Ellevate Annual Conference

On Sunday, April 2nd, prominent keynote speakers from the Center for Women and Business, Chief Advisory Services LLC, and Loomis & Sayles gathered to discuss women’s confidence in the workplace and how women can overcome many of the prominent issues they may face in their careers. This year’s conference theme was “Sorry Not Sorry,” which is all about women learning how to be confident and stop undermining themselves personally and professionally.

Fellows, please describe one issue you may face as a businesswoman and what you can do to overcome that. For the men, describe one issue your female coworker may face, and what you can do to help prevent or alleviate the issue.

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3 thoughts on “Ellevate Annual Conference

  1. The Ellevate Spring Conference was a fantastic event full of valuable advice for women professionals of every age. One issue that multiple speakers touched upon was that of missing out on opportunities. This stood out to me because it is not always due to the confidence gap. Instead, women are overlooked by their male or even other female colleagues simply because they do not speak up. Their lack of self-advocacy is not a conscious choice, but rather one of ignorance (for lack of a better word).

    As one panelist mentioned, she kept waiting for someone to approach her about applying for a new position. Another discussed how she just assumed that her accomplishments would be enough for a promotion. Sadly, neither were the case. And so, whether or not women have the confidence, they are being continuously ignored because they are not speaking with the right people or asking the right questions.

    The solution to this problem is relatively simple. Stop this waiting around and assuming. Women need to ask for more information and they need to be assertive. If you think that you’re qualified for a more executive position, then slide your resume over to HR and confidently explain your worth. That’s all there is to it.

    I was amazed to see the accounts of so many different women, and I believe that this is an issue that I will face at some point in my career. Luckily, it is an easy fix and I am so glad to have been able to raise my awareness today.

    – Dana Zappone

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  2. One of the biggest issues that women face in general is visibility within an organization, and I believe that it a key factor in why we are not populating executive-level positions. Women are more likely than men to keep their heads down and get the work done, but what they miss are the networking opportunities that come about from having the confidence to reach out to ask people to lunch or for speaking up at that meeting. Much of senior management is male, and to be recognized by the men, women also need to network with them. It is important to build a strong relationship with all types of peers, and to leverage those relationships as they get promoted or as you do. I find it hard to step out of my comfort zone to talk to people I find sort of intimidating, but that all comes with practice. What I can do, and what all women of the Bentley community can do, is to attend events like this conference that open our eyes to some of the struggles we may face as businesswomen and to begin honing those networking skills and relationships now. This way, we already have a leg up on our future coworkers on how to build relationships and to feel more comfortable and confident in beginning and maintaining them.

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  3. The Ellevate Annual Conference was very enjoyable and informative event that featured inspiring speakers from various backgrounds in business. They all touched upon different issues that women have encountered in their professional careers, and how to overcome these challenges.

    One issue that I may face as a businesswoman is effectively communicating my ideas and opinions to my male counterparts in the workplace. In order to overcome this challenge, I can concentrate on the delivery of my question or statement prior to saying it out loud. It is important to say what you think definitively, and to be confident in what you say. One piece of advice the panelists gave was to experiment with what delivery style works best for you, and to read your audience before speaking, in order to anticipate how they may react.

    I really appreciated the opportunity to hear so many inspiring women speak about topics they were passionate about, and I am glad to be given so much advice and preparation that will help me find professional success in the future.

    – Lia Golick

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