Last week Sweet Thymes owner and designer, Monique Smaby, attended the annual Women Leading the Future Conference hosted by Ladies America in Washington, DC. This impactful event educated and empowered women to become dynamic leaders. Personal and professional development lessons were learned throughout the conference, all circling the theme of mentorship and highlighting the influence a mentor can have over your development.
Each speaker brought a unique perspective to self-improvement and building a confident self-brand. Kindra Hall, the dynamic and uber stylish professional storyteller, started the morning sharing the importance of storytelling and how to use it in life and business to create a personal rapport and connect with people on a deeper level. She said "storytelling is the fastest way to grab the attention of the audience."
Shakirah Hill and Jen Groover both empowered the audience to be authentic in everything you do. Each shared their life lessons on finding purpose in life and in work, with a focus on creating a healthy work/life balance. Clara Chorley with Clarity Unlimited shared her career matrix and how to create a game plan to achieve your goals, whether it be changing careers or building self-confidence. Clara encouraged utilizing a mentor to review your career matrix, “one mistake that professional women make is lone wolfing it.”
The afternoon panels focused on the conference theme of mentorship. Helene Clayton-Jeter illustrated the influence mentors have had in her life guiding her career and creating new opportunities. Raquel Riley Thomas, Mrs. Maryland America 2010, encouraged the audience to let their own unique "cool factor" shine in everything you do, making your work original.
The theme of creating a career plan and finding trusting mentors to influence your path came through in every panel. The speakers equipped the audience with tips, tricks, and tangible tools to make goals and make changes in their lives.
This was the second year I have attended the daylong conference and each year is equally impactful and energizing. I continue to meet inspiring women and make friends each and every time I attend a Ladies America or Ladies DC event. Check out the Ladies DC Facebook page for upcoming networking and educational events and sign up for next year’s Women Leading the Future Conference on June 25, 2016.