J. Kelly Hoey

You Can’t Be What You Can’t See Edition

“I knew you’d always become a [fill in the blank]”.

When I hear someone say to me “I always knew you’d”, I’m slightly surprised. Until recently I didn’t know what I wanted to be — as in what I really wanted to be. Did I want to become a lawyer? No real burning desire, as much as I thrived on the adrenaline of all nighters at the commercial printers. Law firm management? Sensible and rather obvious career transition for someone who decided to step off the partner track. All I knew starting my career back in the 80’s was what was expected of me was to earn a college degree (or two) then do something “respectable” (such as becoming a doctor or lawyer). Pursue an understandable job with predicable hours, an office address, a landline phone and receptionist. These were the pre-internet, pre-mobile, pre-social networking, pre-collaborative economy prehistoric ambitions and opportunities I saw around me and more importantly, were projected upon me.

My have times have changed — but not dramatically. I’d argue that you still can’t imagine what you can’t see.

More Role Models Needed!

Kudos to Carrie Hammer for once again turning NYFW on its head by featuring role models not runway models in her show. The Limited has also launched a new campaign that doesn’t feature the typical model or celebrity. “The New Look of Leadership” celebrates new models of leadership, including champion of women’s advancement, Tiffany Dufu, Chief Leadership Officer at Levo.

Laura Liswood talks about role models and the importance of the “power of the mirror: knowing what you can be by who it is you see” in her 2009 Davos interview. Laura tells the story of the president of Iceland, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir who held the office for 16 years (1980 to 1996). After she held the office for approximately 8 years, Vigdís toured the country speaking to children and discovered for children under 8, it was the boys who asked the question of whether they (boys) could be President of Iceland. The power of the mirror: they had only ever seen a woman in the top role.

To borrow from Laura Liswood, we need to ‘hurry history’. Here are suggestions to help you add more power to the mirror of possibility:


Private investment platform 1000 Strong is out to solve two problems: getting more money to female founders and getting more money off the investment sidelines. According to 1000 Strong, women control $11.2 trillion of investable assets yet as much as $500 billion is not invested. Apply to become a founding member of 1000 Strong.

Learn the art of angel investing through an intense one-month bootcamp with 37 Angels. The next 37 Angels bootcamp kicks off on September 25/26 in New York City.


The JPMC Civic Engagement team is looking for 20 professionals, from entry-level to executive, representing a wide range of STEM fields (think: researchers, statisticians, programmers, civil engineers) to take part in STEMulation: connecting students with professionals to promote STEM careers event and specifically, in the speed networking/rapid interviewing activities. STEMulation is taking place on Monday, October 12th, 2015 from 12:00 p.m. — 2:00 p.m. at JPMC (383 Madison Avenue). Volunteer and provide 50+ teenagers the opportunity to speak to and learn from your professional experience.

Interested parties should email JPMC directly: Julian.S.Clayton@jpmchase.com include your full name, field, company, years of experience in the field, email and phone number.


Join Emmy® Award-nominated television host, news anchor and journalist Bianca de la Garza, L’Oreal’s VP of Digital Innovation Rachel Weiss and fashion tech/wearables expert, Liza Kindred, the founder of Third Wave Fashion when these three fabulous women (plus other friends in VC and entrepreneurship) roast me on September 30. I’ve turned 50 and I’ve chosen to laugh about this milestone. BIG bottom-line to this birthday soiree, this is a celebration with a purpose: to support diversity in tech opportunity and innovation in New York City. Proceeds from the roast go to support STEM initiatives of the YWCA of NYC.

This post originally appeared in Innovator Insights, Kelly Hoey’s weekly newsletter. To get insights in your inbox, sign up here.


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