By Kirsty Styles (Communications Executive, SOMO)
Jerri DeVard addressed the few men who braved
the Women in Wireless London launch with “welcome to our world, we have
expertise in discomfort!” Said with a smile and charm, she won
everyone over immediately.
In a lemon dress, the tall African-American Executive VP
and CMO of Nokia cut an interesting figure, and brought with her a truly
inspirational story that left time poor women in the crowd scrambling
to call their mother, wherever in the world she is.
Jerri, her audience want to be happy and successful. Before us, it felt
like we had the embodiment of just that. “I wanted to be successful
personally too, jobs come and go, your family is always there” she
The Women in Wireless launch couldn’t have been better timed, coinciding with the news that the pay gap in London is the largest in the UK, almost 23%, childcare costs stop women from going back to work, while female unemployment has risen by 7,000.
has two children, and committed with her husband that they would be
‘present’, there would always be someone to sit down and have dinner
with them. She has turned down meetings to be at their special moments.
all stand on someone’s shoulders” she said, of the need for women to
help guide others to success . She mentors young women around the world,
giving them anything from an email, a text, to a shoulder to cry on. As
a teacher, you have to ask ‘How can I help you?’
you have it all?”, the age old question came from the audience. “Maybe
you can’t have it ‘all’ at the same time. But we owe it to ourselves to
find out what ‘it all’ is. You make it work.”
finished her address with the words of Nicky Giovannia, the American
writer and activist: “I really don’t think life is about the
I-could-have-beens. Life is only about the I-tried-to-do. I don’t mind
the failure but I can’t imagine that I’d forgive myself if I didn’t
The best thing you can say to someone in business is, ‘I’d like your help’.
Know your strengths and play to them.
There is no substitute for being good at what you do – you have to be good to enjoy it, you have to enjoy it to be good.
Lean to those people who think differently to you.
Find those people at work who will give you an honest opinion about who you are and how you are perceived.
Your mum is someone who loves you, and also someone you can trust [not necessarily guaranteed in a relationship.
Friends tell you what you want to hear.
mum put herself through college after having two children, ‘isn’t being
my wife and the mother of my children enough for you?’ her husband
urged. ‘No. I want to do more.’ She rose to become the Commissioner for
Literacy for the State of Massachusettes.
Be careful who you choose to take on your journey.
Written for Women in Wireless and first published here: http://womeninwireless.tumblr.com/post/21717665264/women-in-wireless-london-launch