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Networking/Connections  1:45 pm - 2:30 pm

Fostering a strong support network is vital to career growth and community engagement. Creating positive personal and professional connections means initiating conversations with prospective employers, professors, community leaders, etc. Do you admire a professional in your community? Ask him or her to lunch and use that time to build a connection and learn all that you can about his or her profession. Finding a mentor is essential for encouragement and inspiration. Mentors act as sounding boards, serve as trusted advisors and frequently warn against common mistakes. Being a mentor builds a better society and strengthens the mentor’s own knowledge in his/her respective field. Building a strong personal brand and support system will help you stand out when competing against numerous applicants for the same job. Mentors can help ease your transition from campus to the workplace. This process requires close attention to time management and professionalism and an understanding of entry-level job expectations.

Volunteering is another way to cultivate new connections while establishing a strong sense of self. The primary focus of charity is to alleviate the effects of social problems, while philanthropy aims to eliminate the social problem. Giving back enhances one’s emotional health and sense of purpose, and is directly tied to reducing stress and increasing one’s happiness. Philanthropy solidifies one’s role in her community and catalyzes community progress. Community involvement and/or campus life is directly connected to one’s success. You can discover your passions and strengths, and also broaden the scope of your resume.

"I come from such strong support; I come from the land of 'of course'. Like, 'of course this is going to happen' because we have willed it to be and we are going to put in the work to make it happen." - Yara Shahidi

 picture of Janet Haedicke  picture of Paula Griswold  picture of Georgia Street
Janet Haedicke
Professor of English/Grad School Coordinator
University of Louisiana Monroe
Dr. Paula Griswold
Assistant Dean
College of Health and Pharmaceutical Sciences
University of Louisiana Monroe
Georgia Street
Executive Director
Ronald McDonald House

in the Workplace 
2:45 pm - 3:30 pm

Did you worry about being called “bossy” when you were a little girl? Research shows that female children do not appreciate female peers who tell other girls what to do. Subsequently, girls learn not to "boss people around" for fear of being banished from their social circle. While girls play collaboratively, boys play games that encourage hierarchy and leadership, such as “king of the hill.” How does playground behavior influence the workplace? Women tend to avoid taking credit for an achievement, and they speak apologetically so as not to appear overbearing or boastful. For example: “I’m sorry if this idea has already been suggested.” Or, “I just thought maybe we could…” Conversely, men tend to express pride in their ideas and tout their achievements.

Would you rather visit the dentist than negotiate for yourself? You are not alone. Women are socialized to create peace in relationships, which includes the workplace. When a female professional negotiates with someone, she may feel she is taking something away from him or her. Negotiations regarding one’s salary, promotion, and maternity leave, are all vitally important. Women need to overcome feeling “selfish” or “greedy” when advocating for themselves. Learn how you can communicate with confidence, negotiate without guilt, and advocate for yourself.

"You get in life what you have the courage to ask for." - Oprah

 picture of Jennifer Haneline  picture of Natalie Ingle  picture of Sue Nicholson
Jennifer Haneline
Northeast Louisiana Regional Manager
Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living
Natalie Ingle
Director of Operations 
The Woman's Clinic of Monroe

Sue Nicholson
President & CEO
Monroe Chamber of Commerce


Authentic Leadership 3:45 pm - 4:30 pm

Authentic leadership emerges through mutually-established respect and trust between leaders and subordinates. Building credibility means aligning your words and actions and actively engaging with your employees and colleagues. A leader should be both firm and honest, while also supportive and sensitive to others. Consistency will eventually establish an appreciative culture within your working community.

Every leader experiences self-doubt. Overcoming those fears means not letting others’ opinions define you. Surround yourself with positive people and reframe failures as opportunities for growth. Success is not instant, and a willingness to adapt is synonymous with good leadership. Learn how to find your voice and collaborate with different personalities. Using your voice for effective communication requires speaking up, paying attention to tone, word choice, and body language. Being assertive is a positive leadership quality. Constantly apologizing while articulating your ideas diminishes your message. Women have always had voices; the trick is getting people to listen.

As a leader, it is important to recognize and attempt to rectify the underrepresentation of women leadership positions. Women admit to facing more pushback when asking for raises and promotions. Creating a work environment that focuses on progress and the success of one’s employees is a primary component of being an effective leader.

"If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then you are an excellent leader." - Dolly Parton

 picture of Twainna Calhoun  picture of Mary Barrios  picture of Allison Jones Chapman

Twainna Calhoun
Good Hope Middle School

Mary Barrios
Healthy Living Coordinator
Children's Coalition

Allison Jones Chapman
Business Development Officer
Lyons Specialty Stores