What’s the worst that can happen if you say no?

This was the big question posed last week at Pioneering Women’s professional development evening by powerhouse speakers Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk of Swim: a creative consultancy that specializes in leadership training for women.

Before founding Swim, Kestin and Vonk were co-chief creative officers of the Toronto office of Ogilvy & Mather for 13 years. They are the brains and brawn behind countless campaigns, but are most recognized for leading Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty, a campaign that revolutionized the way that brands consider speaking to women.

On this particular evening, we were celebrating the book they co-authored, Darling, You Can’t Do Both & Other Noise To Ignore on The Way Up, which offers readers innumerable tips on how to forge a successful career on your own terms. (Saying ‘no’ being one of the more powerful ways to get ahead. You’ll have to read the book to understand how one word can have such a profound effect on your career.)

Following the talk, guests were invited to a cocktail reception for networking and platters upon platters of Holy Cannoli.