There are many conferences to attend, especially for women in the workforce.  Some are related to the work, but I find the most beneficial to be the women focused conferences.  It does not matter if a woman has a jewelry making business, or a large national consulting business, or is a CEO of a worldwide corporation; the issues faced by women in the workforce are very similar.  It is so powerful to bring women together to discuss issues, which facilitates connections on both personal and professional levels.  Women often need to connect with other women to communicate their challenges and issues and collaborate while facing and overcoming them.

I was fortunate enough to attend the 2nd Annual Indiana Governor’s Women’s Conference. The theme was The Power of Connection.  The most impactful connection to me was the encouragement to find mentors throughout a career lifetime.  It broadened my perspective of how many great, powerful women are right here in our home state.  Making intentional, positive connections to industry thought leaders allows us to imagine where we want to go in our careers and connect with professionals who offer their lessons learned in our journey to achieve.  It is an art to create meaningful conversations which turn into actions that lead to realization of personal and professional dreams.

Another critical factor is the art of self-assurance and confidence.  What I loved about the talk by Claire Shipman and Katty Kay was their ability to expose their vulnerability.   Here are two women who are very successful news correspondents, who always appear both self-assured and confident and yet they were open and honest about their insecurities.  Their research is fascinating and inspired me to learn more about how I am wired genetically in the confidence department and the impact that has on my ability to lead, my success and ultimately my fulfillment both personally and professionally.

I encourage all of women in the workforce that we, as women, don’t need to conform.  We need to know who we are and play to our strengths confidently and competently.  We don’t need to fake it anymore.  We can take risks, fail and learn and apply what we learn to make us stronger and more confident.  The more confidence we have, the more we can achieve.