Women are often faced with unfair boundaries in pursuit of professional achievement. The glass ceiling— which may be described as a barrier to women and minorities advancing in the workplace—is a real obstacle that we as women will likely face in our near futures. Because we attend a women’s college, we are afforded many opportunities to prepare ourselves for issues that women may face. One such opportunity took place during February, when several Salem students had the chance to attend the Women’s Economic Empowerment (WE2) Conference at Livingstone College. Not only was this a chance for Salem students to bond, but it also offered many professional advantages and networking opportunities.
Callie Mathis, a first year student studying Business Administration at Salem, was one of 19 students who was able to attend. Mathis explains that the overall purpose of the conference was “…to hear from women out in the business world who could help prepare [them] for things [they] may not be expecting in the workforce and to have a chance to network.” Her personal motivation for attending was to “…explore more career options and possibly make connections.”
Being able to listen to the different stories of women overcoming adversity is Mathis’s most memorable experience from the conference. She explains that this “really spread the inspiration to achieve goals and to set high standards.”
According to Mathis, this kind of experience is specifically beneficial for students aspiring to reach top management positions within the business field or students who wish to eventually start their own businesses.
Since this conference was at Livingstone College, it offered Salem students the opportunity to interact with students from other schools. Not only did this serve as a networking opportunity, but it also gave students like Mathis a chance to “…broaden [their] horizons and [help students realize] how big the world is….”
For students who did not get the chance to experience the conference, Mathis communicates how important it is to “have an excellent support system if you want to accomplish anything big. Without it your chances of success lower dramatically.”