What are women saying about the third annual Policy Circle Leadership Summit?

By The Policy Circle Team

So what are women saying about the third annual Policy Circle Leadership Summit?  

  • “During the Summit, I was struck by the power of the individual to effect change and create an positive impact in people’s lives. The speakers inspired me to be bold and move outside my comfort zone!” – Najah, Illinois
  • “This was my second Summit and I can’t wait for next year! I left Chicago feeling inspired, more confident in using my voice, and so supported by and connected to this incredible community.” – Lisa, California

On September 7, more than 200 women from around the country gathered in Chicago to experience the intersection of policy and leadership to create opportunities for others and for themselves.  For a day, women could pause, connect and learn to lead empowering policy conversations.

Circle Leader Staci S. from Texas interviewed The Honorable Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management and Budget and Acting Director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection and Ambassador Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, CEO of Pace Communications, former U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Finland and the first woman National Chair of the Board of the American Red Cross inspired all of us to step it up.  

Circle Leader Lacey W. from Indianapolis moderated an impressive lineup of panelists discussing how each of us can be a champion to create career pathways for all. Panelists presented innovative programs from corporate technical apprenticeships modeled after Germany, employing people with cognitive disabilities, mentorships and employment for high-schoolers, technical training in colleges, and the role of associations that lift women in non-traditional industries like manufacturing.   Read the brief, “Creating Career Pathways”, prepared especially for the Summit and also an excellent topic for circle discussion.

The afternoon mixed networking with how-to workshops:

  • How to network to advance your career and life goals,
  • Strategies to engage in productive conversations.
  • Demystifying how to get appointed to boards and commissions that shape policies and regulations.
  • “5M” approach to build community support and manage communication around an issue, a cause, or initiative.

The Policy Circle also honored five women with its first ever Policy Circle Awards for Growth, Experience and Engagement.  The awards went to women who have seeded circles across the nation, enriched the experience of circle members and promoted leadership in their states.  Recipients include Heidi G. (CO), Mary T. (GA), Jane C. (MO), Nancy M. & Leslie M. (IL), and Lacey W. (IN). Each received a commemorative Policy Circle bowl, Julianna Zobrist’s latest book Pulling it Off, and a fellowship to attend for free the State Policy Network conference this coming October in Utah.

The Policy Circle is about growing our leadership skills through policy conversations based on policy briefs. That experience gives us the confidence to engage in meaningful conversations, build relationships, expand our comfort zones and pursue our passions. That’s what the Summit was all about.  

We are grateful to our sponsors and hosts who made this energizing event possible.  Stay tuned for our recap movie.

So now what?

  • The Policy Circle Summit will reconvene next November.  Tell a friend and make it a girls’ weekend!
  • CircleUp and plan your fall meetings!  Visit your Circle page at www.thepolicycircle.org.
  • Not in a Circle?  Start a Circle with two other women at the office, two PTA friends or with two neighbors across the street.  Talk to Judi Willard: jwillard@thepolicycircle.org
  • Be a connector – introduce The Policy Circle model as an experience that can be incorporated to what your association or network already does. Touch base with Nicole Cline: ncline@thepolicycircle.org
It’s a movement!

Recommend a Circle Leader.  Especially in Georgia, California, Wisconsin, and Michigan, Kansas and Arizona where circles are sprouting.

Start a Circle in your community. Your community may be your profession or your neighborhood, or both. The Policy Circle is a simple way to practice the language of leaders with the facts and the space to be at ease with weighing in on the impact of policy.   

Invest in The Policy Circle. Together let’s build a network of women who want to be part of the dialogue on the impact of policy in their lives.  

The Policy Circle is a 501(c)3 that provides a fact-based, nonpartisan framework built to inspire women living in the same community to connect, learn about and discuss economic policies that impact their lives.  Women across the nation are taking a leadership role in the public policy dialogue on what human creativity can accomplish in an open economy.