Last month Nichols presented what has become a venerable annual event with a cutting edge every year. The 2019 version of our Empowering Women in Business conference did not disappoint. (A recent article in the Harvard Business Review shows that women who attended a women’s leadership conference doubled their likelihood of a promotion within a year.)
As I gave my opening remarks, I saw a sea of engaged women of all ages that had a personal dimension. My eight-year-old granddaughter came for the opening plenary, then spent the afternoon with the college’s cheerleaders. My daughter-in-law and her colleagues from Eversource and related companies enjoyed their afternoon on campus.
I began by invoking rock legend Stevie Nicks of the iconic rock band Fleetwood Mac. This year she became the only woman to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame twice, an honor long past due. Five years earlier, Forbes magazine had recognized her brilliant career in the article “Why Stevie Nicks Should be Your Career Success Spirit Guide”.
I finished with an exhortation to those present: “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, daughter, daughter-in-law and granddaughters.”
Keynote speaker and author Mary Carlomagno followed. She was engaging, funny and had a terrific message about how, when you’re dealt a tough hand professionally, to focus on your strengths and come out the other end better than before.
Besides the afternoon workshops, there was another attraction—the boutique shopping that features local artisans and businesses, including several Nichols students who have started their own businesses. Among them: EMJAY – clothing and accessories for teens and young adults; LBYL (Live Your Best Life) Co. – urban style apparel influencing customers to live their best lives while looking fashionable doing it; and Hockey Players for Humanity – clothing committed to uniting the hockey community to raise money for those in need.
A shout out also goes to Nichols juniors Sachelle Mercado and Lynn Thibault, who embodied the impact of the Nichols Institute for Women’s Leadership. They were an important part of the conference’s planning committee and were involved in every aspect of the event. Well done.