12 Empowering Quotes from the 2018 Women’s Summit

Bryant University’s sold-out conference hosted more than 1,000 professional women.

Rent the Runway co-founder Jennifer Hyman; author Jody Urquart; media mogul Nely Galan.

There’s nothing quite like walking into an auditorium filled with hundreds and hundreds of women.

Bryant University’s annual Women’s Summit, a sold-out conference for professional women in New England held on Friday, was rife with nuggets of wisdom from regional and national leaders — from the governor of Rhode Island to the co-founder of Rent the Runway to Telemundo’s first Latina CEO.

Here are some gems that will motivate us to reach for success, even in the face of failure:

On success:

“I’m an immigrant who came to this country when I was four. My parents lost everything coming from a Communist regime. I had to become the savior, the shrink, the helper, the translator for my parents. We had no contacts. So if I, in my lifetime, can be self-made from nothing, all of you have no excuse. You can do it, too.” –Nely Galan, former president of entertainment at Telemundo

“Don’t buy shoes. Buy buildings.” –Nely Galan, former president of entertainment at Telemundo

“Nine times out of ten, you’re better prepared than a lot of people. And you just have to take that leap out of  your comfort zone to do it.” –Nellie Gorbea, Rhode Island Secretary of State

“Regardless of who you are, if you can deliver a result and a performance there’s an opportunity…. If you produce the results, and you make the changes, you’ll be successful.” –Janet Hassen, president and publisher of the Providence Journal and regional vice president of GateHouse Media


On failure:

“The number one thing that I needed to go from zero to a billion-dollar company today is comfort with failure. Other people call that resilience; other people call that grit. But, basically, it’s as simple as: I have to fail ten-plus times a day.” –Jennifer Hyman, co-founder and CEO, Rent the Runway

“I think success has a lot to do with recognizing how stupid you were two weeks ago.” –Suzanne Bates, CEO of Bates leadership development firm, 2018 Women’s Summit New England Businesswoman of the Year

“Make fear and failure your best friends.” –Nely Galan, former president of entertainment at Telemundo


On personal relationships:

“We are complicated human beings with complex lives. Let’s try to embrace it and not hide it and compartmentalize it in ways that create stress.” –Nellie Gorbea, Rhode Island Secretary of State

“If I had a nickel for every time a member of the press or somebody asks me, ‘So which are you: a serious, thoughtful governor, or are you a warm and fuzzy mom?’ Can’t I be both?” –Governor Gina Raimondo

“When I hire someone on my executive team, I give them in my head what I call ‘the beach test.’ So the beach is my favorite place in the world. I would rather be at the beach than anywhere. And when I think about hiring someone I’m like: Would I enjoy taking a walk on the beach with this person for an hour if we weren’t allowed to talk about work. And if the answer is no I wouldn’t hire them. That has changed everything.” –Jennifer Hyman, co-founder and CEO, Rent the Runway


On conflict:

“In any comedy, there’s catastrophe right there. It’s written right into it — anything you laugh at revolves around conflict or stress. So, literally, the more your life sucks, the funnier it is.” –Jody Urquart, author of All Work and No Say…Ho Hum, Another Day

“Your pain is the gateway to your most authentic brand.” –Nely Galan, former president of entertainment at Telemundo

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