For the second year in a row, our President and CEO Trish DeBerry attended Women in the World (WITW) in New York City. This year had one big difference: Trish brought along her 14-year-old daughter, Maddie. While Maddie accompanied her mom to this exciting event featuring speakers like Oprah Winfrey, Anna Wintour, Brie Larson, and (surprise guest) Hillary Clinton, we asked her to do a DeBerry Group social takeover. Throughout the event, our followers got to see the life-changing experience through this impressive young woman’s eyes.
To celebrate Take Your Daughter to Work Day (April 25), we spoke with Trish about what it meant to bring Maddie with her to New York City and to this incredibly impactful event.
What were the key differences for this year’s summit experience in light of bringing your daughter Maddie?
It was incredibly gratifying for me to see how enlightening WITW was for her, especially in the respect that she was very unaware of the some of the atrocities suffered by women in other parts of the world. I think it’s safe to say we try to shelter our children from these types of conversations, but Maddie is at an impressionable age where she can transform that information into power and stand up for women being marginalized in the U.S. and across the globe. My hope is that she engages and inspires conversations among her peers, so that they can become informed as well.
If there’s one thing you’d like Maddie to take home from the summit, what would that be?
Stand up and speak out for yourself and others. There were so many powerful women from corporate boardrooms to the halls of the White House to journalists reporting from the frontlines of some of the most dangerous conflicts in the world — all of them sharing one thing in common: they had found their voice. And that voice was confident, passionate, intentional, and powerful. We all have it…we just have to dig deep and find it.
What were the standout panels for you this year?
One of the standout panels for me this year was one entitled “Kicked Out,” which included women activists who had been banned from their countries (Iran & Saudi Arabia) because of their efforts to inform the world, through any means possible, the extent to which some countries will go to oppress women. For example, not letting females drive, get an education, ask questions, or forcing them into arranged marriages. They discussed being forced to give up family, life, and culture for the sake of exposing the truth.
Additionally, I found fascinating “Health Frontier” with actor Bryan Cranston, which was a panel very focused on Alzheimer’s and why it affects women disproportionately more than men. Some of that can be tied to what happens to a woman during menopause, but experts stressed the development of a certain molecule may help to prevent that and soon lead to a cure.
Neuroscientists also discussed the importance of sleep as we age, as it aids in brain recovery, but Bryan Cranston was able to relay such an extraordinary story about his mother dying of Alzheimer’s. He really seized the opportunity to engage in a new relationship with his mother, as she had no recollection of the difficult interactions they had endured in the past. His attitude and his poignant and humorous reflections on his “new” life with his mom were relatable, refreshing and touching.
Lastly, the one-on-one conversation with Indra Nooyi, former CEO of PepsiCo, entitled “Paying it Forward” really spoke to me. There are still so few female CEOs in Corporate America, and she was able to share her experiences at the top. She discussed balancing work and family, the myth of “having it all,” and the need for this country to get serious about addressing quality childcare. It’s vital that women can support their families by going to work with the peace of mind their children are in a safe, nurturing. and educational environment. In fact, she is writing a book and I can’t wait to read it!