On May 2, 2017, GROW* hosted its 2nd Bay Area Keynote Speaker Event at Franklin Templeton Investment's San Mateo Campus. The organization was delighted to welcome Debbie Haliday, a former UCLA athlete turned coach and proud wife and mother of three. Her intimate, engaging, and humorous presentation left the audience with the inspiring message that today is everything.
On April 14, 2017, GROW* which stands for Growth in Relationship and Opportunities for Women hosted the 7th Annual Keynote Speaker Event at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla in San Diego. This year, the organization welcomed Alison Levine, Team Captain of the First American Women's Everest Expedition & Author of the New York Times Bestseller On the Edge: Leadership Lessons from Everest and Other Extreme Environments.
On November 2, 2016, MMA GROW* hosted its Inaugural Orange County Keynote Speaker Event at Center Club in Costa Mesa. U.S. Paralympian Allison Compton inspired the audience with her personal story of empowerment.
Allison lobbied to create the first U.S. Women’s Paralympic Volleyball Team and played for the team for many years. The team brought home the gold from Rio this past summer. In addition to her success on the court, Allison has developed a successful career in business. In her address, she shared her experiences, the things she’s learned as a competitive athlete and how those lessons positively impact her life today.
Allison was born with an undeveloped femur and has worn a prosthetic leg since she began to walk. While she encountered obstacles along the way, Allison never let them keep her from living her life and playing the game she loved. She says, “It was never a matter of if I could do something, it was how.”
This past summer, MMA GROW* hosted its Inaugural Bay Area Keynote Speaker Event at Franklin Templeton Investment's San Mateo Campus. The organization welcomed keynote speaker Ramona Pierson, Co-founder and CEO of Declara, a tech startup that is revolutionizing the way people share knowledge. Declara aims to shape the future by focusing on what is possible instead of impossible, a mission inspired by Ramona’s own story of resilience in the face of extreme adversity.
At the age of only 16, Ramona, a mathematics prodigy, attended the University of California, Berkeley where just two years later she was recruited by the Marines to write algorithms aiding F-18 fighter missions. Four years later, tragedy struck. Ramona was hit by a drunk driver while running and spent the following eighteen months in a coma and the next eleven years blind. This life-changing event forced her to relearn simple human functions: everything from breathing and seeing to walking and smiling. Refusing to let the accident hold her back, Ramona used the many skills and insights she gained during her recovery to propel her forward. Her experiences fostered the drive and determination in her to build two companies where personalized learning and relearning are the center of all products.
In 2010, Marsh & McLennan Agency launched GROW, a women’s initiative which stands for Growth in Relationships & Opportunities for Women. Designed to address the historically male-dominated culture of the insurance industry, GROW aims to provide tools and resources to support women in the workplace and increase the number of women in leadership roles. In its inaugural year, GROW developed the mentoring program, pairing individuals in leadership with female associates aspiring to advance their careers through professional development.
At its core, the GROW Associate Mentoring Program was created to:
- Provide career enhancement through increased self-awareness, improved communication skills and a broadened understanding of the organization as a whole
- Provide a forum to exchange ideas and increase understanding of the different organizational divisions and specializations
- Develop leadership and decision-making skills
- Motivate and engage participants in order to increase job performance and satisfaction
In its fifth year, the program has produced significant results, providing mentoring opportunities for associates at various stages of their career. Both mentors and mentees report learning from one another and developing skills from the supportive relationships, with 84% of pairs having met their individual goals during the span of the program in 2014. The confidential nature of the relationship gives associates an opportunity to voice their concerns, overcome hurdles, and find solutions, resulting in refined interpersonal and professional skills and increased confidence. Pairing has been extremely successful, with 98% of last year’s participants continuing their mentoring relationship after the program ended.
One of the 2014 mentees, Daniela Posada, describes the benefits of the relationship she has built with her mentor, Principal Shawn Pynes:
On March 25, 2015, MMA G.R.O.W.*which stands for Growth in Relationship and Opportunities for Women hosted the 5th Annual Keynote Speaker Event at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla in San Diego. This year, the organization welcomed Carey Lohrenz, the first female F-14 Tomcat pilot, to share her inspirational message with our associates, clients and business partners. As a pioneer in military aviation, Lohrenz’s keynote focused on winning under pressure, overcoming obstacles and thriving in a male-dominated profession.
Lohrenz drove home the message of teamwork and the mechanics of building a successful team. To build a strong team that can win under pressure, she says to make sure team members understand the goal and their unique part in accomplishing that goal. Communicate to the team that they matter and why.
To overcome obstacles and perform at the highest level, Lohrenz described the importance of the team sharing a common vision and a deep commitment to the “mission over self”. Great teams believe in the mission and trust in each other.
Lohrenz advised the attendees to not let anyone else’s agenda pull them off course. She speaks from experience. Graduating during a time when women were not allowed to become fighter pilots, she was given two choices: get out of the Navy or take an administrative job. Unswayed, Lohrenz forged ahead in the direction of her dream. When options are given that don’t align with the intended goal, Lohrenz encourages women to seek out a third way.
One of the organization’s most highly attended event to date, the response to the Lohrenz’s keynote was overwhelmingly positive. Keep an eye out for a future guest post from Carey Lohrenz.
*Marsh & McLennan Agency's women’s initiative, MMA GROW, was formed in 2010 to attract, retain, educate and support women in the firm.
Learn more about MMA G.R.O.W.
By 2020, nearly 40% of the U.S. workforce will be comprised of Millennials, according to U.S. Census data. As Millennials become more prevalent in the workplace, they’ll also need to take on increasing levels of responsibility. This leaves employers wondering- will their millennial employees be ready?
Though Millennials may be young and inexperienced, there’s good news for employers. We want to be transformed into the leaders your organization needs.
Millennials aspire to grow professionally, and look to employers to help. The 2014 Deloitte "Millennial Survey," which polled more than 7,800 Millennials in 26 countries, found that 50% of Millennials believe their organizations could do more to develop future leaders.
We are happy to introduce Molly Fletcher as our first guest blogger. Molly Fletcher's third book, "A Winner's Guide to Negotiating" will be released this September. Molly was our G.R.O.W. Keynote Speaker in February, inspiring women to “believe in their ability to make change." Through education, mentoring and networking, G.R.O.W. strives to give women in the workplace the tools to become tomorrow's leaders.
Negotiation. Type the word into Google Image and you get what you might expect. Images of men in power suits, posturing at opposite sides of a massive table. Comparisons to arm wrestling and tug of war. Firm handshakes.
No wonder many of us, especially women, are intimidated by even the idea of negotiating! As a sports agent, I experienced a lot of high-stakes negotiations and I learned to love it. At the core, negotiation is a conversation. We negotiate all the time in our daily lives, and it’s a skill we can develop with practice.
Studies have repeatedly shown that women are less likely than men to negotiate, and when they do, they ask for less. With that in mind, here are some tips for women:
MMA G.R.O.W., which stands for Growth in Relationship and Opportunities for Women, hosts an Annual Keynote Speaker Event each year to inspire our associates, clients and business partners in the community. This year, we were fortunate to have Molly Fletcher, also commonly referred to as the female Jerry Maguire, speak about her experiences and provide key points to help women reach their full potential and improve performance. As a top sports agent in a male-dominated industry, Molly Fletcher shared her unique approach to success that these experiences have helped her develop.