© 2023 | WUWF Public Media
11000 University Parkway
Pensacola, FL 32514
850 474-2787
NPR for Florida's Great Northwest
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Women in leadership conference is the next step on your professional journey

Women in Leadership Conference 2020
Morgan Givens/Morgan Givens/University of West
Women in Leadership Conference 2020

The University of West Florida College of Business Executive Mentor Program will host the eighth annual Women in Leadership Conference on March 11 at the UWF Conference Center on the University’s Campus as well as virtually.

Dr. Sherry Hartnett is the chair of the 2022 Women in Leadership conference. While in-person is on, they haven’t abandoned the benefits of a virtual attendance.

“I’m so excited about this year's conference because it's going to be held both in person and virtually this year. It's a hybrid conference.”

In-person tickets are selling fast, however the virtual tickets, which are offered at half price, have no attendance cap.

“We expect to sell out of our 430 in-person seats; we are at about 420 right now so we only have about 10 in-person tickets left" Hartnett said. "For our virtual tickets, which I’m delighted won't sell out, we have almost 300 virtual attendees. So we are well over 700 attendees at this point.”

Hartnett highlights the diverse array of speakers who will be featured at this year’s conference.

“We have a great lineup consisting of local speakers and speakers from across the state of Florida. The speakers are from all different industries between law enforcement, health care, business, finance, pretty much anything you can imagine we will have a speaker talking about that topic.”

Attendees can expect to learn real strategies to help them along their professional journey.

“We always love to have UWF students attend, but we also have two main target audiences. One, those young professionals who we hope will actively manage their growth and development and prepare themselves for those leadership roles that they want in the future. We also have a lot of seasoned professionals to leverage their strengths so they can survive and succeed in current and future leadership roles.”

Hartnett will also be featured as a speaker.

“I am excited this year to be on one of the panels. My focus for the conversation is about mentoring. The panel I’m on is called climbing up while reaching back. It's a discussion about critical strategies to purposefully and successfully climb that professional ladder and the intersectionality of mentoring and lifting others to grow within their own careers.”

In addition to the panels, the conference also places an emphasis on networking between speakers and attendees.

“We think networking is so important; making those right connections and building those professional relationships. Throughout the in-person and the virtual conference we have opportunities during those breaks and during lunch for networking with other people.”

The workplace is complicated to navigate, and being a woman can present certain unique challenges that this conference hopes to address, she said.

“So women in leadership is a passion of mine" she said. "I really look forward to this conference every year. This conference is designed for women and by women and it offers a platform for ideas and the exchange of information about the ways women can move past the current barriers that might exist and persist in making it to the top.”

This conference, and others like it, have been shown to directly benefit the career trajectory of attendees, Hartnett said.

“Research from the Harvard Business Review looked at 2,600 working women across functions and industries that attended conferences for women in the U.S. and they found in the control group only 18% received a promotion that year, compared to the 42% of women who attended a conference," Hartnett said. "In other words, women who take the time to attend a women in leadership conference will be more than twice as likely to achieve career-boosting milestones within a calendar year. So that’s amazing!”

The conference will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with check-in from 8 to 9 a.m. In-person and virtual tickets are available for purchase for the 2022 Women in Leadership Conference. The standard rate is $100 for an in-person ticket and $50 for the virtual conference.

More information and tickets: https://uwf.edu/cob/community-outreach/women-in-leadership/