The Bridge Welcomes Nationally Acclaimed ‘Generational Guru’ Anne Loehr May 12
On May 12, 2015, the Brown Smith Wallace women’s initiative, The Bridge: Connecting Women Leaders of Today & Tomorrow, will welcome nationally acclaimed “generational guru” Anne Loehr to St. Louis. Loehr will discuss the personality traits and key differences of each generation in today’s workforce — Gen X, Millennials and Baby Boomers — and share practical tips and advice on bridging generational gaps. Based in Washington, D.C., Loehr speaks about leveraging diversity in the workplace at keynotes and workshops throughout the country. She has published two books and is a regular blogger on The Huffington Post.
The May event will be the third in a new event series Brown Smith Wallace launched in November 2014. With an increasing number of women’s initiatives launching throughout the St. Louis metro area as well as nationally, in 2014 Brown Smith Wallace took a look at the landscape of these events to see what was missing.
“What we noticed was that nobody was trying to reach the next generation of leaders,” says Lauren Sanders, human resources manager at Brown Smith Wallace.
With that focus in mind, a committee of female leaders at the firm brainstormed an event series that would not only provide networking and professional development opportunities for today’s leaders, but also would create a venue where the next generation of leaders could grow. The Bridge is designed to be a vehicle for networking, fun and professional development for professional women of all career stages. The heart of the series is to encourage those mentor/mentee relationships that are so valuable in today’s marketplace.
Attendees of past events have found value in networking with professional women in various career stages. Kathryn Elliott Love, partner at Bryan Cave LLP, says “The Bridge brings value to women broadly in the networking opportunity and more specifically in the speakers’ advice.”
Barbara Archer, president of Archer Wealth Management, adds that “this forum encourages engagement, interaction and connection to bridge the professions and generations. This allows us to share our expertise, skills and introductions with each other to promote continuing success of women in our region.”
“I really appreciate the idea of an intergenerational presentation with both younger women and experienced professionals attending,” says Barbara Berner, artistic director at The St.Louis Children’s Choirs. “Brown Smith Wallace is providing an excellent resource for women in business and non-profit endeavors.”
At the first event in November 2014, more than 250 professional women gathered for a breakfast presentation by Melenie Broyles of Etiquette Saint Louis to learn tips on how not to act during the holiday season. It was a funny yet useful discussion of the simple things that can sometimes make or break a holiday work event — from having up-to-date business cards to being aware of how your guest reflects your personal brand. Afterward, guests enjoyed networking and sampled fresh donuts made onsite by Stan the Donut Man.
“It was so nice to get to meet with other women leaders,” says Diana Wilhold, director of school outreach and youth development at BJC HealthCare. “In my job, I often am the one leading and do not take the time to connect with others.”
More than 300 women kicked off the New Year at The Bridge on Jan. 15, 2015, for the second event in the series. With New Year’s resolutions in mind, the event’s guest speaker Hillary Sale, professor at Washington University School of Law, presented three strategies for networking and building confidence in 2015.
“The speaker and event were very empowering,” says Nicole Meyer, subcontract accountant at SAK Construction.
Sale also spoke about the importance of paying it forward by connecting a woman you know to someone she should know. In the spirit of being a connector and bridge in the St. Louis business community, in October The Bridge will host “The Bridge BOOtique,” an event to support local, woman-owned businesses.
Connect with other professional women on The Bridge LinkedIn page or by following #BSWTheBridge on Twitter.