NEW Executive Forum 2021: Action Items and Takeaways 

It’s been a powerful three days at NEW Executive Forum, filled with deep dives with industry experts, fresh perspectives on the challenges we all face in the workplace, and refreshing inspiration to push the fight to Advance All Women forward. Here are some of the key takeaways our speakers shared with us!

The Runways

Week 1 - Bold Business: Taking a Stand for the Greater Good

Speakers: Ben Hasan, SVP and Global Chief Culture, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer at Walmart and Tameka McBride, VP Sales, Gatorade & Propel at PepsiCo

Bold Question: What is your organization willing to take a stand on?

You can’t solve a problem until you become proximate to the problem.
Be courageous enough to have tough conversations.
This notion of DEI is fundamentally a leadership issue. It has to start at the top so it can permeate the organization.
If you don’t focus on underrepresented groups, you can’t drive effective change.
Be unapologetic about focusing on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging efforts.

Week 2 - Bold Actions: Taking a Stand for Customers

Speakers: Mary Barnard, President, US Sales, Mondelēz International, Justin Parnell, Senior Director, Oreo Brand, Mondelēz International, and Martina Spinatsch, VP of Beauty Care R&D at Henkel North America

What is your organization willing to take a stand on for your customers?

Ensure your DEI programs are authentic and credible.
Create an environment where people are not afraid of saying the wrong thing.
If you hear “no” from your team or leaders about something you’re passionate about, keep having conversations to see if you can push it forward.
When R&D and Sales work together to tell a brand or program story, it can bring things like sustainability to life for consumers.

Week 3 - Bold Support: Taking a Stand for Employees

Speakers: Tish Archie-Oliver, Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Unilever and Victoria Russell, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at Beam Suntory

What has your organization taken a stand on to support your employees?

Ask, “What is our organization NOT willing to take a stand on?”
Understand the barriers that are keeping people from coming into your organization and what keeps them from feeling like they belong once they get there.
You don’t need to, “Boil the ocean.” Do the analytics to find out where the disparities are so you can build your DEI strategies.
Listen to each other, give yourself grace, and assume positive intent from other people.


Bold Ideas: The Sum of Us

Speaker: Heather McGhee, author of The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together

Bold Question: What does racism cost us?

Racism has a cost for everyone. It is only in working together in cross-racial solidarity that we can really prosper together.

Information, in the right hands, is power.

We need to transform zero-sum thinking so we can see American diversity as the true asset it is.

The more players there are on the field scoring points, the better our team will do.

A black college graduate household has less wealth than an average white high school dropout. It’s about history playing out in your wallet.

The Solidarity Dividend is when people across race, across different, linking arms and coming together to solve big problems.

Diversity is our superpower!

The tension of diversity creates the creative tension that can help us solve problems together.

Everything we believe comes from a story we’ve been told.

If you really care about the mission of the company, the growth of the company, and serving the customers of the company, if it is not grounded in the commitment that a team and leadership that doesn’t reflect the global majority of the planet, is going to have blind spots.

Diversity makes us stronger, more innovative, and more creative.

Be explicit about the zero-sum fears.

Celebrate the wins as they come.

Bold Moves: Strong Stands and Building Bridges

Speakers: Karen Jones, Senior Director, Head of Learning & Development & DEI at NEW, Pamela Stewart, President, West Operations – North America Operating Unit, The Coca-Cola Company and Chair of Board of Directors, GLAAD

Bold Question: How can leaders navigate the business implications of taking a bold stand?

There is a consequence for speaking, and for not speaking.

There will always be a gravitational pull to do nothing.

It takes courageous leadership to make bold stands, because you may be the only one speaking up.

Companies have to own their own voices and their own narratives and provide context for consumers wherever possible.

This forthcoming generation requires a voice and consistency. They will hold you to task when you are inconsistent. That is challenging for leaders, to stay relevant.

Messaging and narratives matter to consumers.

Your employees are also a stakeholder.

If you only sit in the space that’s comfortable, change will not happen.

What three things have you been tasked with doing? When you are in a state of passivity, it’s time to take action.

Don’t let people sit inside stereotypes.

Bold Breakthroughs: Stepping Up and Stepping Forward for a Better World

Speaker: Carolyn Tastad, incoming CEO for P&G Health Care and Gender Equality Executive Sponsor, Procter & Gamble

Bold Question: How will you lead to accelerate progress toward a brighter future?

Consumers are telling us – without question – that they want brands to not only stand up, but also speak out on issues that matter to them. Doing the right thing isn’t a choice for business… it’s an expectation.

We need to make bold progress in Community Impact, Equality & Inclusion and Environmental Sustainability. This should be a common agenda for business – not a competitive one. There is so much more we can accomplish by working together.

“As one of the world’s largest advertisers, we feel a responsibility to shine a light on bias and start conversations that can change mindsets and spark action. Advertising shapes how people see the world – and see themselves. The images we show – the words we use – they matter.”

Ask yourself: How will I lead with love? And how will l make a difference?


July 28, 2021

Bold Vision: RSVP for CHANGE

Speaker: Kimberly Blaeser, PhD, poet and professor, University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee

Bold Question: What is your vision for change?

How will you RSVP for the future?

You have the power to write your own story. “I am…(write your superpower) and I (action you will use your superpower to change).”

Bold Action: Building an Inclusive Culture

Speaker: Jenn Lim, CEO of Delivering Happiness

Bold Question: How can you create a more inclusive culture?

Happiness is not money, title or status. It’s the people and relationships in our lives.

The rate and complexity of change is surpassing our ability to understand it.

Happier employees = happier customers = more profitable business and more meaningful lives.

Happy, engaged workforces lead to nearly 3X higher returns.

“Strong, authentic employee relationships naturally ripple into strong customer relationships.”

4 million people are choosing not to go back to work after COVID

The scientific levers of happiness are:

Sense of control

Sense of progress


Vision & Meaning

“There’s something beyond happiness. It’s not just being happy, it’s being human at work.”

Bold Women: Insights from new C-Suite Leaders

Speakers: Wendy Davidson, President of the Americas for Glanbia Performance Nutrition and Kathryn McLay, CEO of Sam’s Club

Bold Question: What does it take to lead through tumultuous times when you’re new to your role?

“We put kindness and empathy at the center of everything we do.” –Kath McClay

“Control what you can control. Monitor what you can control. And position the business to come out stronger on the other side.” –Wendy Davidson

“I have never met my boss in person, and he said, ‘I don’t know how tall you are. And I said, ‘How tall do I sound?’” –Wendy Davidson

“We’re talking about ‘future ways of working’ instead of ‘return to work.’ We want to embrace giving our associates a sense of control over certain dimensions of their lives.” –Kath McClay

Do the best you can with what’s in front of you.

Build a network around you that will challenge you.

“I don’t know a single leader who has stepped into a big role who doesn’t question whether they’re ready or not. You’re not alone.” –Wendy Davidson

“Love what you’re doing right now, in the role you’re in.” –Kath McClay

Bold Marketing: Behavior Change for Social Good

Speakers: Mark DiMassimo, from DiMassimo Goldstein, Mary Ann Reilly, Head of North America Marketing, Visa, Anitra Marsh, VP for Global Sustainability, Citizenship and Brand Communications, Procter & Gamble, Toni Clayton-Hine, CMO, EY Americas

Bold Question: What responsibility does corporations have to impact the greater good through their marketing efforts?

“All of these messages, products, and services we design—we have a responsibility for their impact.” –Mark DiMassimo

“Economies that include everyone, uplift everyone, everywhere.” Mary Ann Reilly

Relevance and empathy need to be built into any marketing organizations are doing now. –Sarah Alter

“This work is good for business. More consumers, more people want to support brands that support their beliefs…We want to be a force for good and a force for growth.” –Anitra Marsh

“You can’t market your way into purpose. It has to be completely true and authentic through the organization.” –Toni Clayton-Hine

“It’s not either or. You can drive purpose and drive business.” –Mary Ann Reilly

“Don’t just ask, ‘How are we talking about this.’ Also ask, ‘What are we doing about it’”? –Mark DiMassimo

Bold Moves: Closing the Gender Gap in Latin America

Speakers: Andrea de la Piedra, co-founder and CEO of Aequales and Álvaro Cárdenas, President, Latin America & Caribbean, Diageo

Bold Question: How have Latin American organizations addressed gender inequality?

Macho culture still prevails in Latin America and it keeps having a profound negative impact on gender equality

Business and corporate responsibility programs can play a huge role in changing culture to reduce the gender gap

“If we learned anything from the past 18 months, whatever we’re predicting is wrong. The future is going to be something different, so we need to expect the unexpected, be flexible and adjust.”

Bold Technology: Game-Changing Talent Management

Speakers: Libby Saylor Wright, Chief of Staff, US Retail & Consumer Goods, Microsoft, Eva Sage-Gavin, Senior Managing Director, Talent & Organization / Human Potential, Accenture, Gloria Samuels, Senior Managing Director, Accenture, Pat Wadors, Chief People Officer, Procore, Tracy Layney, SVP & CHRO, Levis Strauss & Company

Bold Question: How can we positively impact the shecession?

“When you try to make change in the world, compassion happens when you have empathy for the problem, plus action.” –Pat Wadors

“If we care so much, if we understand the pain, if we have privilege of role and insight, if we have the capability of resources, and the grit to make it happen…If not us, who? If not now, when?” –Pat Wadors

“The future of work is much bigger than a hybrid work model…What this last 18 months has proven to us is that we can imagine something better, a workplace that is vibrant and flexible, where people can integrate their personal and work lives in a meaningful way without all the burnout and overwork and everything we’ve been trained to think is part of work. We’ve learned people can bring creativity and a sense of purpose to their work no matter what that work is.” –Tracy Layney

“Organizations have learned from the pandemic that we need to be truly human and play an active role in supporting the physical and mental health of our people and their families.” –Gloria Samuels

“Put the human first.” –Pat Wadors

“We should have the care and courage to challenge our own thinking.” –Pat Wadors

“Be a catalyst for change. Be a constructive disrupter!” –Eva Sage-Gavin

“Instead of competing on talent, let’s lift each other up. Compete on products and services.” – Gloria Samuels

“Is there a post-pandemic workforce? This experience has radically changed what we think about work and how people participate in work.” –Eva Sage-Gavin

Leadership lessons you learned from the pandemic that you’ll take with you:

The power of the network. –Eva Sage-Gavin

Co-creation is magic. –Pat Wadors

Speed over perfection. –Gloria Samuels


Session 1: Bold Preparation: Attracting Gen Z

Speakers: Janese McClellan, Sales Category Director at Procter & Gamble, Ziad Ahmed, CEO and founder, JUV Consulting, Valerie Ntinu, D&I and Communications Specialist for HR Europe and Indonesia, Ahold Delhaize

Bold Question: Who are the leaders and consumers of the future?

Young people are spoken about but not spoken to.

Gen Z is a challenging, empowering and powerful cohort.

There is a lot of time focusing on recruitment and not enough time thinking about how to make young diverse employees thrive.

Gen Zs don’t want to just get coffee. Gen Z needs power and agency right now.

We want a workplace where we can talk about who we are and where we are.

Valerie Ntinu:

Actively increase your presence on social media, including Snap Chat and TikTok for recruiting.

ERGs can be used to give Gen Z employees a voice and connection to each other.

Session 2: Bold Trust: Building Bridges

Speakers: Dr. Jane Delgado, the president and CEO of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, Hillary Leisten, CHRO of Walgreens, and Dr. Archelle Georgiou, Chief Health Officer at Starkey Hearing Technologies

Bold Question: How can we build trust with our employees and customers when disinformation is rampant?

Connect on a human level with people. Find the human emotions beneath their struggles.

Tap into trust that already exists and build on it.

We need to engage people in different ways.

One of the most important things a leader can do to build trust is to be accessible and transparent.

Figure out where the most trust exists and tap into that communication channel.

Lean into the challenge instead of hide from it.

Session 3: Bold Allyship: Choice + Voice

Speakers: Tom Foley, facilitator of NEW’s Beyond Allies program, Justin Whitmore, Chief Strategy Officer, Keurig Dr. Pepper, Eric Schuetzler, VP Global R&D, Beam Suntory

Bold Question: How can men more powerfully and intentionally advance women in the workplace?

The Choice to be an Ally starts with learning and listening

You must choose to act – your voice is powerful and Allyship demands action, it demands that you choose to stand-up

Choose to challenge the norms – small moments have great impact


Session 1: Bold Well-Being: Facing the Burnout Problem

Speaker: Jennifer Moss, author of Unlocking Happiness at Work and The Burnout Epidemic

Bold Question: In what ways can you improve the way you’re supporting your employees?

Overall well-being has decreased during the pandemic.

Women’s unpaid labor increased by 15 – 20 hours more per week during the pandemic.

The average number of meetings we’re in has increased by 24%. Before scheduling ask, is this meeting necessary? Does it have to be a video call? Can we turn off our cameras? Can we walk and talk?

The future of work is here. There’s no going back.

Research shows that communicating empathically increases job satisfaction, reduces burnout, and highly correlates to enhance well-being.

Session 2: Bold Connections: Building Strong Relationships

Speakers: Colleen Taylor, President of US Merchant Services, American Express, J. Christopher Ward, EVP, Head of Product and Operations for the Treasury Management Group, PNC Bank

Bold Question: Who do you invite into your inner circle?

After we trusted each other, we were able to ask each other the dumb questions and give each other advice around our differences around race and gender.

The work environment gives you the opportunity to engage with people who are different.

What are the actions you’re taking each day to foster inclusion and dialogue?

Each one of us can make a huge impact by finding someone different from us and go have a coffee and make an effort to get to know someone different. It will enlighten your world.

Session 3: Bold Self-Care: Managing Your Energy

Discussion with Q&A

Speakers: Sarah Moe, founder and CEO of Sleep Health Specialists, Pilar Gerasimo, award-winning health journalist and the author of The Healthy Deviant

Bold Question: How much is fatigue costing you and your business?

Pilar Gerasimo

Fewer than three percent of U.S. adults are currently healthy, happy, and on track to stay that way. The reason that the vast majority of us are struggling with physical and mental health challenges has less to do with our individual personal willpower and knowledge of “healthy choices” than it does with widespread, chronic depletion, distraction, and overwhelm — all products of our historically unprecedented and unsustainable culture.

One crazy (but socially normalized) thing most of us do is go for hours without a break on a daily basis. This conflicts with our body-mind’s preprogrammed repair patterns and leads directly to physical, mental, and emotional breakdown. While sleep is our most extended daily self-repair opportunity, an equally important repair practice involves taking mini-rests — known as Ultradian Rhythm Breaks — throughout the day. Taking 20-minute breaks (or even shifting into a lower-demand gear) every hour and a half to two hours allows the body-mind to accomplish critical rebalancing, repair, and replenishing tasks.

Sarah Moe

Before bed, do restful, relaxing activities to release sleep initiating hormones.

Caffeine prevents us from sleeping.

If you wake up in the middle of the night with racing thoughts, find ways to release your worry. You could keep a journal next to your bed so you can write down what you’re worried about.

Rest = Productivity

Bold Impact

Speakers: Helene Pamon, Head of Personal Care at Sanofi Consumer Healthcare, Angelica Lisk-Hann, Canada’s first Black female stunt coordinator, Mary J. Blige, Grammy award-winning and Oscar-nominated singer-songwriter, actress, producer, and philanthropist

Bold Question: What does it take to be bold?

If you have the courage to be vulnerable, other people can learn from you

Boldness is accepting and loving everything about yourself so you can step out and be yourself.

Give people more than one opportunity so they can learn.

You can choose how to react anything coming at you that’s going to drain you. You can’t take it home or it will consume you.

Being bold is really just being yourself, going for what you want, and not listening to people who say no.

Walk into a room and own it.

Don’t mold and change yourself for other people.

Be the coach of your team.

Show up and lead. You never know the kind of impact you’re having on someone else’s life just by being you.


July 29, 2021

Bold Mind: Navigating Uncertain Times

Deep Dive Session and Connections

Speaker: Jeremy Hunter, PhD, Founding Director of the Executive Mind Leadership Institute and Associate Professor of Practice at the Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management

Bold Question: How can you use the power of your mind to transform your results in stressful situations?

How do you become more effective than you already are?

When you raise your Inner Game, you can exert leverage over the ENTIRE game.

You and your team can elevate both performance and well-being.


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