It was said that 2020 marked the Year of the Woman as it was the celebration of the 100th anniversary of women’s voting rights. Many groups scheduled commemorative programs celebrating the accomplishments of woman. Then the Covid 19 pandemic hit which rocked this country to its core. A few months into the pandemic shut down along with the George Floyd incident brought awareness regarding income and inequality issues surrounding race and gender front and center. All of this led to a national reckoning and by years end I could not go a day without viewing my LinkedIn feed and seeing the announcement of first “woman” within a major corporation or organization.
If last year was the “Year of the Woman,” this year can certainly be called the “Year of First.” We recently saw Kamala Harris’ inauguration as our first woman vice president, as well as Kim Ng become the first female general manager of a major sports team. We also saw the Washington Football Team name Jennifer King as the first fulltime Black female coach, and most recently watched the first female referee at the Super Bowl. Women are stepping boldly into leadership positions and commanding their seats at the table like no other time in history.
Like many organizations, the Howard County Chamber was once void of women in leadership positions. Fortunately, we have embraced the contributions of women and this year will mark the seventh year we hold our Women’s Leadership Conference. What originally began in 2015 as an event focused on women in government contracting, morphed into a one-day outing that provides encouragement and professional development for women in all industries at all stages in their career. The Women’s Leadership Conference has grown from 100 attendees to nearly 300. Although the event largely centered around female development, males in attendance walked away with skills that helped them navigate through their own journey of professional development.
This year’s conference will be held virtually on July 13 operating under the theme of Her Story: Leading to New Heights; S.O.A.R Together. The conference will feature a nationally known keynote speaker as we promise to Spark your leadership flame, provide ways to capture Opportunities, Accelerate your leadership potential and Rejoice in your wins. I encourage you to stay tuned for details. Interested parties may obtain information by visiting www.howardchamberwlc.com.