The MU Women*s Leadership Conference emphasizes diversity and inclusivity, starting with its name. Executive Director Jordan Weinberg said replacing the apostrophe in “Women’s” with an asterisk reflects the theme of the conference: More to Learn.
“It means there's always more to something than the surface level,” Weinberg said. “Historically, our conference has been kind of geared towards a certain type of woman. We really wanted to emphasize our commitment to being more inclusive.”
Director of Speaker Relations Sarah Cox said, “We wanted to make it more inclusive to any people who identify as women: cis-women, trans women, non-binary people, cis men, trans men and anyone else who identifies on the gender spectrum.” She said the goal is to engage them in this conversation of what it means to be a woman leader.
The conference, being held March 9, has also lowered its price from $25 to $15 to make it more accessible to students, and is offering need-based scholarships for the attendance fee.
Attendees of the Women*s Leadership Conference can expect professional development and community building. Topics for breakout sessions include how to negotiate pay as a woman and navigating male-dominated fields.
Weinberg said she especially wants younger women and men to know they are welcome at the conference. “Some of the best reviews of the conference I have heard have come from men,” she said.
“I don’t know if I would have gone as a freshman if I wasn’t so involved. It seems really intimidating and I feel like a lot of people don’t know if they have a place there, but everybody has a place at our conference,” Weinberg said.
Cox said when looking for speakers, she wanted to find young women the attendees of the conference could relate to.
“Last year we had Nadya Okamoto, the founder of PERIOD. She was only 20 and I think participants really related to her because she is close to them in age and had accomplished these amazing things,” Cox said.
This year’s speakers are Jamira Burley, 30, and Bushra Amiwala, 20.
Registration is not restricted to MU students, women or a certain age group. Everyone is encouraged to attend.
For more information about the conference and how to attend, visit the MU Women*s Leadership Conference on Facebook.