Panelists and speakers address women in business

The National Association of Women MBA’s will sponsor today’s event.

Allie Winter

Future business professionals with two X chromosomes can get together today to network and prepare for future careers.

The annual Women’s Leadership Conference, hosted by the Carlson School of Management chapter of the National Association of Women MBA’s, will take place today from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and is open to men as well.

where to go

2007 women’s leadership conference
What: Annual women’s leadership conference with keynote speeches by Sylvia Hewitt and William George
When: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. today
Where: Carlson School of Management
Cost: $15
For more information, go to: www.carlsonschool.umn.edu/wlc

“Own it! Creating Your Own Path to Success” is the theme of the day. Keynote speakers include Sylvia Hewlett, director of the gender and public policy program at Columbia University, and William George, Harvard professor and former Medtronic CEO and chairman.

Hewlett’s article in the Harvard Business Review, “Off-Ramps and On-Ramps: Keeping Talented Women on the Road to Success,” will be the main focus of her address.

Event coordinator Oufreez Argenta said she looks forward to Sylvia’s speech and how Hewlett will advise women to remain in their careers.

“It’s a fairly hot topic,” she said. “Women would reach a certain point in their careers and take themselves out of corporate America when life got too stressful.”

George is scheduled to speak about leadership and touch on his new book, “True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership,” both of which relate to the day’s theme.

“Bill speaks more to the ‘own it’ part, discovering what your values are and turning that into success as a leader,” Argenta said.

Event-goers have a wide variety of options to network, ask questions and learn from the many panelists and workshops also featured.

Susan Meyer Goldstein, Carlson associate professor and moderator of the panel “Does it Fit? Leveraging Your Talents in the Right Corporate Environment,” encourages students to take part in the benefits of the day.

“It helps for them to hear from women in the industry who have been there, done that,” she said.

Goldstein also said it’s smart for these future businesswomen to heed professional advice on how to get past hurdles and think differently about their careers.

As a teacher, she also uses the event as an opportunity to hone her own skills.

“It’s helpful when I think about what I can do in the classroom,” Goldstein said. “When students show up and say ‘I don’t know what I want to do with my life,’ I can have a better conversation with them.”

There will be a variety of professionals at the conference who will be able to advise attendees on how to tackle their futures. Beside the keynote speakers, seven different panels are on today’s agenda.

Julie Moore-Rapacki, panelist in “Speaking Above the Crowd: Make Your Voice Heard,” said she thinks her insights could be beneficial.

“I think the conference topic is one I’m familiar with, and I could add value to it,” she said.

Moore-Rapacki is the CEO of the new business Polish Your Star, a company geared toward advising business professionals.

The women-filled event features panelists from all areas, not just corporate America. Argenta said there’ll be women with many careers, including stay-at-home moms, entrepreneurs, public sector professionals and women with side jobs.

“We’re trying to highlight the fact that women have many options as to what direction to take,” Argenta said.