TEDWomen at Fidelity

By Jane Lim and Denise Kidd

Denise Kidd from the Women’s Leadership Group and Jane Lim from Fidelity Center for Applied Technology (FCAT) worked together to bring TEDWomen2018 to Fidelity via video stream in late November. Here, Denise and Jane talk about their collaboration.

 Fidelity’s Women’s Leadership Group – Denise Kidd

The Women’s Leadership Group started over 12 years ago in Boston. It began as a local networking group, known as WNG or the Women’s Networking Group. We have evolved and grown to become a Fidelity sponsored global employee resource group (ERG), called the Women’s Leadership Group (WLG), with over 8,000 members in 17 chapters located around the world.

The WLG mission is to empower women to reach their highest potential. We do that by bringing together all who are passionate about developing and supporting women’s careers at Fidelity through educational and inspirational programming.

Most large companies, such as Fidelity, have a women’s leadership group. What makes Fidelity special and why I am so proud to be a leader of the Boston WLG is that we have many volunteers who are very dedicated to the WLG in addition to their regular jobs. Also, many senior women leaders at Fidelity are involved in advising and promoting our work on diversity and inclusion.

Inspiration for TedWomen Webcast

The Boston Women’s Leadership Group has a strong program that aligns with TED Talks. Each month, we hold an event where 20 or so WLG members listen to a TED-like talk and then discuss it with a facilitator. This program gives women an opportunity to express their opinions as well as the chance to hear how their ideas impact others.

In addition, the WLG holds an annual event called Fidelity Women Speak, based on the TED Talks format. We select five people to prepare and give a TED-like talk about an inspirational personal story. Importantly, the finalists receive coaching for months to prepare for their presentation.

History of TEDxBoston  – Jane Lim

TEDxBoston was started in 2009 by Sean Belka, the Head of Fidelity Labs. Sean had been attending the TED Conference for many years. When TED announced their new TEDx model of self-organized local events, Sean thought it would be a great way for Fidelity to get involved in the innovation ecosystem and help spread the news about revolutionary ideas taking place in Boston.

Sean asked Fidelity Center for Applied Technology (FCAT) Clubs to help with the planning, since we have experience in curating content, sourcing speakers, and producing large-scale events. In 2009, we hosted our first TEDx conference at Fidelity and have been hosting TEDxBoston events since that time. For the past several years, we’ve hosted TEDxLive, which is a webcast of the annual TED conference. This year we’re excited to add TEDWomen to our line-up.

Plans for 2019

Women’s Leadership Group – Denise Kidd

WLG Key Focus Areas in 2019 will be to celebrate International Women’s History Month in March, explore more avenues for allyship in support of equality for all in the workplace, and continue to support the professional development of our members.

FCAT Clubs –  Jane Lim

For 2019, FCAT Clubs will continue to educate Fidelity associates through our speaker series, and we’re going to try to do more hands-on experiential learning events like challenges, workshops and road shows.

We’re also heavily focused on jump starting the FCAT Founderie, which is one of our newest offerings. The Founderie is a place for associates to get access to resources and mentorship opportunities to advance their innovation ideas.