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Women Empowering Each Other: Inspiring Cadence Bank Conference Session

Space City Cash Conference held in Houston this fall attended a special panel discussion: Women Empowering Each Other: Topics Impacting Women in the Workplace.

Conference goers at the Space City Cash Conference held in Houston this fall got a real treat when attending a special panel discussion titled, “Women Empowering Each Other: Topics Impacting Women in the Workplace.”
Panelists included Myra Caldwell, EVP, Director, Treasury Management Operations and Deposit Operations, Cadence Bank; Kristin Lamm, CFO, Holocaust Museum of Houston; Chelsea Reeder, SVP and Sales Manager, Amegy Bank; and Jordan Timberlake, Director of Treasury, Memorial Hermann Health Systems. The panel was moderated by Kacy Owsley, EVP, Director of Client Consulting for Cadence.
Touching on issues central to the development of women in the workplace, including personal and career, mentors, inspiration and motivation, workplace challenges, leadership, gender, and work/life balance, the session struck a chord with the primarily female audience.
Here are some highlights from the conference:
Q: What advice would you give to women who want to succeed in the workplace?
[Kristin Lamm] Ask for what you want. If there is a specific role in your company that you would like to play, ask for it. When I worked at one of the large accounting firms, I wanted to work abroad. While it wasn’t directly offered to me, I was able to do so because I asked.
Q: What is the best advice you have ever received?
[Myra Caldwell] Don’t let someone’s preconceived ideas about who you are define you in your career. Everyone’s journey is different; the path you take won’t be the same as someone else’s, but that doesn’t make it wrong.
[Lamm] Don’t wait until your 100 percent ready and comfortable – have faith in yourself and stretch outside your comfort zone. You’re likely to surprise yourself with what you’re capable of doing.
Q: What does empowerment mean to you?
[Caldwell] To be self-empowered is empowerment. Embrace who you are and define the goals you want to accomplish. With self-confidence, you’ll have the drive to go after them.
Q: What is the best decision you’ve ever made? What is the biggest mistake you’ve ever made?
[Lamm] The best business decision I’ve made was to accept the role as CFO at Holocaust Museum Houston. When I was approached for this position, I wasn’t sure that I was ready. I’d been out of the workforce for a bit and was concerned that I wasn’t up-to-speed on the new accounting rules. But I’m so glad I embraced the challenge. In situations where you doubt yourself, remember that even if you don’t think you’re ready, someone else does.
[Caldwell] The best AND worst decision I’ve made was to listen to someone early in my career whose thoughts were limiting about African American women in the workplace. It was the best decision because this thinking pushed me to challenge those limits and prove I could do more – and be more – than what was expected. Yet, it was also the worst decision because I temporarily believed him because I couldn’t see any other African American holding position in the career path I aspired to follow.
Q: How can mentors influence your life?
[Lamm] Find a mentor, both inside and outside the company, who embodies someone you want to become. That gives you a role model to follow professionally and personally.
Q: How do you achieve work-life balance?
[Caldwell] Many years ago, I found that I had my Blackberry in my hand so often that I needed to find something else to do with my hands to keep them occupied. So I started playing the piano, and I still do to this day, though not very well! A hobby let me leave work behind but still feel like I was accomplishing something.
[Lamm] It’s important to have balance no matter what life stage you’re in. If you have a partner, share the responsibilities required to maintain your home and raise your family. Don’t let gender stereotypes dictate what roles are played, and by whom.
Q: What do you do to constantly challenge your underlying beliefs and assumptions?
[Caldwell] I believe everyone needs a Chief Ego Deflator – someone who’s going to keep it real. This is someone who is going to challenge you, support you, push you past your limitations, yet always be honest with you and not just tell you what you want to hear.
There was such a strong audience-panelist connection, that one female audience participant shared a very personal story about keeping her emotions in check at the workplace. The panelists offered this advice: When you’re feeling emotional, detach yourself for a moment so you can contain your thoughts and emotions. Removing yourself from the heat of the moment may help you handle the situation in a way that makes you feel more in control.
Another panelist aptly concluded the session with a quote from Kung Fu Panda’s Shifu, Master of the Jade Palace: “If you only do what you can, you will never be more than you are now.”
This article is provided as a free service to you and is for general informational purposes only. Cadence Bank makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of the content in the article. The article is not intended to provide legal, accounting or tax advice and should not be relied upon for such purposes.

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