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I’ve always been taught to respect one’s elders. It’s good to know the generations in front of me are willing to respect their “youngers.”
It was my privilege to represent DistributorCentral at this year’s PPAI Women’s Leadership Conference in San Diego. Of the nearly 120 attendees, I was among the 40 first-timers to experience this annual gathering. Due to a connection with the under-30 crowd, I was also identified as one of the youngest.
Age is not a primary factor where the issue of leadership comes into play in the promotional products industry. Experience, however, is an important variable. So, too, where the Women’s Leadership Conference is concerned, is having an understanding of our industry as a whole. I benefitted greatly by learning about strategies, technologies and best practices as presented by very smart and very successful women with proven ability to make amazing things happen.
What I truly appreciated, however, was an unexpected focus in both prepared presentations and informal discussions about the unique challenges facing women who strive to grow professionally while keeping pace with personal expectations on the home front. My pre-conceived notions about an esteemed PPAI conference were somehow loftier than talking about, well… talking about me!
Obviously the focus of attention was not solely on Yours Truly. But I personally connected with messages intended to support, encourage and empower women who, at the beginning stages of their professional careers, have varying ambitions on multiple fronts. Thanks, my friends from the WLC, for the boost in confidence.
I have new-found appreciation of those who have learned the ropes of the promotional products industry and who willingly entrust their expertise with those of us on the lower rungs of the ladder. Respect among generations, it seems, truly does go both ways.
By Aubrey Weaver  
Senior Account Manager