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Women Innovator’s Network: An Unexpected Gem at Dreamforce

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I’m just getting my feet under me after an unbelievably enjoyable and productive few days at Dreamforce.  We have lots to report about Salesforce’s exciting product announcements and the overall enthusiasm around the social enterprise and cloud computing.  But first, I want to tell you about an unanticipated find.

Our partner, Bluewolf, sponsors the Women Innovator’s Network, a community that highlights and promotes women as innovators. It celebrates, encourages, and supports female leaders, at all levels, and across all departments, who are driving business success.  The Network sponsored a luncheon during the event and invited several M5 ladies to attend.

The event was informative and inspiring.   Corinne Sklar, Bluewolf’s VP of marketing, led the conversation and introduced keynote speaker, Carolyn Feinstein, SVP of Global Consumer Marketing at Electronic Arts.  Carolyn shared her experiences as a female leader in a company with few female executives and a primarily male target market.  She related that she has obtained her success, not by acting like a man, but by being “1000% herself.”  Evidence shows that companies with strong female leadership are much more profitable than those that lack it.  Carolyn explained that this is not because women make better decisions than men, but because having a diversity of views and experience will always result in better decisions.

The event also honored several other women innovators including; Nancy Fernandez, Sr. Manager Expert Sales - TeleSales & Deployment at GlaxoSmithKline, Joanne Stamper, Director-Customer Support Operations at Compuware and Hilarie Koplow-McAdams, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Sales at salesforce.com.  Following the keynote, there was a fascinating open discussion about the challenges and advantages of being a female leader in business.

Perhaps the most exciting part of the event for me was the announcement of a mentorship program with Mills College.  Members of the Women’s Innovator Network will build mentoring relationships with Mills students to help guide them as they embark on their journey as innovators.  Mills College in Oakland, CA is one of the few remaining women’s colleges in the United States (and happens to be the school my daughter attends.)

I’d like to sincerely thank Corrine for the invitation and salute Bluewolf for their sponsorship of this important organization.