Conference aims to encourage working women

The Woven Conference offers opportunities to meet and greet women leaders who display their faith in the workplace.

Kelsey Shaw, Writer

A business professor and two students are organizing a conference to motivate women in their faith and their position in the workplace.

The Woven Conference on Feb. 21 aspires to support and teach women how to manage work, family and faith. The conference will take place at Granada Heights Friends Church in La Mirada and will include a light breakfast and lunch. It is open to the public and tickets cost $20 for attendees, $10 for students. The name of the conference, “Woven,” was chosen to incorporate the topics regarding how women can make all areas of their lives woven together. The three main speakers include Tami Heim, president & CEO of Christian Leadership Alliance, Gloria Nelund, chairman and CEO of TriLink and Helen Mitchell, director & co-founder of Saddleback@Work.

The idea for the conference began in a class taught by Laureen Mgrdichian, professor of marketing. After Nelund spoke on how women can balance a family back home and work, Mgrdichian thought Biola could host a conference that would get the community together and act as a resource for female students. Summer McMaster and Heather Hurlock, senior accounting majors from Mgridichan’s class, joined their professor in piecing together the conference.

“The first few steps were nailing down speakers and topics for the conference because there are so many. We definitely had the vision of integrating every area of a woman’s life into the conference,” Hurlock said.

Although this is the first conference, McMaster and Hurlock have high hopes to make it an annual conference.

“It’s so important for women to know themselves, their identity, what they have to offer the world and who they are in Christ. I think that by knowing their identity, they can better work and figure out what they are called to do,” McMaster said.

There will also be a breakout session where the attendees can participate in a discussion on confidence from Carrie Stockton, dean of student success, or a session from Heather Hoerdemann, vice president of talent and leadership development at Synopsis, on the seasons of a woman’s work life in balancing work, family and faith.

“There are going to be mothers, wives and Christians who will be talking and integrating all of that while you work. We wanted speakers who do it all and can tell us how they do it all,” Hurlock said.

Tatum Schroeder, junior marketing major, will attend the conference. Schroeder said that she thinks the conference can encourage any women working in a professional environment.

“I think it’s really cool that the speakers are Christian women so it shows us how you can still be high up and professional while still having a strong relationship with the Lord,” Schroeder said.

Hurlock and McMaster desire to make students aware that they can be a light in their work field and they believe that this conference can help make that evident.

“The biggest thing that we want people to know is that we care about women and we care about them knowing who they are in Christ,” McMaster said. “That’s the main thing driving us in this whole process is to get women out there and get to know who they are in the Savior’s eyes.”


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