2014 NCWIT Summit - Special Guest Andrea Jung, President and CEO of Grameen America, Board of Directors Member at Apple

LUCY SANDERS: Andrea Jung, everybody. [audience claps]

ANDREA JUNG: Hi everybody. It's just a privilege to be here. Thank you very much, Lucy, for your kind words. As I said, as Lucy said, I met her last year, and I was just so incredibly inspired and amazed by the NCWIT mission. So thank you Lucy, and thanks to the whole organization for having me part of this great summit. So let me just start with a quick flashback to my childhood, and a story about how I viewed innovation in the first part of my life. When I was young, I grew up in a very traditional Chinese household. They were fiercely proud, and all innovation came from China in my house, so we would go next door and have spaghetti and meatballs, and come running home, and my mother would say, "Marco Polo brought spaghetti back. "It was invented in China." [audience laughs] And then I would, I went on a 4th grade field trip, and we actually had a pulp factory tour, and I came running home and my father and my grandfather said, "Everything great in life was invented in China. "Paper came from China." So that's how I was brought up. Why am I telling you this story? Because this is how the sequel goes in the next part of my life. I'm gonna be even prouder in the future, that the answer to everything invented that's great, the next 50 years in your lifetime is going to be invented by women. That women are going to be force behind disruptive innovation that makes our world a better place. So when my grandchildren come running in and brag to me about solutions and innovations, technical advances in health, medical arena, in science, they're gonna be talking about amazing, amazing innovations, and I am going to say, "That was invented by a woman. "Didn't you know that? "Women invented everything." Women invented everything that's great in the 21st century. And they're gonna look at me and they're gonna believe that, because it's organizations like NCWIT and this movement that is starting and that we are on the cusp of that's gonna make a huge difference in the years ahead. Why do I believe this? I mean, I think you just have to look at the statistics. I'm sure you've talked about them, you've read about them, NCWIT does an amazing job sharing them, but we all know, if we just take US demographics, and I think it's a proxy for the whole world, more than half the population are women, we know that in terms of, you know, college degrees, more women than men, I think it's obviously true that you've got Masters degrees, 60%, you've got medical degrees, 48%, 47%, almost 50% of all law degrees, 59% of the college educated, again, workforce are women. So we know the numbers are there, and yet technical innovation plays an increasingly critical role in virtually every single sector of the US and the global economy, and women in IT need to be represented in larger and larger numbers. And I mean, the case is clear. Technical innovation is the answer to growth. Growth is the answer to the United States. Growth is the answer to the world, and no one understands that more, I think, than those of you in this room. But there's not a government, an NGO, a corporation, that doesn't understand the power of that. But I've long experienced what I think NCWIT has studied, and that is that an even playing field for women, alongside men, not instead of men, but alongside men, around any table, makes a huge difference. An even playing field with equal number of men and women around the table gives you the sustained results to produce more IT patents. Teams with equal numbers of men and women are clearly proving that they're more likely to be creative. And I've certainly seen in my own experience, time and time again, as a CEO and as a board member that this is true. I've had the great honor of being on three, and serving on three, pretty iconic boards. And I've had an up close front row seat, I think, to innovation in some of the most admired and valued companies in the world. So I have to for a second start with Apple, where I've had the privilege of being on the board for the past seven years, and seen the very, very fast, dizzying pace of change and innovation like no other. So just a quick call out to my friends at Apple. [audience claps and cheers] Yay. And they're, Apple is really proud, I have to say. This is the 10th anniversary of NCWIT, but it's also very proudly the 10th anniversary of Apple's relationship with this great organization, and that relationship just continues to grow and deepen. Apple's a strong supporter of NCWIT's Aspirations in Computing program. We're about to talk more about that this evening, but they proudly support what is clearly second to none in terms of a program of a national talent development pipeline, an initiative that focuses on technically-inclined young women really at the height of peer-mentoring, no one does it better, and access to opportunity. So the Aspirations in Computing Program is incredible and Apple is proud to support it. I can also speak firsthand, front row seat, of the extraordinary commitment Apple has to investing in the next generation of amazing technical leaders, men and women alike, in order to drive innovation. You cannot be the most valued company in the world without having the best and brightest technical talent, which is really quite key. Apple, of course, invests deeply in its women. Women at Apple is an amazing core group of women. Apple's numbers, I mean there's, any number, right, it's huge. 2,300 members. They've really focused this year on women at Apple tech, designed specifically to focus on experience, professional development, and engagement of technical women in the organization. And so, the launch event was this past February, and like every other Apple event, standing room only. So no one could get in the room. Women are in critical roles at Apple. I think that you, I'm sure, have read that Angela Ahrendts just joined the organization this past month. I actually knew Angela when she was at Burberry as a CEO, and for many years prior. And while she's a visionary leader and a great merchant, I think what she has always been since the day I met her was someone committed to women in leadership behind her. So we're really excited about that. We have Lisa Jackson at Apple, who worked for President Obama, heading up the EPA. She herself is an engineer. She heads up Apple's environmental initiatives. Denise Young Smith, who's here with us today, is Apple's worldwide head of human resources, which is now over 90,000 people strong in that organization, so talk about an influential role. Really helping more women in the field of technology to understand the profound impact that they could make in this world. Just a few miles north from Apple's Cupertino campus, General Electric, where I also sit on the board, has established an innovation and technical center in San Ramon. While it's a completely different company, on one hand, an industrial, global giant, GE also understands. Not only the power of technical innovation, in every aspect of their future success, but the importance of women in everything that they're doing, whether it's the internet of things, whether their tagline, which is imagination at work, it's always at the heart of the company's push to drive solutions in any corner of the globe, whether it's an infrastructure solution an energy solution, women are also on the forefront of their agenda. Jamie Miller there is GE's CIO and Chief Technology Officer. Beth Comstock plays a key role as their Chief Marketing Officer, who has really been a very big driver of innovation, women in technology, and the San Ramon effort. And then just lastly, I'll go all the way across the pond to Daimler Mercedes Benz. So I, a female board member, got in a car, a new S-class car, with a female technical engineer. And we got in an S-class, on the autobahn, no less, driving god only knows how many miles an hour, and she turned to me and said, "There's 1200 censors in this car. "It's a driverless technology. "Take your hands off the wheel." And I said, "Okay, how much director's insurance do I have?" And we continued to go, and when we came back, and I finish this story, when we came back and drove back into the lot, it had just been announced that Mary Barra, an engineer, had become the first female CEO of an automobile industry company, General Motors. So the story, yes? [audience claps] And the reason I tell you these three very different stories, three extraordinary companies in very different sectors, is to reinforce the thought that the need for women driving innovation and technology grows by the day, exponentially. And each and every one of you can play a great role. When I was named CEO in 1999, there were only three of us. That actually rounded down to 0% in the Fortune 500. Today, it's 15 years later, and you know the names, Ginni Rometty at IBM, Ursula Burns at Xerox, Marissa Myer, Meg Whitman, the list goes on. And so, you know, NCWIT community is so critically important because you're the next leaders of this generation and you are gonna ensure that the next 15 years look very, very different than the last 15. And finally, I know we have a lot of generations in this audience. Just a few words of encouragement before we give the awards to the extraordinary young women in this audience. It's a momentous time. It's a momentous time for everyone in this world, but it's particularly a momentous time for women. And I wanted to give you just three quick pieces of advice. The three Ps, if you would, in my book. Number one P, passion. Have passion for your work. Follow your compass, not your clock. Do what you love doing. I spent two decades at the same company with all wonderful successes, a tremendous amount of challenges as well, with the limelight of being one of the first female CEOs in the country, and I have to say, when people ask me, why did you stay all those years? 12 years? I come back with the answer that it wasn't a job, and it wasn't even a career. It was a non-stop love affair and the passion for the work and the company and the vision of what you can do to make this a better world. So to be involved in creating, in innovating, and changing the world as you will, in small or big ways, is everything. And you will face work-family balance, and everything else, and what will sustain you and fuel you is having passion for your work. So that's number one. Second P is perseverance. Keep your eye on the long term. True innovation and breakthrough do not happen overnight. In the short term capital markets world, IPOs, venture capitalists who have demands, everything, it's a 90-day world to them. But perseverance is a hugely, hugely important quality in driving sustainable futures. No true innovation happens that quickly. So you have to have the courage to stay the course, believe in your dreams and what you want to accomplish, and know that you can't quit. Don't quit when the going gets tough. Just persevere through it. And that will stay with you for a lifetime. Number three and finally, purpose. Make a difference. Do good, not just good work. It's impossible to have a great life, unless you have a meaningful life. And it's impossible to have a meaningful life unless you have meaningful work. So after 20 amazing years with Avon, I made the decision to really turn to the next chapter for social entrepreneurship, to really try and make a difference to women in poverty, and I had always been a huge admirer of Muhammad Yunus, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for giving access and loans to women in poverty, that by giving a woman in poverty a loan, a hand up, instead of a hand out, she in fact could change her life and the life of her family. So for me, it's a huge opportunity to give back at this point in my life. But you don't need to be the CEO of a nonprofit, or the CEO of a for-profit company to actually make a difference. Technology solutions, I found even at Grameen, are gonna be the future of being able to help women out of poverty. There are no microfinance, digital solutions for the mobile wallet, in the United States to the degree they need to be, for poor women. So we, at Grameen America, needs, some of you in this room to solve the issue with a brilliant solution for a banking system for poor women, whereby a cashless world awaits. So we're here, you're there, you can help solve this problem for us. Let me just end by thanking NCWIT for the phenomenal work that you do. I couldn't be happier to be here with you this evening, and I'm just gonna end by simply rephrasing some words from George Bernard Shaw. He originally wrote, "Some men see things as they are and say why. "I dream of things that never were, and say why not." Tonight, let's just stop right here at Newport Beach, and better quote him in 2014 by simply saying the following. Some see things as they are and say why. Women dream of things that never were, and say why not. Thank you very much. [audience claps]