The USC Marshall School of Business recently hosted its third annual International Women’s Day Celebration, bringing together women executives and other leaders to discuss and examine the key issues women in business face.
The event, which was hosted on February 28th, included workshops, panel discussions and presentations from leaders across a diverse range of backgrounds— including marketing and finance executives and managers from all levels of top organizations and universities.
We have previously explored the growing role that women in business play in leadership and driving change throughout their organizations. However, the USC International Women’s Celebration offers an opportunity to bring together some of the best minds and think about what’s next.
We recently talked with USC Alumna Tara Lall to get her perspective on the event and share some of the things she learned.
USC International Women’s Day Celebration – Interview with Tara Lall
Tara Lall is an applications marketing manager on the Global Strategic Initiatives team at Oracle. She joined Oracle in 2013 and has been recognized for her efforts as top talent within the Oracle Marketing Organization. She was also placed on the Oracle Marketing Leaders Board. Tara is passionate about taking a stand for women in a corporate setting, as well as other categories of life. She stands along side other women in leadership to fight the noble battle of maintaining honesty and integrity in effort to protect the characteristics of human compassion on a day-to-day basis in the corporate world. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley and a member of the USC Marshall MBA Courses Class of 2017.
How would you describe the general atmosphere and environment at the Marshall International Women’s Day Celebration? What was it like to be involved in the event?
The atmosphere at the event was nothing short of welcoming and collaborative. It was clear that all who attended came with an honest and open heart. Everyone was sincerely willing to connect and learn from each other. There was no sense of hierarchy or superiority. There was mutual respect and a clear willingness to share experiences and pass on lessons learned.
What stood out most was the degree of authenticity in the room as the speakers and attendees shared their stories and provided feedback. I have never experienced that degree of sincerity at a conference.
What are the top three things you hope attendees took away from the discussions and workshops?
The discussions at the conference were a clear reminder that the fight for gender parity has still only just begun. While progress has been made, it is nowhere near where it should be. I hope that women walked away feeling fired up and empowered to continue to lead the way for real change.
It is important to realize that there is another woman who shares your feelings. I think it became clear throughout the panel and table discussions that as women, we face similar (if not the same) challenges in the work place. So, the next time there is a challenging scenario, remember that there is likely another woman in the office feeling the same thing. This creates a sense of unity. Don’t be afraid to communicate and strengthen the unity with other women.
Remember to support each other. There was a gentle reminder during one of the discussions that another women’s success does not mean an absence of your own. It is more valuable to build each other up than to tear each other down.
What advice do you have for women in the early stages of their career who aspire to become leaders?
Act with kindness. Know your worth. Stay humble. Practice emotional awareness at all times. It is ok to fail, because not trying is worse than not succeeding. Always pursue growth. Make it a point to build a network of mentors that guide your thought process and nurture your mind; and a diverse group of mentors is even better. Expose yourself to new ideas and perspectives.
What made the Marshall International Women’s Day Celebration especially meaningful to you?
I think the authenticity of the discussions is what made this event so meaningful. The speakers and attendees were honest with their answers, unfiltered in a way, and dove deep into the topic, rather than providing surface-level answers. I walked away from this event with a deeper sense of connectedness and understanding of myself, of other women, and who I strive to become as a leader.
About the USC Marshall School of Business
USC Marshall is one of the premier business schools in the U.S. and internationally recognized as a home for path-breaking research that emphasizes entrepreneurship, innovation, leadership and social responsibility. The USC Online MBA from the Marshall School of Business is built to help students succeed in the digitally driven business landscape, providing a curriculum focused on the practical skills expected of today’s global leaders. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, Marshall brings undergraduate and graduate students a unique perspective on the world, including global opportunities for experiential learning. The vibrant and active Trojan alumni community includes more than 89,000 people in 92 countries.