BY CAROLINE GABRIEL
Once a year, professional women around North Carolina meet to discuss what “Having it All” means to them. This year at Having it All’s summit, a panel of four diverse and successful women shared their secrets to being relevant, credible, and influential in their personal and professional lives to a crowd of 100 attendees.
Having it All began as the brainchild of E.L “Betsy” Smith, and Lisa Gabriel in 2013. In her role as facilitator of Having It All, Gabriel explained to the crowd, “Betsy and I began Having it All because we felt that women needed a space to interact and support one another in achieving professional prosperity. Women are vital to successful businesses, and we wanted to create an event that would celebrate that, and encourage collaboration between women — letting them know that they are not alone”.
Throughout their careers, Smith, owner of E.L Consulting, and Gabriel, President/CEO of Pinafore Wealth Counsel, consistently noted the lack of influential women in their respective fields. Gabriel and Smith were frustrated with the widespread ignorance of women’s value to business that was limiting women’s potential as professionals, and creating a toxic work culture.
Lisa shares, “Betsy and I found a space that needed filling. We feel that women need to lean on before we lean in — meaning that we must lean on one another for support before we can lean in to claim our positions as leaders.” To share their insight and empower their communities, Gabriel and Smith collaborated with influential women and sponsors to create an event where women could advise, uplift, and celebrate one other.
After three successful years, Having it All includes 100 participants from all areas of North Carolina, and has facilitated many empowering discussions and panels. This year, Having it All featured four diverse panelists who came together to share their inspirational personal stories and convey their secrets to professional success and happiness. Panelists Kelleny Berchuck, PHD, Dr. Dion Clark, Anne Greenwood, and Betsy Smith, PHD, collaborated in an hour-long panel discussing issues facing Having it All participants.
On the topic of supporting one another, co-creator and panelist Betsy Smith stressed that, “When we see other women in the workplace, we often think that we are in competition, but that’s not true! When women win, we all win. We need to support one another in reaching our goals so that we can all grow and achieve together.” Each panelist further explored the complex subjects of self-confidence, isolation, family, and emotional intelligence in the workplace.
However, the panel ultimately served as the catalyst for introspective discussions between the Having it All participants where they can advise one another and share their insights to success.
The Having it All Summit has created a community amongst North Carolina women where they can support one another in discovering what having it all means to them. When asked about the take-away from Having it All, one participant shared that, “Hearing the different ways that we all struggle thinking we are the only ones – there is strength in being genuine.”
Both personally and professionally, women are powerful. Engaging a dynamic group of women in meaningful conversation at events like Having It All and Women AdvaNCe’s Annual NC Women’s Summit encourages women to embrace this value and to engage one another in rising to success.
To learn more about Having It All, click here.