Celebrate International Women’s Day with women who #ChooseToChallenge

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From challenge comes change. In celebration of women’s achievements, this 90-minute event will explore what it takes to create change.  Please join us on Monday, March 8, from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m., to share stories by successful professionals, founders and small business owners of how they met challenges head on.  Learn and be inspired by what drives them in pursuit of personal and professional success, equality and inclusiveness.  The program will feature a dynamic keynote speaker and a choice of two breakout panel sessions. 

The program is being jointly sponsored by the WISE Women’s Business Center (a program of the Martin J. Whitman School of Management and the U.S. SBA), the Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars at Syracuse University, Gwen, Inc. and Community Bank System, Inc.

Register here and receive a Zoom link emailed to you. There will be only one Zoom link for the event.

Panel discussions – 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. (select one)

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Panel 1: #ChoosetoChallenge: How Embracing Challenge Can Drive Change

Panel Members: Catherine Richardson, retired partner, Bond, Schoeneck & King, (moderator); Kelsey Davis, founder & CEO of CLLCTVE; Caeresa Richardson, owner of Gypsy Freedom; and Kimberly Townsend,  president and CEO of Loretto.

From challenge comes change. Think for a moment about the pioneers and the leaders you look up to as role models. They likely have something in common—the ability to embrace change. Join a discussion with four powerful change agents who are embracing challenge and entrepreneurial thinking as a mode of operation.

During this session, participants will:

  • Explore changing the status quo through the lens of a Gen Z digital tech start-up, a pioneer in law, a small business owner who succeeded through the pandemic, and a leader in healthcare operating a large and innovative organization in the most challenging times imaginable.
  • Discuss how entrepreneurial thinking impacts decision making in times of crisis.
  • Hear best practices for cultivating a growth mindset.
  • Identify ways to apply this information in the workplace or small business.
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Panel 2: The Art of Sistering: The Importance of Diverse Women Supporting Each Other in the Workplace

Panel Members: Gwen Webber-McLeod, president & CEO of Gwen, Inc., (moderator): Bryony Grealish, owner of Fingerless Kitchen: Diana Jaramillo, principal architect at Kin Studio: Indaria Jones, founder & CEO of The Creators Lounge; and Michelle Horton, CEO of The Archemy Group.

It is all too common to hear this statement from women in the workforce, “I prefer working with men. Working with women is too difficult.”

Trend data indicate, within the next 10 years, 85% of new entrants into the workforce will be female, millennials and people of color. Given this demographic reality, it is imperative for women to be intentional about building high-trust relationships with the diverse groups of women they work with daily. In fact, many of the most successful women in our region would say this is a core leadership competency for emerging and established women leaders.

During this session, participants will:

  • Explore why women need to support other women in the workplace.
  • Discuss the dynamics of leading at the intersection of gender and/or race.
  • Hear best practices for supporting women in the workplace from a diverse panel of women practicing this leadership competency.
  • Identify ways to apply this information in the workplace.

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, as well as advocating for gender parity. It is held annually on March 8 and marked by programs and educational events around the world.  This year’s theme is #ChooseToChallenge.  The topic addresses the opportunities that can come from challenge when individuals and groups mobilize to drive change.  This year that theme particularly resonates around issues of diversity, equity and inclusion.   Speakers for this Syracuse-CNY event include women who are forging lives and careers that are helping create inclusion and drive innovation.  They represent different colors, disabilities, ages, sexual orientations and gender identities, and are leading lives that are creating diverse and inclusive businesses and communities that encourage collaboration, respect and equity.

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