The Power of Purpose and Meaning

by Shreya Shome ’22

Dr. Cindy Pace speaks at 11th Annual Women & Leadership Workshop 20/20
11th annual Women and Leadership Workshop 20/20 on Friday, February 7, 2020. The workshop featured keynote speaker Dr. Cindy Pace, Vice President and Global Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Metlife.

On the 7th of February, I had the opportunity to attend an inspirational Women in Leadership Workshop with Dr. Cindy Pace, Vice President and Global Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at MetLife. I, along with several alumni and students from the 7-C Claremont Colleges, was able to hear firsthand stories and experiences of Dr. Pace’s journey to success and what she believed was most important for women to understand in order to find their passions and purpose.

Dr. Pace began the workshop with a presentation of what the difference between our passion and our purpose is and how we can work towards realizing them both. The concept of Empowered Leadership, that encourages a transformation from a passive mindset to an active belief that we can change the world, was what I resonated with the most as the first step to success. Dr. Pace emphasized how essential confidence is when empowering and inspiring others and motivated the audience to take educated risks in the future. She pointed out the tendency for women to underestimate their abilities as compared to men and urged us to change this, thereby urging us to have a higher self-efficacy.

After a short networking break, where I was able to talk to my peers and alumni about how Dr. Pace’s stories had struck a chord with them, we proceeded to a more interactive session. We engaged in an exercise to reflect on what we thought our purpose was in regard to our career and our work.  I was able to take the time to think about what I wanted to contribute to the world, what problems I wanted to change and how exactly I would start making this impact. Focusing on my short-term plans in order to accomplish my long term goals was an extremely mobilizing approach that helped me think of a definite path I wanted to start taking. Dr. Pace also went around the room discussing what the audience had personally answered to these broad questions. It was truly encouraging to witness the diversity of thought and ideas among my fellow peers in the room and was a testament to the unbridled potential of women in leadership.

In conclusion, the Workshop facilitated careful thought about our future goals, pushed us to test our limits and allowed us to acknowledge that there was nothing holding us back from taking the leap to success. Dr. Pace’s guidance on how to use our potential and resources to make our mark in the world was very much in tandem with everything I have learned from the Kravis Leadership Institute and was in totality a very enriching experience that I am certain every member of the audience will keep in mind when thinking about their future.