Exclusive Recap: Day Two of The 2017 MAKERS Conference

Exclusive Recap: Day Two of The 2017 MAKERS Conference


Feb 7, 2017

The second day of The 2017 MAKERS Conference welcomed back Joanna Barsh, Director Emerita of McKinsey & Company, to walk through the latest data on women's representation leadership.

Engineer and former U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith followed Barsh's presentation with a conversation about her tech career. Smith was joined onstage by Patrice Banks, Founder of Girls Auto Clinic, on a mission to educate and empower women around cars. She explained her own journey from a being a DuPont engineer and self-described "auto airhead," to her current mission to turn every woman into a "she-canic," comfortable and confident with cars. 

Actress, producer, and philanthropist Eva Longoria illuminated the conference stage in an interview by agent and MAKER Christy Haubegger. The conversation followed the world premiere of Longoria's MAKERS profile.

Cecile Richards, President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, continued the conversation about making change by talking about January's Women's March, why it mattered, and where we go from here.  

Lydia Polgreen closed out the day's first session in her first official fireside chat since being named Editor-In-Chief of The Huffington Post. She was interviewed by fellow journalist Kara Swisher, Executive Editor of Recode. The pair talked about the future of journalism in the era of "alternative facts," and a presidential administration openly at war with the media.

The day's second session began with a very personal conversation from a woman who is known for being bold: fashion designer and philanthropist Diane von Furstenberg.

Leanne Pittsford, CEO and Founder of Lesbians Who Tech, a Community of Queer Women in and around tech, detailed the ways Lesbians Who Tech is overcoming the traditional white male bias of power networks, by creating validation and opportunity for LGBTQ women and traditionally marginalized groups.

Sarah Robb O'Hagan, newly announced CEO of Flywheel Sports, boiled down the key lessons she learned from the highly impactful individuals she interviewed for her new book, "Extreme You." To #BEBOLD and have impact, she advised: focus on your specialty; let go of what's comfortable; and partner with people who are different than you to bring out the best in yourself and in others.

YouTube Sensation and MAKER Lilly Singh took to the stage and encouraged everyone with a dream or career goal to "focus only on your Plan A," and not a backup plan.

Singh was followed by WNBA Champion, MAKER Tamika Catchings with the world premiere of her MAKERS video. AOL Inc. CEO Tim Armstrong interviewed Catchings and talked to her about overcoming adversity, her legendary coach Pat Summit, and more. Her interview was accompanied by 8- and 9-year-old dribbling sensations, aka the "Splash Sisters," Caylie and Maya Lopez, who dribbled their way on stage to meet Catchings and Armstrong. 

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Facebook Global Head of People, Lori Goler talked to MAKERS' Founder and Executive Producer Dyllan McGee about the company’s 21st century workplace policies, millennials, the coming Generation Z, and more. Sandberg and Goler used the moment to publicly announce new, expanded paid family leave and bereavement policies at Facebook.

From Silicon Valley to a traditional brick-and-mortar trade, union plumber and activist Judaline Cassidy was introduced with the world premiere of her MAKERS profile.

Vicki Shabo, Vice President of National Partnership for Women & Families, took to the stage to reveal that the idea for the family leave PSA she helped create was born at 2016's MAKERS conference. She underscored the frightening statistic that 86 percent of women in the U.S. (100 million) don't have paid family leave

Rounding out the session was a panel moderated by Shelley Zalis, CEO of The Female Quotient and Creator of The Girls' Lounge, talking to four formidable women about the real world issues they have done to move the needle forward on gender equality and diversity. She was joined by Erica Baker, Senior Engineer at Slack; Trish Stroman, Partner and Managing Director at The Boston Consulting Group; Angela Sun, Head of Strategy and Corporate Development at Bloomberg; and Anna Patterson, VP of Engineering, Artificial Intelligence at Google.

Jill Soloway, award-winning director, writer and artist opened the next session with a dazzling talk about her personal gender journey and an exploration of what femininity, makeup, and Spanx mean for all of us.

After Soloway, MAKER Megan Smith returned to the stage to interview Priscilla Chan, Co-Founder of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Chan talked to Smith about the origins of the initiative following the birth of Chan's daughter Max with husband and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Smith then introduced two women who are helping to tackle big social problems through technology: Denice Ross, a Public Interest Technology Fellow at New America, and Kelly Jin, Director of Data-Driven Justice.

In another very personal talk, Salamishah Tillet, Associate Professor at UPenn, took the stage after her MAKERS video.

Next Luvvie Ajayi, best-selling author, speaker, and activist, interviewed U.S. Champion Gymnast Gabby Douglas and U.S. Champion Fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad. She spoke with them about growing up without many role models who looked like them, and the cyber-bulling they have dealt with as female athletes. D

These young activists were followed by a veteran leader for civil rights: President and Director Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Sherrilyn Ifill. Ifill was introduced by the exclusive premiere of her MAKERS video. Ifill concluded by talking about her beloved late cousin, the trailblazing journalist Gwen Ifill.

Tony-winning actress Cynthia Erivo came to the stage to add a tribute in song. Erivo first took the chance to say a few words, an opportunity she said she does not usually get at these events, but felt it was the right day for and added emotional weigh to the songs that followed. She performed Jazmine Sullivan's "Masterpiece," followed by "I'm Here" from "The Color Purple." 

The day's final session featured Andrew Robertson, Chief Executive Officer, BBDO, for a special presentation. First Lady of Los Angeles, Amy Elaine Wakeland​, also took to the stage. Patricia Arquette, introduced by Gloria Steinem, also made special remarks.

The evening concluded with a MAKERS birthday cake to celebrate five years of MAKERS.

Tune in for day three LIVE on Wednesday at 8:30am PST/11:30am EST.

NEXT: All About The 2017 MAKERS Conference »

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Photo Credit: MAKERS

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