WITI's Virtual Conference Opening Remarks From Carolyn Leighton

Carolyn Leighton

June 28, 2020

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Like many of you, I have experienced many defining moments in my life. I want to share one of those moments with you this morning.

When I was a young struggling single mother of two boys, I had gone back to school to earn my teaching credential. One day, during my class break, I went out into the garden to try to figure out the best answer to a difficult decision I was wrestling with. I had trained myself, whenever I had to make an important decision, to first focus on finding the right question which I learned would always lead me to the right solution.

The question I asked myself was this: What do I want my life to look like when I turn 80? The answer that came to me was that I wanted to make a positive difference in the world. That became my life guide. That was a defining moment in my life and led me to starting WITI 30 years ago.

I ask you today what do you want your life to look like when you turn 80? Do you want to know that you woke up every morning and tried to contribute as much as possible? Do you want to look back and know you took a stand when someone was being treated unfairly? Do you want to see that you chose integrity over convenience? Please share with me what you want your life to look like?

Every day, every hour, we make choices that ultimately define our life. I ask each of you to commit to the WITI code of ethics of integrity and taking a stand against all discrimination and racism which occurs when you are present or not.

For 30 years, WITI has been dedicated to advancing women - but equality for women is not enough. Our work is not done until we know we have done everything humanly possible to create communities and work environments where there is equal justice for all.

Opinions expressed by the author are not necessarily those of WITI.

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Founded in 1989, WITI (Women in Technology International) is committed to empowering innovators, inspiring future generations and building inclusive cultures, worldwide. WITI is redefining the way women and men collaborate to drive innovation and business growth and is helping corporate partners create and foster gender inclusive cultures. A leading authority of women in technology and business, WITI has been advocating and recognizing women's contributions in the industry for more than 30 years.

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