June 27, 2013 | Politics and Leadership

Words to Live By

When women get together, the advice is always amazing.

Clockwise from top left: Reshma Saujani, Tiffany Dufu, Judith Rosenthal, Kelly Hoey.

Clockwise from top left: Reshma Saujani, Tiffany Dufu, Judith Rosenthal, Kelly Hoey.

It's not so unusual these days for powerful women to meet to exchange advice, to "lean in," as Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg suggests, or to contemplate the work/life balance espoused by Arianna Huffington. The atmosphere at most of these gatherings could be described as business-women's-quilting-bee-meets-French-salon.

This week, in New York City, a high-octane group of women came together to rally for the candidacy of Reshma Saujani, who is running for New York City public advocate. (She was also a panelist at the 2013 Women in the World Summit in April.) There was plenty of you-go-girl praise for Saujani, but the event was also a great place to pick up some women-helping-women advice. Here are our favorite pieces of wisdom.

We can make heaven on earth.

"Did you know in heaven, there aren't boys or girls, just souls?" said Tiffany Dufu, echoing something a nun told her when Dufu was a child. The "chief leadership officer" with Levo League, a Gen Y mentoring startup, went on to finish the quote:  "I'm trying really hard to make heaven on earth."

Dufu—former president of the White House Project, whose mission was to get women into high public office—credited her mother with breaking a cycle of poverty that had trapped her family for generations. Says Dufu: "I'm the cumulative investment of a lot of women. We all are."

No one got where she is alone.

"For my whole life, I have had women stand up and pick me up and walk that long mile with me and take care of me," said Saujani. "And that is why I created Girls Who Code," a nonprofit that trains young women to enter the tech world. "Because I know there were opportunities out there that young women weren't getting, and that if I didn't act now, we were going to leave generations and generations of people behind."

Put your money where your mouth is.

"We've all heard the saying be the change you want to see in the world," said Kelly Hoey, founder of Women Innovate Mobile, a startup accelerator  for female-headed tech companies. "I want you to invest in the change you want to see in the world. I want you to be proactive."

Work hard—and ask for what you want.

"You have to hustle your ass off, but having help from other people brings success," said Ameriprise financial adviser Judith Rosenthal. "Say, this is what I need; what do you need; let's collaborate."