Hair/makeup by David Arnold Salon in PA. 2 lovely stylists promptly showed up to my hotel room prior to the conference and made me feel very confident as I was feeling quite nervous. I’m wearing an Anthropologie skirt, Kate Spade booties and a vintage top.
I began my whirlwind week of traveling in Philly for the Pennsylvania Conference for Women. I had always wanted to visit Philly but never had a reason to go, so I was thrilled when the conference asked me to speak during their Young Women’s program. If you’re not familiar with the women conferences, they’re hosted across the East Coast in 4 different states from Texas to Boston, MA. They’re massive women’s conferences that attract over 10,000 women to every event, with speakers like Meryl Streep, Amal Clooney and Viola Davis! This year Amal Clooney and Serena Williams headlined the conference in Philadelphia, and I’m OBSESSED with Amal Clooney. I can’t think of anyone more graceful and inspirational than Amal besides Michelle Obama, and a few others!
Speaking or not, it’s incredibly powerful to be around so many talented women for an entire day. I was familiar with many of the other women speaking during the day, like Lauren Brody of The Fifth Trimester and Cindy Whitehead of The Pink Lady (above) so meeting some of my inspirations in-person is obviously thrilling! I had the chance to speak with Dani Rylan, Zaniya Lewis and Tiffany Jana during my panel which was on overcoming bias: a topic I haven’t spoken about before. Most people think of bias and automatically resort to bias against your race, but all of us are realistically judging people every minute. The minute you meet someone you immediately make a judgement about them that I bet doesn’t have to do with their race: perhaps the color of their hair, or nails, or how they smell or even talk: that’s all bias. I chimed in about age bias which is what I’ve dealt with for most of my life. I have always had to convince people to give me a chance in the business world because of my young age, and as much as I’d like to say that the age bias has reduced as I’ve gotten older, it really hasn’t. I still face many of the same negative comments now that I faced when I was younger.
I went to 3 different women’s conferences in 3 different cities over 2 years to finally be able to speak- certain opportunities take extra patience! This experience was totally worth waiting for.