• Wednesday , 18 October 2017

Pa. Conference for Women Packs Convention Center with 9,000 Female Advocates

Photos, story by Cassie Hepler

What started as a one table gathering has exploded into a sold out sea of 9,000 women taking over the Pa. Convention Center. Obviously the tri-state area’s largest gathering of women, powerhouses such as Anita Hill, Mindy Kaling, Abby Wambach, Adam Grant and Annie Clark headlined the Pennsylvania Conference for Women.

“You are here to be part of a movement that will help all of us move forward together,” civil rights pioneer Anita Hill told a sold out audience of nearly 9,000 at the 13th Annual Pennsylvania Conference for Women on Thursday. “There are direct business costs related to harassment,” Hill said, noting the need to end ongoing harassment against women in the workplace, 25 years after she testified during the 1991 confirmation hearing of Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. “Time, energy and resources are diverted from work into litigation and court. So ending harassment is everybody’s business.” Now a professor of law at Brandeis University, Hill said despite the harsh treatment she received when she testified against Thomas, she will “continue to stand up and speak out” around equal education and employment protections for women.

Themed “The Power of Us: Amplify Your Voice,” this year’s conference also featured keynote addresses by Abby Wambach, two-time Olympic gold medalist, FIFA Women’s World Cup champion and author of “Forward”; Adam Grant, best-selling author and business professor; and Annie Clark, campus activist against sexual assault, featured in the documentary “The Hunting Ground,” as well as an interview with Mindy Kaling, actress, bestselling author and creator and star of “The Mindy Project” by journalist Lesley Jane Seymour.

New to the conference this year was the Tierney Social Hub, where attendees chatted one-on-one with online media and digital experts about how to leverage social networks for career growth opportunities. Attendees also visited the popular Drexel LeBow Career Pavilion, with in-person resume reviews by human resource experts and career coaching with coaches from the International Coach Federation Philadelphia, the Health and Wellness Pavilion, and the Small Business Marketplace featuring women owned businesses.

“The Pennsylvania Conference for Women has become a can’t-miss event for all who care about advancing the causes of women in the workplace, in the community and in their personal life experiences.” said Leslie Stiles, President of the Pennsylvania Conference for Women Board. “The power of us is more than a slogan – it represents the values we live by all year long.”

We started the conference with some much-needed coffee with arrival time at 7:30 a.m. and straight in line to get Abby's book for $30.

We started the conference with some much-needed coffee with arrival time at 7:30 a.m. and then straight in line to get Abby’s book for $30.

All sorts of vendors were located right next to the conference room, such as this leather lined BMW.

All sorts of vendors were located right next to the conference room, such as this leather lined BMW.

Blue suede shoes are always a hit and of course, there were women rocking heels all day long - even pregnant women!

Blue suede shoes are always a hit and of course, there were women rocking heels all day long – even pregnant women!

QVC was there with a panel to represent and our date for the day, Sara Reister, models some jewelry like they do on TV.

QVC was there with a panel to represent and our date for the day, Sara Reister, models some jewelry like they do on TV.

We made our way into the Pa Conference for Women only to be greeted by a man. We soon got over ourselves as we realized he was an advocate and explained the difference between takers, givers and connectors.

We made our way into the Pa Conference for Women only to be greeted by a man. We soon got over ourselves as we realized Adam Grant was an advocate and explained the difference between takers, givers and connectors.

discusses how rape culture is way too prevalent on campus and in American life.

Annie Clark discussed how rape culture is way too prevalent on campus and in American life.

Anita Hill's presence takes up the stage at Pa. Conference for Women.

Anita Hill’s presence takes up the stage at Pa. Conference for Women.

Quoting lawmaker and former presidential candidate Shirley Chisholm, Hill said, “I was, am, and will always be a catalyst for change.”

Quoting lawmaker and former presidential candidate Shirley Chisholm, Hill said, “I was, am, and will always be a catalyst for change.”

Some political fun in the vendor section of Pa Conference for Women.

Some political fun in the vendor section of Pa Conference for Women.

Women were relaxing and enjoying the health benefits from acupuncture.

Women were relaxing and enjoying the health benefits from acupuncture.

We went to our first break out session and learned to hone your brand.

We went to our first break out session and learned how to hone your brand with these lovely ladies.

Press had a chance to privately interview Abby for 15 minutes and our favorite quote was, "If you're called bitchy, that means you are doing something right."

Press had a chance to privately interview Abby for 15 minutes and our favorite quote was, “If you’re called bitchy, that means you are doing something right.”

“Until we have not just a seat at the table, but a respected seat at the table, an equal paid seat at the table, then we are not being treated as equals. We’re being treated as a stepchild or the little sister and for me that’s just not good enough,” Wambach also said.

Sara Reister and Marilyn Russell from BenFM stop to chat for a minute between events.

Sara Reister and Marilyn Russell from BenFM stop to chat for a minute between events.

This break out session dealt with taming stress and finding peace in your life. A helpful idea was to make your password something inspiring to be a sort of digital mantra.

This break out session dealt with taming stress and finding peace in your life. A helpful idea was to make your password something inspiring to be a sort of digital mantra.

Since there were virtually no men there, women got to take over the men's bathroom like we've always wanted to do. Lines be gone!

Since there were virtually no men there, women got to take over the men’s bathroom like we’ve always wanted to do. Lines be gone!

Fashion was also available to purchase back at the vendors booths.

Fashion was also available to purchase back at the vendors booths.

Jewelry was available as well.

Jewelry was available as well.

Poo-pourri is making waves all over the place with it's toilet odor spray.

Poo-pourri is making waves all over the place with its toilet odor spray.

And some funny stocking stuffers for the men in your life.

And some funny stocking stuffers for the men in your life.

It was almost overwhelming at points that 9,000 women were in this event. Going from class to class was like herding cattle and towards the end of the day, there was some mosh pit mentality going on.

It was almost overwhelming at points that 9,000 women were in this event. Going from class to class was like herding cattle and towards the end of the day, there was some mosh pit mentality going on.

Abby talks about not being angry with millennials because her generation and the ones before got them to expect more.

Abby talks about not being angry with millennials because her generation and the ones before got them to expect more.

“Feminism is not about women taking over the world, although that would be fun,” Wambach said.

Abby also rocks some very snug, fabulous leggings to show off her muscular legs we assume.

Abby also rocks some very snug, fabulous leggings to show off her muscular legs we assume.

Joanne Ryder, executive VP & CAO of Beneficial Bank talks about equality in the workplace. We can't help but wonder just how equal Beneficial Bank is...

Joanne Ryder, executive VP & CAO of Beneficial Bank, talks about equality in the workplace. We can’t help but wonder just how equal Beneficial Bank is…

Monica Malpass, news anchor for 6ABC introduced actress Mindy Kaling.

Monica Malpass, news anchor for 6ABC introduced actress Mindy Kaling.

Up next was Mindy Kaling who did a sort of live interview.

Up next was Mindy Kaling who did a sort of live interview with Lesley Jane Seymour.

Kaling talks about being in some upcoming all-female movies which is virtually unheard of in Hollywood.

Kaling talks about being in some upcoming all-female movies which is virtually unheard of in Hollywood. She also talks about herself – a lot.

Kaling starts losing many women's interest toward the end of the interview and women are leaving in flocks.

Kaling starts losing many women’s interest toward the end of the interview and women are leaving in flocks.

Maybe women were leaving to secure book signings from their favorites like Abby.

Maybe women were leaving to secure book signings from their favorites like Abby.

Explore Philly publisher Cassie Hepler and Sara Resiter take a break by the media room before the cocktail tasting hour begins and to recharge.

Explore Philly publisher Cassie Hepler and Sara Resiter take a break by the media room before the cocktail tasting hour begins and to recharge.

We surprised our Martin Miller's Gin representative Rob Astle by asking for a funny named cocktail.

We surprised our Martin Miller’s Gin representative Rob Astle by asking for a funny named cocktail.

This is a delicious pear nectar drink that would pair perfectly with some brut champagne.

This is a delicious pear nectar drink that would pair perfectly with some brut champagne.

And last but not least, this delicious bubbly rose that sent us on our way.

And last but not least, this delicious bubbly rose that sent us on our way.

Overall, it was worth it to wade through the sea of women, fight to get autographs (seriously people were getting vicious) and all fight for women’s equality. But we hope in the future, we can talk about not how we need a female president to gain equal footing in America but how to continue to uplift and empower our women after that feat is already won. And let’s not forget, women make up half of the Keystone State so don’t feel alone ladies. Allow yourselves to roar!

The Pennsylvania Conference for Women was presented by Beneficial Bank andBeneficial Foundation and generously sponsored by Bristol-Myers Squibb; Cisco; DrexelUniversity; GlaxoSmithKline; PECO; QVC; AmerisourceBergen; Delaware InvestmentsDuPont; Ernst and Young; Johnson & Johnson; JP Morgan Chase & Co.; MasterCard; Mercer; PwC; Shire; AARP Pennsylvania; ACME; Amtrak; BMW; Burlington Coat Factory; Cancer Treatment Centers of America; Comcast NBC Universal; DLA Piper; Dow Chemical; Fine Wine and Good Spirits; Independence; KIND; MerckPhiladelphia Convention Center; PNC; Poo-Pourri; Shriners Hospitals for Children; State Farm; State StreetCorporation; Stradley Ronon; and Wawa. Media partners included Philadelphia Media Network;iHeartMedia;Philadelphia Magazine;Tierney; and WPVI-TV, 6abc.

To learn more about the 13th annual Pennsylvania Conference for Women, visit their website at www.paconferenceforwomen.org, follow them on Twitter athttp://www.twitter.com/PennWomen or visit their Facebook page athttp://www.facebook.com/paconferenceforwomen.

 

Related Posts

Leave A Comment