The Boosting Effect of Women’s Conferences

“Did you know that women who attend women’s conferences are twice as likely to get a promotion within a year—and THREE times as likely to get a 10 percent salary bump?” That’s just one of the fascinating data points in this Harvard Business Review article. Having attended Momentum conferences since 2014, I can attest to HBR’s findings.

Actor Geena Davis, 2014 keynote, pictured here with Momentum’s Tina Upshaw and daughter Perrin.

The first time I walked into the ballroom at the 2014 conference, I was overcome with emotion. I had spent most of the decade in a leadership position in a fast-growing tech company–an industry dominated by men, funded by the male dominated venture capital industry, and in a market where decision makers were 95% white male. I was quite comfortable in that environment, or so I thought.

It wasn’t until I stepped into that room of women, hundreds of them just like me, that I understood the collective power we had. It was like a small city of professional women, all looking to grow both professionally and personally. Women learning from one another how to navigate the unwritten rules in our society. Women inspiring one another to reach higher. Women supporting one another through the stress of work and family obligations. Women helping one another learn to state their value clearly and unapologetically. Women finding the voice to say, “I matter, I have a lot to contribute, and I am my own best advocate!”

 

I was not alone in feeling that way about the Momentum conference. Now that I actually work for Momentum, I have access to all of the conference surveys! For those of you attending the conference next month, here’s what you can look forward to. If you haven’t registered yet, you have until Feb. 20th…don’t delay!

2016 Keynote Speaker Diana Nyad

“I loved the diversity of the presenters and the content. I feel inspired to do more in my personal and professional life.”  -2014 attendee

“The sessions targeted very different topics, so everyone could find something to fit their interest.” – 2014 attendee

“I enjoyed the speakers the most; they inspired and empowered me to strive for more in my career and family life. The Keynotes were outstanding, and the Breakout sessions were well-organized and informative.” -2016 attendee

“What a great opportunity to surround myself with successful women. Working in a male-dominated industry, this was a rare treat.” -2016 attendee

“I loved the inspiration of the Keynote Speakers and the Award Honorees. I left feeling inspired and encouraged to do more with my life.” -2016 attendee

2016 and 2018 Award Honorees Dr. Raulerson and Dr. Benjamin

“The ENTIRE conference was excellent. I only wish some of the sessions repeated so that I could attend them all!” -2016 attendee

“It was such an uplifting event with so much information. The keynote speakers were awesome and I got very practical tips in the breakout sessions.” -2018 attendee

“The keynote speakers were phenomenal! High-caliber international speakers. What a treat for Alabama!”  -2018 attendee

“There was an extraordinary energy and feeling of empowerment through women acknowledging the struggles, challenges and opportunities we share. The speakers, session, and opportunities to network were outstanding. Thank you, Momentum!” -2018 attendee

2018 Attendees

What the researchers in the HBR article found is that women’s conferences acted like a steroid shot for women to ask for that next promotion or salary increase. The “soft” benefits were equally compelling: more than 70% of women attending a women’s conference felt “more optimistic about the future” and “more connected to others.” I can personally vouch for those feelings as a participant at Momentum conferences. Now, as the lucky leader of Momentum, I get to live it every day!

I invite you to plug into Momentum wherever you can, as a conference attendee, conference volunteer, a participant in one of our leadership series, a member of our leadership program or Upward early career program, a beneficiary of our Mentoring program or as a Mentor.  As one of our 2014 conference attendees said, “If we pursue the best of all of us, then each one of us will win.”

 

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