Organizations prepare for women’s leadership conference

Since 2009, the Women in Leadership Conference has promoted conversation about challenges for women seeking leadership positions. This year’s conference will be held on March 5. The conference incorporates many different organizations on campus, including the Women’s Leadership Institute, Geneseo Opportunities for Leadership Development, the Klainer Center for Women in Business, the Geneseo Alumni Association, Access Opportunity Programs, Student and Campus Life, and the Center for Community.

Junior Ashley Jones, student director of the Klainer Center for Women in Business, said that the input of multiple organizations is beneficial to the conference.

“Each organization brings a different perspective and point of view to the discussions,” she said, in an email interview.

Students and faculty from these organizations make up a planning board, which creates the conference program. There will be seven workshops in the daylong conference, each aimed at informing students about the unique way that women fit into leadership roles.

“The purpose of the workshops is to provide an opportunity for women to talk about women’s issues in leadership focused on that for a day,” Associate Dean of Leadership and Services and Director of GOLD Tom Matthews said.

Some of the workshops will feature panels of guests with a connection to the topic of women in leadership, including Geneseo alumnae.

Senior Klarissa Garcia is the student advisor for the Women Leadership Institute also involved in putting together this year’s conference. Garcia said it’s important for students to have the opportunity to talk to people who have created successful careers for themselves after attending Geneseo.

“They understand what Geneseo is about and how you feel when you’re going through life here,” she said.

In one annual workshop, titled “Breaking the Glass Ceiling,” panelists will share personal stories and give advice on how women can deal with inequality in the workplace.

Another choice for attendees is “Power Couples,” in which a panel will discuss strategies for balancing family life and work.

“A lot of women would like to have a career but also want to have a family,” Matthews said.

At the end of the day, there will be a dinner for students and alumnae, providing an opportunity for networking, and keynote speaker Andrea Holland ‘01, a Geneseo alumna and executive communications consultant.

Garcia emphasized that one of the goals of this conference is to provide opportunities for students after graduation.

“We try to build the relationship between alumni and Geneseo students because you get to certain places in life because of who you know,” she said.

“It’s all about helping students succeed as they move from college into their careers,” Matthews said.

Students can sign up for the workshops in the conference through the GOLD website.