On March 22nd, Nichols held its annual Empowering Women in Business (EWIB) conference, a gathering that’s become well known around central Massachusetts and has developed into a magnet attracting hundreds of female business leaders, entrepreneurs, and attendees looking to follow in those paths.
At Nichols, we are all about women in business on multiple fronts, including our state of the art business curriculum and our unique leadership program for all students beginning in their first year. Our increasingly famous Institute for Women’s Leadership, meanwhile, continues to make a significant impact—from mentoring our students on the issues and challenges facing women in business to serving as an authoritative voice on the state of women’s leadership.
With this kind of commitment and these kinds of resources, it’s always exciting every year to invite members of the outside community to partake of an inspirational message and professional development in their chosen field.
This year, they heard from mother-and-daughter entrepreneurs Tracey Noonan and Dani Vilagie, who founded the sweet company Wicked Good Cupcakes. Their story of starting in their home kitchen, appearing on the wildly successful CNBC show Shark Tank, and growing into the largest shipper of cupcakes in the United States gave our audience plenty of food for thought.
When I welcomed the audience, I brought up the story of this year’s U.S. Women’s Hockey Team, which won gold at the Winter Olympics against long odds. I also pointed to a recent study published in the Harvard Business Review, which found that women who attended a women’s leadership conference:
· Felt more optimistic about the future and more connected with others.
And I dispensed some marching orders. “Go out there today and learn, question, connect, and network your way to better outcomes for you, your peers, those you are mentoring, and especially for your daughters and at least in my case, daughters and granddaughters.”