit has sold out every year since its inception. Notable keynote speakers have included Mika Brzezinski, Geena Davis, Viola Davis, Angela Duckworth, Ph.D., Amy Edmonson, Ph.D, Geraldine Ferraro, Jody Hoffer Gittell, Ph.D., Carla Harris, Arianna Huffington, Soledad O'Brien, Suze Orman, and Jane Pauley.
For nearly 160 years, Bryant University has been at the forefront of delivering an exceptional education that anticipates the future and prepares students to be innovative leaders of character in a changing world. The University delivers a uniquely integrated academic and student life experience with nationally recognized academic programs at the intersection of business, STEM and the liberal arts. Located on a 428-acre contemporary campus in Smithfield, R.I., Bryant enrolls approximately 3,800 undergraduate and graduate students from 38 states and 49 countries. Bryant is recognized as a top 1% national leader in student education outcomes and ROI and regularly receives high rankings from U.S. News and World Report, Money, Bloomberg Businessweek, Wall Street Journal, College Factual and Barron’s. Visit www.bryant.edu.