Top Five Takeaways from the MAKERS Conference

(L-R) Katie Juran, Sr. Director, Diversity & Inclusion; Jamie Myrold, VP, Adobe Design; Kira Dales, VP, Strategy and Operations, Cloud Technology; Wendy Steinle, Sr. Director, Experience Strategy and Digital Experience; and Max Long, SVP, Adobe Customer Solutions.
Top Five Takeaways from the MAKERS Conference

Last week, I had the pleasure of joining with several Adobe leaders to help the company make its mark at the MAKERS conference in Hollywood, an elite gathering focused on issues facing women in the workplace and society.

The conference theme, “Raise Your Voice,” connected a wide range of speakers, from a panel of celebrity women behind the #timesup movement to the first female U.S. fighter jet pilot to fly in combat.  Here are my top takeaways from the conference with links to replays of some of my favorite sessions:

  • Progress happens when brave women join forces.  The #timesup movement directed money and attention toward helping women speak up and fight back against sexual harassment.  Hearing these women at MAKERS speak about how they did it was inspiring.
  • Women are breaking down barriers.  Women are fighter pilots, ministers, artists and entrepreneurs, among many other callings that are really challenging.  Being a woman can make these roles harder, but it can also make them more successful through the unique perspectives and life experiences they bring.
  • Women face challenges across industries.  My colleagues and I are deeply steeped in the “diversity in technology” conversation, so it was refreshing (and concerning) to hear about the challenges that women in other industries also face.  Whether it’s farm work, restaurants, entertainment or many other fields, there is still a lot of work to be done.
  • Men are a critical part of the solution.  I loved Blake Irving and Kumail Nanjiani, among many other men at the conference, who clearly feel they are part of the solution in advocating for women and providing a level playing field.
  • Great women pay it forwardGloria Steinem, Pat Schroeder, Hillary Clinton, Barbara Smith, Betty Reid Soskin and many other women have made it easier for those who came after them through their advocacy and role modeling.  It’s humbling, and I hope future generations can have the same sense of purpose and responsibility.

Aside from participating in the sessions, a highlight from the conference for me was making a pledge onstage that Adobe will achieve gender pay parity between women and men globally this year.  We’ve hit several key milestones in pay parity recently in the U.S. and India and I’m excited to move this important work forward, while at the same time advancing the industry conversation on why it’s important and how to achieve it.

Thanks @MAKERSwomen for a great opportunity for everyone to #RaiseYourVoice.

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