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What We Heard on 50/50 Day

Posted on May 24, 2017
50 50 Day Panel Speakers

Lynn Yeakel, Ed Lovelidge, Eileen McDonnell, Ed Rendell, Blondell Reynolds Brown and Jennifer Lynn participated in a candid discussion about gender equality for Vision 2020 50/50 Day on May 10.

May 10th marked the first-ever 50/50 Day, a global awareness day to spark discussions and action around gender equality. More than 11,000 50/50 Day events took place across 63 countries worldwide. In the U.S., every state participated — with many programs sponsored by Vision 2020 Delegates – and in Philadelphia, Vision 2020 was the host of 50/50 Day.

As part of Vision 2020 50/50 Day, we held a film screening of “50/50” — a mini-documentary by Let It Ripple about the history of women in leadership — followed by a panel discussion featuring top business and government leaders.

In a candid exchange moderated by WHYY’s Jennifer Lynn, the panelists shared insights and advice that we believe every woman (and man) should hear. Here they are …

“For me, what gender equality would look like is never having to talk about it again.”Eileen McDonnell, chairman and CEO of The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, on what a more gender-balanced world looks like to her.

“The best thing you can do is teach confidence.”Ed Rendell, former governor of Pennsylvania, on the importance of mentoring.

“Marching is fine, but the most important march is the march to the polls.”Ed Rendell on the importance of women voting.

“It gets to diversity of thought. How could we possibly provide the best service for our clients if we’re excluding half of the population?”Ed Lovelidge, managing partner of the Philadelphia Metro Market at PricewaterhouseCoopers, on why he and his organization prioritize diversity and gender equality.

“When we’re in positions of leadership, we have to be intentionally strategic about how we’re going to change the paradigm. And as women of color, when we drill down further, we have to be intentional in making sure that black and brown women are at the table as well. It’s not going to happen organically.”Blondell Reynolds Brown, Philadelphia councilwoman at-large, on the need to constantly seek opportunities that promote and increase diversity.

“We have many, many confident women in our organization, but they are not great at self-promotion, and that’s a whole different concept. Men are good about bragging, and women, as a general rule, don’t self-promote enough.”Ed Lovelidge on the difference between confidence and self-promotion.

“Women have to walk on water. Black and brown women have to walk on water and fly to be equal.”Blondell Reynolds Brown on how hard women must work to prove their worth.

“Will you be a woman who will be lifting others up?”Eileen McDonnell on her hiring considerations for talented female candidates.

In addition to the panelists, we heard from many audience members who shared inspiring and thoughtful insights. Here is one of our favorites:

“If a woman speaks up at the table, and you’re another woman at that table, repeat what she said. Because very quickly, her idea will become someone else’s idea.”Nancy Santiago Negron on the importance of helping other women’s voices be heard.

To watch our Vision 2020 50/50 Day panel discussion, check out our Facebook Live recording.