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Delegate Spotlight: Pennsylvania's Nicole Stephenson

One of Vision 2020's newest Delegates, Nicole Stephenson works full-time on empowering and supporting women through the Society of Professional Women.

Posted on March 6, 2018
Nicole Stephenson
1. What is the overall mission of the Society of Professional Women?

The mission of the Main Line Chamber of Commerce's Society of Professional Women (SPW) is to help expand the influence of women leaders of all professions and generations, strengthen our business community and support the region’s non-profit organizations. Our vision is to create a balance in leadership by increasing the number of women in power throughout business, non-profit and government sectors.

2. All Vision 2020 Allied Organizations have demonstrated a commitment to advancing women and girls. What projects related to women’s progress are you all at SPW working on now? Consider one or two of your hallmark programs to highlight.

SPW provides engaging, impactful and diverse programs attended mostly by professional women (and 17% men) from companies of all sizes across the Philadelphia region. In addition to networking with the region’s leaders, attendees enjoy world-renowned keynote speakers ranging from visionaries to executives and celebrities. SPW has donated over $65,000 to local non-profits in the last eight years with the help of Wells Fargo. Topics in the year ahead include leadership, service, gender equity, turn-around, risk-taking, decision-making, accommodating non-traditional workers, career satisfaction, self-talk and much more.

SPW also makes programs available to empower young women with the confidence to reach their full potential and realize their ability to be future leaders in business, government, board rooms and the community through our No Limits Leadership program. Each year, an exemplary student is selected to receive a $1,000 Future Leader Grant. Over the last four years, many undergraduate women have received internships or job offers after applying and attending this program.

3. Tell us about your role as the Director at SPW. What is your background and how did you enter this organization/position?

It is my responsibility to market and grow the Society of Professional Women's network and programming by refining and evolving programs to meet the needs of members, and to identify new opportunities to expand presence to new audiences. I am responsible for effectively branding SPW as the leading women's organization in the region, and continue elevating the caliber of speakers and diversity of important topics.

I plan, execute and manage all SPW events. There are about 10-15 large-scale events per calendar year ranging from interpersonal workshops with up to 90 attendees to keynote presentations with over 300 attendees. There are also small-scale Mentoring Groups that meet monthly during the year. My personal goal is to engage our attendees and create excitement in their careers and lives while aligning to our mission and vision.

I have nearly a decade of experience leading and executing marketing, promotions, sales and event responsibilities. In my first career, I held multiple positions across marketing and programming at KYW Newsradio in Philadelphia. Introduced to the Society of Professional Women through KYW’s sponsorship of the program, I became overwhelmingly inspired by the events I attended. When the opportunity became available to work for SPW, I jumped at the chance. Over the last three years, I have gone through the transition of change in leadership and went through The Main Line Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Main Line program. My continued development with the Chamber sends a great message about how SPW helps foster professional growth. It is extremely rewarding to witness the countless relationships built and hear the many successes of the people in this community through our organization. I have never been in a room full of so many people willing and wanting to help one another. There is just something truly special about it.

4. Name a woman you look up to and explain why.

Mothers everywhere of every kind! I have never appreciated and respected women more than when I became a mother to my daughter, Lilliana. The strength and aptitude upheld throughout all of the physical and mental changes in the entire process, and the definition of what it means to become a mom is the most monumental thing I’ve ever experienced. Motherhood really showcases the most raw and amazing attributes of women’s abilities unlike anything in this world. And I’m definitely not saying that you have to become a Mom to live up to your potential to be a woman. It really just brought a whole new perspective into my life, especially having a daughter and knowing what obstacles may be out there for her as well.