2015 Global Women’s Forum – Part 5 features BBC World News America anchor Katty Kay

2015 Global Women’s Forum – Part 5 features BBC World News America anchor Katty Kay


Hi, I’m Kevin O’Reardon, and I lead the
Walmart technology team here in Reston, Virginia, and we’re really excited to be part of
this great event today. Our next guest will be speaking about confidence, a topic she knows a ton about. She’s
the lead anchor for BBC World News America and her most recent book “The confidence
Code” is her second New York Times bestseller. And, quite frankly a definitive work on
the topic. Please welcome Katty Kay. (applause) If I was really confident, I would have dressed like Kevin this morning in just jeans and sneakers.
It is so great to be part of this forum. Thank you all for being here. And to all of you who are watching this
around the globe, Walmart’s really been in the forefront of some of these issues,
and we’ve been thrilled over the years of writing books on women’s issues to be
working with the company in some things that you’ve been doing. The work that we’ve done on confidence
came out of conversations I’ve had over the years with senior women in industries from politics to business
to journalism to the military, and I’d hear these
women say things like “You know, I’m just lucky to have got where I’ve
got to,” or “I was in the right place at the right
time.” Or in my case the only reason that I’ve been
successful in America is because I speak the way I do. It must be that British accent, right? We
know it gives me extra IQ points because it couldn’t possibly be my own talents, or
my hard work, or my own ability that would be preposterous. And it led us to think: is there a gap in confidence between men and women?
Particularly in the workplace, because women, when it comes to their personal
lives, think about it: your relationships with your kids, with
your spouse’s, with your friends. Women tend to be
very confident in those areas but when it comes to our work lives,
something is going on where we start undervaluing our ability, which is crazy,
because if you look at it, women are incredibly able. This is a
great time to be a woman in the workforce. We’re getting more degrees than
men. We’re getting more post-graduate degrees than the men, and we’re getting more
Ph.D’s than men. All those qualities that used to be seen
a “soft skills;” our ability to communicate, our ability
to read a room; to interact well with people, to bring
about consensus; we’re great mentors. Those things used to be seen as soft.
Now they’re seen as profitable. The thing is women don’t seem to be
recognizing that yet, and it is holding us back. This gap in
confidence is holding us back. Hewlett Packard has done work on this. Women will apply for a promotion when
they have 100 percent of the skills for the job.
Men will go for that same promotion with just sixty percent of the skills,
because they figure guess what, they’ll learn the rest when they get there. And they’re right, and so would we.
Manchester University in the UK, for the last seven years in the MBA
program, they’ve asked men and women “What do you think you deserve to earn five years after graduating?” Men, on average, say they they deserve to earn
eighty thousand dollars. Women think they deserve to earn
sixty-four thousand dollars. Do we really think we’re twenty percent less
valuable? There’s no evidence that we are, but we
are underestimating our value. Columbia
University: men tend to overestimate their ability by something like thirty percent. It might
not be the only thing they overestimate, but they do overestimate their ability. Women tend to routinely underestimate her abilities, and that’s
what we need to do. We need to close this confidence gap.
It’s very simple: all we want to do is bring our perception
of our ability in line with our actual ability. Men skew
high, women tend to skew low time and again.
You can give men and women a scientific reasoning quiz. Women will say they have performed less
well than they’ve actually performed. Men will say they have performed better than they’ve actually performed.
In reality, we’ve done pretty much the same We need to bring our perception of
our ability up because when we lacked confidence at
work it holds us back from getting as far as
we can. I would say it holds us back in life. You want to run for PTA, but you’re worried
about what the other women and men on the team might think. You wanna run a marathon, but you don’t
think you’ve got the ability. You want to learn Spanish. Are you really up to it? You want to go
across the room to meet that interesting looking stranger at the
party, but you’re worried about getting rebuffed Confidence is what’s gonna get you there,
and it’s particularly important in the workplace. There was a
great study done by a guy called Cameron Anderson out in Berkeley in California and Cameron Anderson
studies the relative importance of competence and confidence when it comes to success.
He gives his students a quiz, a historical quiz, and they just
have to tick the things that they recognize. And in that quiz
he puts in what he calls a few fakes. There’s a Queen Shebab makes an appearance, and
there’s a Murphy’s last ride. So he gets the students to tick all
these things, and the students who tick the most amount of
fakes he deems to be the most overconfident.
They think they know more than they actually do. They’re probably also a little bit less
competent than the others. Fast forward to the end of the academic
year. The students who are the most
overconfident are the ones who have the most status in
the group. They are the ones whose ideas kick up to
the next level, who are universally respected and admired, who are seen as the leaders in the group.
They have the most success. His conclusion is that when it comes to
success, confidence matters as much, if not more,
than competence. When I first did this interview — I wrote this
book with a co-author Claire Shipman. I did this interview with Cameron Anderson, and Claire said to me “no, no
Katty, I think you’ve got this wrong.” Which doesn’t suggest a lot of
confidence in her co-author and, it can’t possibly be true, I mean, it’s just an absurd idea that competence could not be as valuable as
confidence. So we went back to Cameron Anderson, and sure enough, this is his conclusion that
confidence matters more than competence when it comes to success. And then we thought this was so
depressing, we almost didn’t put it in the book because for women its anathema. We are all about competence. We think that if we
put our heads down, and we work hard, and we play by the
rules, and we color in the lines, somebody
will come along and tap us on the shoulder, and tell us our natural talents have been rewarded. And then we’ve looked around us kind of
irritated as the guys around us have got promoted over
us, and pay rises bigger than ours, and we knew they want more competent than
we were but they had something else: they had
confidence. And we decided we needed to put this in
the book because it is time for women to redefine what talent really means. A part of talent is having confidence. It is that ability to speak up in a
meeting; to come up with new ideas; to tell your boss when you’ve had a
success; to go for that promotion; to be in the forefront of the team and
show leadership capacities. That is confidence, and it matters when
it comes to success, and I think it’s time that women, rather than
kind of shying away from this idea embrace it, because it’s something that
we can all learn. It was about this time in our research that we started getting very interested in what confidence is. This quality the seems to have so much importance. Where does it come from? How could we define it? And we asked
dozens of academics. We interviewed neuroscientists
and psychologists and business professionals for this book, and we asked them all inevitably, “Okay. Can you define
confidence for us? What is confidence? And time and again we would be met with a pause. “Well, it’s complicated.” And being
academics, they all had different points of view. Eventually, we came to a professor at
Ohio State University, Richard Petty, who defined confidence beautifully and
simply for us. He says that confidence is the stuff that turns thoughts into
action. And that thoughts without action are pretty useless. Confidence
is the stuff that turns thoughts into action. It’s wonderfully simple, and it’s a great I think idea for women. And it’s a
virtuous circle, because confidence is what turns our
thoughts into action. But when we take action we get more
confidence. We grow it. You can grow confidence by overcoming hurdles; doing things that are
difficult for you; going outside your comfort zone. Trying that thing that just seems a little bit too
scary. That’s how you build confidence. So confidence is all about taking action.
Another study that we had in this book, that was kind of for me the bookend of the
research we did, was by a guy called Zach Estes. He’s out at the University of Milan
in Italy, and he’s a psychologist who is working
on gender and confidence. Zach Estes sits men and women in front what
he calls a spatial awareness test, and the best way I can describe it is that it’s like a series of Rubik’s
Cubes puzzles that they have to solve online. He gets the
men and women in front of this test and, traditionally, women don’t do very well in spatial awareness tests. We tend to fall
shorter than men do. It’s related to that ridiculous idea that we
can’t park cars and read maps. Anyway, he gets them in front of this test and,
sure enough, the women do less well than the men. So he goes back over the test, and he finds
that actually what’s happening is that the women are skipping answers
more often than the men are, even though they know that that will
bring down their score, they’re choosing to skip a question. So the
next time around, he goes to the next group and he says “okay, you all have to answer all of the questions.”
When the women have to answer the questions, guess what
happens? They do just as well as the men. and when we asked Zach Estes “so why were the women skipping the questions?” he said it was because
they didn’t want to risk getting them wrong. They would rather skip a question than risk answering it wrong, and that is a big
issue for women, and a big issue for confidence. It’s all
to do with perfection. Women are 25 percent more prone to
perfectionism than men, but it holds us back from taking the
kind of risk of answering a question where we’re not 100 percent sure we’re going to get the answer right, or
raising our hand in a meeting when we aren’t 100 percent sure that our question is immaculately formed; or going for that
promotion where we don’t have a hundred and thirty-three percent of the skills. There’s an element of perfectionism there. We
are perfectionists in our work lives. We’re perfectionists as wives, we are perfectionists as mothers, we are
perfectionists in the kitchen, we are perfectionist in the yoga studio. Who hasn’t checked their down dog to
check it was more perfect than somebody else’s? I love the downside to perfectionism in
the 2008 presidential campaign. I was traveling a lot, because that’s what
political journalists do during primary campaigns, and my youngest
child (I have four kids, my youngest was two at the time) and I would go off on trips all the time
around the country on the campaign trail, and I realized I would go off on a trip,
and before I went on a trip I would fill the fridge with extra food, I would lay on extra babysitting, I would
leave long and quite obnoxious lists around the house
Poppy needs to go to piano, and Maya has a book report, and Jude
needs to go to the doctor, and I found myself getting really irritated,
because my husband would go off on business trips, and he wouldn’t do any
of this. So the next trip I went on, I probably did put my hands on my hips and said “listen
Tom, this is really not fair. I go off on all these trips, and I organize
all this extra stuff, and you go off on trips and you don’t
organize anything.” And Tom loked at me and said “you know what Katty, you’re right, but I never
asked you to.” And he was right. So the next trip, no extra food, no extra babysitting not a single list, and that was really
hard for me. And everything was fine. The only thing
that was slightly damaged was my ego, because I realized I was more dispensable than I thought I was. And, my husband did buy 10 pounds of cod for four people, so we had an awful lot of frozen fish in the freezer, and I don’t even really like cod. But it
was a very good lesson to me in not trying to be perfectionist in
everything, because it is exhausting, and it will hold you back. We keep hearing stories from people in
senior positions; of young associates, male and female, where
the woman will do everything, meticulously plan
everything, and the guy’s just throwing out ideas all the time, and half of them get
rebuffed, and it doesn’t matter to him. Because one other thing that men seem to do
much better than women when it comes to confidence is let stuff roll off their back. We are like a dog with a bone when it comes to
a tiny little bit of criticism, or the smallest mistake that we’ve made.
And we will cling to it. We will not let it go, and it
goes round and round and round in our head. Athletes, female and
male athletes. Coaches who have trained both female and
male athletes will say that one of the biggest differences between the two is that men will let things go. They make a
bad play, they have a bad match, it rolls off their back. Women will hang on to it, and it will affect their performance out
on the court the next time around. It’s an incredibly important lesson I think
for women to learn from the men in our lives. Just watch
them. Watch how they will, they’ll have a row at
work. My husband had one recently with his boss, and after a few days he came home and I said
to him “okay, so Tom, how’s things going with Jessica?” And he looked at me like “what do you mean? I said “you know, you
had a row with her a while ago.” And he said “yeah, but that was three days ago.” I was
worried about his row with his boss from three days ago. It had gone for him. That’s an incredibly useful lesson for
women, because again it’s that that kind of over thinking is one of the things that
holds us back. So where does confidence come from? We were surprised to
learn when we’re writing this book that confidence is partly genetic. Something like 25 to 40 percent. We did a
lot of work with neuroscientists who are looking at confidence in monkeys, and
confidence in rats. I didn’t know that they were
confident and un-confident rats, but apparently there are. And they are homing in on the genes that affect our confidence levels, and
they’ve narrowed it down to about three, and they are the genes that affect hormones
in our bodies. Things like dopamine serotonin, and oxytocin. And if you have a certain variant of that
gene, you are more predisposed to confidence than if you have a different variant.
So, Claire suggested we should get our own genes tested for the book. I wasn’t really thinking about this, so I
kinda went along with the plan, and it’s terribly easy it turns out to get your genes
tested. You spit into a little tube and you send it off in a FedEx envelope, and then you spend
two weeks sweating. Because what happens if your genes come back, and they’re not
perfect? Because that would be all of your fault,
right? Anyway, after two weeks, we get the email
from the neuroscientist, and we open up the emails, and I stand before you a basket case when
it comes to confidence. I have no genetic predisposition to
confidence. And it was another moment in our
research where we thought “What do we do with this? This is not what we expected.” But in fact, what it made us realize is that
whilst confidence is to some extent genetic, it’s much more importantly a choice. It’s what psychologists call
the volitional, and you can choose to take action. You
can choose to take a risk. Try that thing that is
difficult for you. Put your hand up in that meeting where
you think everybody’s gonna stare at you and you might blush, and you might sweat, and you might say something that
people think is stupid. What’s the worst that’s gonna happen? The sky won’t fall on your head. The earth won’t
swallow you whole. You will still be there. You could go for
that promotion. You might not get it. Part of taking a risk is failing
sometimes, but you’ll still be standing, and taking risks is a prerequisite to
building confidence. Act more. It goes with the idea of thinking less. We know that
you can send a man and a woman into an identical
review. The man will come out convinced he’s about to get a promotion. The woman comes out thinking she needs
to find a new job, that she’s about to get fired because she
will have heard that one little line: “room for growth … could improve on…” and that’s what will spin round in her head.
I do the same thing. I’ve anchored shows where I’ve asked one
stupid question in the course of three hours. 12 hours later I’m thinking about that
one stupid question. I’m not thinking about the other great stuff I’ve done during
that three hours. The next day I’m still thinking about
that one question. Three weeks later I’m still thinking about that one dumb question. It probably wasn’t even a dumb question,
but it’s going round and round in my head. It’s called ruminating, and it’s what women are very good at. We
need to draw a line under the ruminating because it stops us from taking risks. So that’s really the critical part of
the confidence code need. We need to act more and think less. But the final part of the confidence code is
being authentic. We wrestled with this a lot while we were
doing our research. Basically, the idea of “do you have to be a jerk to be
confident?” Is the person that’s confident the one that has
the most swagger and the most bravado, and the person that dominates the meetings
and speaks loudest and longest? Is that what confidence is? Because I think for a lot of women
that’s kind of an alien idea. We feel like we’re putting on somebody else’s armor. It was Christine Lagarde, the head of the
IMF, who we interviewed during the course this book, who kinda
helped us with this issue, and she said the most important thing for women is to
be authentic. Remember, you have all of those talents. All of those things you bring to the
table: an ability to listen, to build consensus,
to read a room having high EQ, being great managers. Those are important skills. You don’t want to
jettison those in the pursuit of confidence. Trying to put on somebody else’s
behavior doesn’t work for us. We know in the 1980s we wore those
horrible shoulder pads, and the string ties, and believe me, it really didn’t work. We don’t want women to become men. The value
of diversity, and the reason that it works is because we bring different
perspectives to the table. So you need to have your voice heard. We
can’t afford for you not to. You’re not there by the grace and favor
of your employer. You’re there because you’re valuable. We need
to hear your voice. You don’t need to apologize for it. And we
need to hear your opinions, and we need you to get up to the top. But do it in a way that is authentic.
That is what is gonna work best for women. So act more, think less, and be authentic. The three tenets of
the confidence code. Thank you very much. Thank you. And now over to Karenann. Thank you, Karen. (Karenann) Katty, that was fantastic. We do not want women to be men, and we need your voices. Thank you so much. Thank you for your
comments. So the way that I think we can learn as
well is through the stories of women who have
been on confidence journeys, and we have
assembled a panel today of people who have been
through the journey personally, and have a great diversity of experiences. So let’s spend some time talking about the
journey, and some of the ideas that we have
actually formed and learned on our journey. So with me today I would like to introduce
to you 3 phenomenal women. The first is Jaquetta Bratley. Jaquetta joins us,
she is a store manager, she’s been with Walmart over five years. She has a very, very interesting take on confidence. Also joining us is Shelley Broader. Shelley runs all of the EMEA, Canada, the UK and Africa region for
International. And also joining us is Mary Beth Cromwell.
She has responsibilities for all of the home category in merchandising for Walmart
U.S. Ladies, welcome. Let’s start with this concept of confidence. It’s often described as looking comfortable; making it look easy. I love Katty’s definition of action; taking ideas into action. You are all very, very confident women. What is it that underlies how you make it look easy? (Jaquetta) When I think about confidence, I think
about taking risks. So a confident person, or a confident woman,
you must take risks, and just understand that
when you take those risks there is a big reward to the risk. Don’t
think when you take the risk there’s nothing but failure. You have to be confident in yourself
that, when this does happen, that you pick yourself right back up, and you
just keep going with what you had going on. (Karenann) So, have you taken risks yourself that
really have underpinned your confidence? Yes, I think I am the prime
example being very confident in a workplace.
I graduated from Morgan State University which is HBCU in Baltimore. The day after graduation I started with
Walmart as an assistant manager, and every year and a half after that I
was promoted. So, from assistant to co-manager, and now store manager. And, I really don’t plan stop. I’m just
going to keep going, whether it’s a another woman standing next
to me, or 6-foot-7 man, I’m gonna keep going and I’m gonna, I say, I told her this in the car, I’m gonna be
president of Walmart one day. Oh! I love it, I love it. So, when I
think about that, that’s, that’s my motivation. To, you know,
take risks, and not be, you know, scared of failure. Awesome, Shelley, what’s
your, what underpins that you exude? (Shelley) Well, thanks
for saying I do, Karenann. I think there’s a lot that underpins
confidence. I think it’s a history of your own life experiences. I
think it’s belief that you’re the person that should be
making that decision, and I think it takes a long time for some
people to get there, and we were talking about a sports analogy
yesterday. I was a basketball player, you know, right up
until University, and there were certain times in sports where
the game would be tied, and and the clock would be ticking down, and I
would be in there saying “oh, dear God, don’t let that ball come to me. Don’t
foul me. Don’t put me at the line.” And I remember working through that, and
getting to the point where I was saying “I hope it’s me. I’m gonna get fouled.” You know, I have a heck of a flop now.
You know, I wanna get fouled, because I believed I
should be the one on the line, and not that I
was the best shot or the most incredible athlete, but I could
pull it together in that moment, and have that clarity to
make that score. And now, I think my confidence comes not from the fact that I’m the best
person to make that decision, but I’m confident that I can get the facts, pull
the team together, survey the situation, understand the
strategy and lead that team in the best direction.
(Karenann) Mary Beth, you have, you have a fascinating
background. You came from outside retail or through the Sam’s business, and now in Walmart U.S. What is
it that makes you so confident. (Mary Beth) Thanks for
saying I am. I think most of all, if I look back on when I felt the most confident in a
particular situation, it was when I was prepared. Right? I came to the table understanding
the topic. Sometimes, and Shelley, you and I were talking
about this this morning, you know, sometimes it’s you’re cold called.
Right? What is it? How do you get through that, and there’s there’s two things, I think helped me
get through those situations, and first, Shelley, as you pointed out this
morning, you probably know more than anyone else on the topic
that you’re being asked, so relax and trust yourself you’re
gonna answer answer the question well. And the second
is if all else fails, we’ve all screwed things up before, or flubbed things, and we’re still here.
It’s not going to kill you. Right? There are very few life situations that
actually will, and, I think, we we’re also sharing some
past, you know, life backgrounds. Those tough times that
you’ve been through are excellent preparation for a simple
question during an officers meeting. Right? (Karenann) I love that concept of preparation, because it speaks to
what Katty talked about of competence and confidence, and, if you look at those two concepts,
I’ll bet you throughout your career you’ve
seen some great leaders who actually mixed those two together, and I would love to
hear some of those stories of what you observed through your eyes of competent and confidence in leaders
that you view as successful. Shelley? Well, I think there’s
some great examples throughout history of people that
have incredible confidence and competence, and I’ve had
the opportunity in my career to work for some really incredible
leaders, and there was a particular point my career
when I worked for a less functional chain, we shall say,
than the one we all work for today. And there
were some enormous decisions that needed to be made
in the area of the business that I ran, and I was for really contemplating and
trying to get every fact and every reason, and trying to
decide whether we should continue to run this division, or close
this division. And I was looking at the P&L; looking
at my competitors; studying the real estate; trying to
find the definitive decision. And I did in fact
have all of the facts, but what I had never done is made a go
or no go macro-level decision at that size before. And my boss at that time said “listen,
you’re gonna beat this thing to death. You’re gonna beat this decision to death, and it’s
never gonna be definitive.” “You’re gonna have to say ‘what is your gut telling you.'” And his competence in his ability to
lead major decisions gave me the confidence to say
“I’m really being paid for my opinion at this point. For gathering the
facts and coming to that resolution.” And seeing
somebody who had that level of expertise, long experience in the
business, just applying the same set of fact that I have with a different level of confidence was really eye-opening
for me. (Karenann) So, if you look at the competence that is
necessary for you to do your jobs; the competence that is necessary, do you
think Katty is right? Do you think that if you waited for, to assemble all of the competencies, that it would have made
any difference in the success that you have today in your job? Think of a store manager. You’ve moved very, very quickly. Do you think it would make
any difference if you had checked all of the 100 percent of the boxes? (Jaquetta) I think if I would’ve waited and not been as confident as I was, I would
be taking back my success. I would be cheating myself of something that, you
know, I really can do. So just taking that leap of faith, and
doing what you know that you can do, without anyone telling you that you can or cannot do it, was the key. (Karenann) So was
there somebody behind you that was basically saying you can
do it, or was it you, Jaquetta? It was part me, and
I have a mentor, his name is Adler, and he’s currently a market manager. He was always my cheerleader, so when
I thought I couldn’t do it, he was always behind me saying “go, go, go.” So no matter what I thought, he was
always that, I guess you’d say wearing my t-shirt; that
champion for me, so anytime I thought I couldn’t do it, he was right there. (Karenann) Wow. And did make you more confident? Yes. He’s pretty confident
himself. Is he? Yes. So that’s an interesting mentor story.
So merchandising is the business here at Walmart. It is putting the right
assortment together, and our customers respond to it. so competence and confidence in your
field is a fascinating topic. What kind of leadership examples have you
seen in mixing those together? (Mary Beth) I think back to the previous
question. If you, if you know too much about
your category, sometimes that can actually be a bad thing. You
should jump in. And, because then you’re in the situation of the customer. Actually, you have an
opportunity to see it from their perspective and
learn and bring that to the table. So I have a little saying. I’ll pull new
merchants aside, and tell them “you’re actually at your most valuable in
your first six months because you’re seeing it as a rookie just as the customer sees it.” So talk
about it. What are your initial observations? They really they really do matter and bring a lot to
the table. So, ladies, one of the expertise focuses that we have in having
everything all ticked and tied, what we just heard was your fresh eyes in a new area is what brings a huge amount of value. So that is one of those really important tips, is don’t think
that it’s so much about what you know that will bring the value, but it is
those fresh eyes and those fresh ideas early on as you transition that may
in fact bring the biggest opportunity for growth, and to be competent in the role.
Perfectionism. Katty talked about it. The lack of risk taking, and the reason not
to take risks, and nervousness to speak up. Being afraid to either speak first or not
having the right. These things lead to a perception of lack of confidence, and in
fact the voice that’s going on in your head. I
love Katty’s comment which is “I’m right there with you.” Here’s somebody who writes the definitive work
on confidence for women saying “I’m there with you.” How have you
individually beaten back those voices in order to appear confident and to take those risks and move forward? I know that it is a, our own stories are very very inspirational. Jaquetta? Do not, what I always tell myself, and I would
like to tell you guys is do not over prepare. Being over
prepared could actually hurt you in a sense. Make sure you’re calm, relaxed, and that you have a clear head. You might
jot down a few notes, but don’t over prepare to where you’re
sounding like you just wrote a speech for class, and, you know,
you proof-read it five times. Just be calm, be yourself and
everything will come to you. (Karenann) Awesome. Don’t wing it. but don’t over prepare. (Shelley) I had the
opportunity to have a workplace where the supervisor never made any decisions,
and when you never make any decisions, all
decisions ultimately get made by neglect. They default to yes, or they default to no, and oftentimes in learning the
kind of leader that you want to be, it’s helpful to see the kind of leader
you don’t want to be. And I saw what happens to an
organization when there isn’t any risk-taking, and when
there isn’t any confidence at the top. And so when I had
the opportunity to be in those leadership roles, I would bring
the team together and say “with all the information and facts that we
know today, we’re gonna decide this and we’re going this way. And pretty soon
we’ll know whether that was right or wrong. The
customers will tell us. The profits will tell us. And if we are, great. We’ll continue. And
if not, we’ll adjust that a little bit to the left. And it was the transparency in the
thought process around that to the team that gave them
confidence that we’re gonna go in that direction. And if we need to adjust we will. And sort of seeing both good examples
of that and bad has helped me a lot. (Karenann) So let me just put you on the spot. (Shelley) Okay Karenann. Is it going on in your head, that voice going on in your head about perfectionism, and nervousness to speak up, or have
you somehow transcended all of that in order to
appear as this unbelievably funny and confident leader? I know you hate it. It’s like “oh,
that’s not me.” But that’s an element of confidence, too. So, like the nice duck on the surface,
and underneath is like “ahhh.” Is it in your head? And how have you gotten
past that? Oh, sure. I think it’s, by the way, I
think you’re arrogant if it’s not in your head. If you think
isn’t everyone just gonna love my rap every minute. That’s the difference between
confidence and gross arrogance. Yeah, you know, cocky and
confident, those aren’t a good combination. (Karenann) So talk about that, because I think that
as women we fear being viewed as cocky as opposed to confident. Talk about how you
do that balance. (Shelley) Well, hubris means no one better than I, because I
am better than you. Confidence means I’m the right person to lead, to be the coordinator of these
experts, and to lead this effort. It’s not saying that you
individually are superior, you just have the ability to pull the best
out of other people. I think there’s a big difference between hubris and confidence, and I think there is
people who are afraid if they appear confident, that people are gonna think they
have a tremendous amount of hubris or are cocky, but I think I’ve transcended
that part. (Karenann) Okay! Is it ok if I tell the story of Mary Beth? So, when we we’re putting the
panel together and, you know, there was a thought of who would sit together in order tell our
stories, Mary Beth did her version of “I’m not
worthy,” and and I thought to myself “here’s someone who really understands their business, really
has wonderful Walmart values, and is confident, who thinks “I’m not confident.” (Mary Beth) Ironic, isn’t it? (Karenann) It is ironic. So, the voice is there, and yet you push past it in the business. How do
you do that? Tell us how you do that. (Mary Beth) I would say my my “aha” moment was another woman’s “aha” moment, so I’ll tell it now.
Madeleine Albright was our first female Secretary of State,
and before that she was appointed our
ambassador to the UN Now let’s backup and understand who she
is. She’s fluent in four languages, one of
which, Russian, she picked up when her twins were in NICU for an extended
period of time so she started taking, and she couldn’t have them at home,
so she started taking Russian as a distraction to that situation.
Full ride to Wellesley College, political science, and she has a Masters and a PhD from Columbia. Worked with
the National Security Council. So she tells the story of going into her
first meeting in the UN. And she’s sitting there at that
famous table. She’s the only woman at the table, and
her very first meeting, and she’s nervous. And her instinct was not to speak. Just to get the lay of the
land, check it out a little bit, not to speak. And she says then in this moment she realized if she didn’t speak at that table, the
United States of America would not be heard on the topic. So it was it was her role, it was her job. So two
things struck me out of that. One is that Madeleine Albright, someone who’s career I have followed and I have admired
her for years; I got to hear her tell that story in
person, and just understanding that that is in our
head, if Madeleine Albright’s a little nervous
about speaking up, it’s okay for me to feel that way, too. Second thing I took
away is especially as as you become a leader, or through the organization, you have to speak up on behalf of your
your team, whether you know, if you’re an individual
contributor you’re a team of one, Right? Or you manage a few people, or
you manage thousands. It’s your responsibility to speak up and
make sure that they’re heard. And so those things have really helped me
overcome the nervousness of speaking out. (Karenann) So, as you’ve come up through your own
journey, undoubtedly you’ve been mentoring other women. You mentor men and
women, and value the talent there. How have you noticed yourself a difference as you mentor women, as you watch the organizations. You run a very large store. You run a
very large region of international and business. Have you noticed a difference with regard to confidence yourself between men and women? (Jaquetta) Yes, I’ve noticed a big difference.
Women tend to step back and, the limelight when men; it doesn’t matter if
they think they know or they really do know they come to the forefront and they say
what they need to say. So, when I mentor and, you know, challenge myself, I make
sure I step to the forefront I make sure I sit in the front in any
room setting, and don’t bear off to the back. When we’re in group
settings, we’re touring the stores, I make sure I’m in front and center, so
when I have something to say my voice can also be heard, and I don’t have to be in the back of
any settings. (Karenann) Wow, so you, you have seen that difference in the store associates that you lead, (Yes) as well as your peers? Yes How about you, Shelley? I have, Karenann, and I
think we’ve talked a bit about it today, and I discount sometimes just the fact that
the role that you have, and the role that I have, and the role
that you have, Karenann, and the role that you have as a store
manager, how women in Walmart look up, and then can say “that is a possibility
for me,” and we’d think that those times sort of have passed, but when you get that
feedback after a meeting like this, or after a speech I might
give in the country, someone comes up and says “It’s so good to see a woman in that position,”
and you know that it, that it’s giving them hope that they can achieve that, but then when you sit down one-on-one, and
talk to them about their career path, it’s very much about what we heard today. It’s “yes, I saw that posting, but it says seven years of experience, and I have six.” And, you say “no, no, no, apply for that job, even if it’s for the experience of the
interview, even it’s to understand how your skill set stacks up, but you have the
qualifications to be a leader.” And I think men earlier in
their career figured out that the secret sauce of leadership is confidence, and is it
necessarily the tick on every single box? I think women think
the secret sauce of leadership is the consistent
preparation of every single tick. And it is a combination of competence and
confidence, and we’ve just got to get them to make those
moves earlier. (Karenann) Yeah. Who is it that would be qualified to lead the UK, Canada and Africa? No one! Nobody is qualified for that. Jeez, I thought I was alright. So, you’re right. We are are creatures of Walmart who need confidence. We are leaders of Walmart that should be confident. Our customers
need us. Our customers are, are overwhelmingly women, and we can be confident
in what we do. So, I am going to throw it back to all of the locations technically
connected for the local discussion.

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