“Speak up. Don’t wait for someone to tap you on the shoulder. Karma won’t help,” Robin Roberts, co-anchor of Good Morning America stated, to an audience of 8,000 women at this year’s 11th Annual Pennsylvania Conference for Women. Robin shared with us how speaking up in previous jobs about what she really wanted to do in journalism helped her achieve the level of success that she has found today. Robin also spoke about her battle with cancer, the loss of her mother and some of her professional setbacks and accomplishments. She truly is an inspiration to many women. Robin, along with other noteworthy speakers such as Jane Paulie, Tory Johnson, and Diane Keaton, spoke of their personal and professional journeys in order to encourage all of the women who attended this conference for the purpose of personal and professional development.
The Pennsylvania Conference for Women is one of the largest conferences of its kind. Held at the notable Pennsylvania Convention Center in the heart of Philadelphia, women from many different backgrounds and various stages of their careers came together to share, learn and empower one another. The conference agenda included workshops with various tracks such as career development, health and wellness, personal development, social media roundtables and breakout sessions. Tory Johnson, regular contributor to Good Morning America, lead one of the breakout sessions and talked about her book, The Shift: How I Finally Lost Weight and Discovered a Happier Life. Tory discussed five necessary steps to complete before making a change; steps she implemented in order to successfully lose over 70 pounds. Tory talked about her journey and the obstacles she had to overcome to achieve her weight loss goals, some of which many of us could identify with.
One of the highlights during the lunch hour was when famous Hollywood actress Diane Keaton read excerpts from her book, Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty. Her book is about beauty, aging and staying true to one's self; something women of all ages and backgrounds can identify with. She also talked about never wanting to retire because she felt like the word alone was constrictive and she wanted to stay active for as long as she could. At the age of 68, Diane Keaton is as young as she wants to be, and she inspired us to continue to pursue our dreams. Conference attendees also had the pleasure of listening to Linda Cliatt-Waymand, principal of Strawberry Mansion High school in Philadelphia. Linda was featured on ABC’s Nightline and World News Report because of her efforts to improve the safety of the academic environment at Strawberry Mansion. Linda melted the hearts of America and those at the conference when she ended with her notable saying, “If no one told you I love you today, remember I do.”
Of the many great and informative workshops I attended, one that stood out was, “Leadership in a Multigenerational Workplace: How to Leverage Your Employees for Maximum Impact (POE).” The panel speakers shared strategies to lead more effectively, increase productivity and improve cross-generational communication, which are topics we have covered during manager’s meetings here at EDSI. The workshop gave us tools to bring back to our offices and incorporate to further improve our strong culture and results.
Having never attended this conference before, the experience was definitely more than I had anticipated. At the end of the conference, it seems impossible that anyone left not feeling empowered and ready to take charge of whatever goals she had in mind!