Attending Harvard’s Dynamic Women in Business Conference was such an eye opening experience. Most of the Fellows went into the event thinking the day was going to be extremely long, but much to our surprise the day flew by! We had the opportunity to gain insights from some of the industries most powerful leaders. In order to celebrate the conference’s 25-year history, they focused on how much the workforce has changed but also how we can make incremental changes today to ensure continued long-term progress. “Shaping the Next 25” allowed the participants to reflect upon topics that move beyond viewing these challenges as solely women’s issues.
The panelists and keynote speakers alternated throughout the day, which gave everyone a personalized experience. Having the event tailored to each individual’s interests was the best way to maintain a positive energy. The keynote speaker, Tracey Britt Cool, seemed to be the crowd favorite among the Fellows. While Tracey downplayed much of her talents, almost blaming them on luck, she was extremely easy to relate to. Her personality captivated the audience and her anecdotes were thoughtful and inspiring. The panels and keynotes alike encouraged each person to be their authentic self. This was reflected in the wide variety of panels that were hosted throughout the day.
All of the Fellows attended different panels, but after reflecting on our experiences we all learned that the message being presented resonated with us. There was one critical issue that many of us noticed, which was the lack of men in attendance. By encouraging men to attend the conference, we can show that advancing women is really advancing men and companies.
Overall, the conference seemed to be a hit with all of the Fellows. Each participant agreed that there is a wealth of information present and that having the ability to utilize the advice given is a remarkable experience. We can only hope that next year a greater amount of Fellows will take advantage of this amazing opportunity.