Northampton, MA –News Direct– Qualcomm
“Ships in the harbor are safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.” With this powerful quote from John A. Shedd, Kate Atkin — trainer, speaker, facilitator, and author of The Confident Manager — led the audience at Qualcomm’s Women’s Conference how “impostor chatter” can be a factor that keeps someone from leaving the safe harbor. She invited the public to go out and hoist the sails to do something different.
Organized by Qualcomm’s Inclusion and Diversity Team in conjunction with the Qwomen employee network, the virtual event focused on celebrating “The Power of You”. Qualcomm’s first-ever Women’s Conference focused on connecting, inspiring and empowering employees and sharing insights and experiences.
The forum included more than 60 internal and external speakers with diverse experiences, different roles and career paths, as well as cultural backgrounds. Qualcomm President and CEO, Cristiano Amon, gave opening remarks and shared the company’s 2025 representation goals, including greater representation of women in leadership by 15%, increasing underrepresented minorities (URM) in leadership by 15% and an increase in overall URM representation by 20% percent.
The common themes in every fireside chat, keynote speaker, and shared personal experience were the importance of fostering innovation, encouraging empowerment, and navigating careers. Here are four takeaways from Qualcomm’s first-ever Women’s Conference:
1. It’s not a failure, it’s a learning moment
Most people worry about a possible failure. However, everyone agreed that so much is learned when mistakes are made and that it is crucial to learn from those mistakes.
While failure can be a normal part of life, it is important to view failed experiences as opportunities for growth and to work on characteristics such as perseverance and resilience to keep learning along the professional path. Through this lens, failure can be seen as a springboard to continuous improvement.
2. Stay curious and keep learning
Speakers emphasized the value that lifelong learning has brought to their careers. Curiosity and exploring new potential areas of interest can in some cases lead to new professional opportunities and pathways previously unconsidered. Curiosity and the motivation to continuously learn will help you become more aware of strengths and weaknesses. Learning throughout life and pursuing exploration is not only fun, but allows individuals to push the boundaries of what they can and can do.
3. Preparation is key.
Each panelist emphasized the importance of preparation – be it for a meeting, a presentation or for a project – by thinking thoughtfully, critically and thoroughly about the problem to be solved. Doing so will guarantee the success of the activity.
4. Speak with confidence
As women with board and board-level responsibilities, where the room is often filled with men, panelists discussed the importance of taking ownership of what you do and say through transparency and clear communication. They also talked about the importance of just being yourself and confidently recognizing that you add undeniable value to the table.
Qualcomm’s first-ever women’s conference was one of the company’s latest efforts to continually promote a diverse and inclusive workplace to continue to promote the innovations that will power the future. Vicki Mealer-Burke, our Chief Diversity Officer, thanked the organizing teams for their tireless efforts and shared that this vision will continue to grow. “We will build this as a tradition for years to come,” she emphasized. The audience emphasized how engaging the speakers were and how interesting and valuable the content was. One contestant said: “I absolutely love this. It’s like a virtual Grace Hopper, but with Qualcomm women.”
John Augustus Shedd (1859-1928) was an American author and professor who wrote “Salt From My Attic”.
 For these purposes, leadership is the director and higher level in technical positions, and director and higher in non-technical positions. For technical positions, “URM” includes Black, Latinx, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, and American Indian or Native American.
For non-technical positions, “URM” includes Black, Latinx, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, American Indian or Native American and Asian.
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