Haylie Irving // THE CHIMES
The Crowell School of Business hosted the sixth Woven Conference on April 1. According to Laureen Mgrdichian, associate professor of marketing, the goal of the Woven Conference is to encourage women to see their careers as a way to serve the Lord.
“We determined that we would hold a conference and find women who have risen in the ranks in the workplace and can share their career journey and God’s hand in it,” Mgrdichian said. “When we first came up with the name Woven, we loved the image it gave of the many facets of a woman’s life and how they are all woven together, including their walk with the Lord.”
WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP
Mgrdichian said that the concept for Woven Conference started several years ago when students in her Women in Leadership class watched a video about a female CEO leading a major corporation. After realizing the video made no mention of God’s guidance in the CEO’s journey, students expressed their desire to start a conference to celebrate God leading women in their unique career paths.
Mgrdichian explained that the Woven Conference equips women to thrive where God has placed them and encourages them to serve God through their work. She acknowledged that the church has not always supported women in the workforce and encouraged Christian women to support one another in their various vocations.
“The church has not traditionally been a place to encourage women in their place of work,” Mgrdichian said. “If [women] work outside the home, they can often feel like they are doing the more unspiritual choice. This isn’t biblical. Christian women have a plethora of choices in how they serve God, and there is not just one way that this is expressed.”
IDENTITY IN CHRIST
At the Woven Conference, three speakers—Helen Mitchell, Sierra McCoy and Grace Samsung-Song—encouraged attendees to boldly trust God in their positions in the workforce. Mitchell, assistant professor of leadership and ethics , explained that when women are rooted in Christ and know they are made in God’s image, they have confidence to lead and engage consciously in the position God places them. Mitchell said living as the woman God designed means grounding one’s worldview with the truth of their identity in Christ.
McCoy, a Biola alumna who works as the senior account coordinator at the NVE Experience Agency, said her experience in her marketing career taught her that her worth does not lie in her achievements. McCoy explained that after several rounds of interviews, she failed to land a position with her dream company and consequently struggled with her self-confidence. However, McCoy said God used this experience to teach her that her worth does not lie in rejection, but in him.
“I could not go through this process and have my worth and values based on comparison,” McCoy said. “My value is not on the rejections. Value your character alongside your resume, background and connections, because that is what God values most.”
CRISIS AND OPPORTUNITY
Grace Samsung-Song, founder of The Maximize Group LLC, explained God uses times of crisis as opportunities to encounter him. She pointed to Moses and Samuel as examples of leaders who listened to God’s voice and aligned themselves with his calling. Samsung-Song encouraged women to listen to God’s leading in times of difficulty and confusion, trusting in his sufficiency and living in boldness.
“Strong and clear intentions command the room,” Samsung-Song said. “Don’t live on autopilot, but set strong, powerful, clear, God-inspiring intentions of how you want to serve others.”