The Gustavian Weekly

3rd Annual Women in Leadership Conference focuses on authenticity

By Haley Bell Staff Writer | April 19, 2013 | News

This year’s conference will help women address how essential authenticity is to leadership. <em>Submitted</em>

This year’s conference will help women address how essential authenticity is to leadership. Submitted

Women In Business Leadership (WIBL) is a student and alumnae program that helps the women of Gustavus in their academic, professional, and personal leadership development. The group works together to prepare, support, and promote women leadership.

Women in Business Leadership (a student based organization) and Gustavus Women in Leadership (an alumnae based organization) work together each year to create the Women in Leadership Conference.

On Friday, April 19, the third annual Gustavus Women in Leadership Conference will take place at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis. The theme of the conference is “Are You For Real? The Importance of Authenticity.”

“It’s a great opportunity for women who are students, alumni, and faculty all to interact with one another. Few schools offer connections like this,” Junior Carolyn Draayer said.

One of the purposes of the conference is to expand knowledge about leadership, and help women find their own voices.

“By attending, guests will have access to six women who are leaders in their respective fields, and get insight on their journey to the top, discover how they found their leadership voice, and learn what keeps them motivated and balanced,” Senior Co-Conference Director Rachelle Blaschko said.

The two keynote speakers for the conference are Marcia Page and Joan Steffend. There will also be four breakout session speakers: Trish Wheaton, Nancy Weidenfeller, Dana Halberg, and Michelle Stimpson.

“All of the speakers will relate their presentations back to the importance of being an authentic leader, especially as a woman,” Senior Co-Conference Director Ashley Michalko said.

Roughly 140 women will be attending the conference, and it is open to women of any age and major. The conference is heavily directed towards women due to the difficulties that females face in the business world, but the conference is not exclusively for women.

“We want people to know that it’s a great, relaxing day with the opportunity to hear great stories and connect with other women  . . . every year the Conference has been inspiring and they have gotten better each year. It’s an opportunity that sets Gustavus women apart from other schools in the MIAC,” Senior Co-President of WIBL Kelsey Kennedy said.