International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The first International Women’s Day occurred in 1911, supported by over one million people. This year, Pathway hosted our first International Women’s Day workshop on Friday, March 8th, called “Be Bold” where we brought together experts to share their real-life experience with a room full of women in all stages of their professional careers.
The goal of the “Be Bold” event was to connect attendees with the resources they need to grow their businesses, create jobs and create opportunities in our communities. The half-day workshop covered important topics like not giving away your services for free, bringing joy to your business, the power of education, and learning to broadcast your success and establishing your personal brand. Attendees heard from expert speakers and women with their own experiences in business and entrepreneurship. The event ended with a customized mentor matching exercise, pairing experienced women with rising superstars using the networking app Mixtroz.
On Being a Certified Women Owned Business
Tennessee’s Small Business Administrator District Director LaTanya Channel kicked off the day with an overview of small businesses across the state. She also provided background on what it means to be a certified women owned business and explained the importance of the application process along with building capacity to make the government your client.
On Finding Joy
Mignon Francois, the Founder and CEO of The Cupcake Collection started off her comments by singing “If You’re Happy and You Know It” and shared her powerful story of using her last five dollars to start what’s now a $10 million dollar company. She talked about how to deal with crisis and overcome obstacles, counseling the audience to find joy daily in what you do and never give up on your dreams.
On Understanding Your Value
Pathway Facilitator Mia McNeal, Founder & CEO of Ceteris Consulting Group, represents one of the most passionate voices in business diversity and business coaching. She leads the Pathway Discover Cohort and realized in her coaching that women far too often undervalue their services. She showed up to tell the attendees to stop giving away services for free and to truly understand the value of what you have to offer.
Dr. Shanna Jackson, President of Nashville State Community College, a comprehensive community college that serves over 8,200 people, shared how setting long-term goals and being strategic in your personal and professional relationships was the key to her success.
On Personal Branding
Christy Pruitt-Haynes, an HR expert with 20 years of corporate and entrepreneurial experience who also volunteers as a mentor at Pathway, led us through a personal branding exercise. The attendees described themselves with 5 distinct adjectives and focused on finding the most transparent and honest way of showcasing their personal brands.
The day ended with a powerful networking exercise fueled by Mixtroz, an app created by mother-daughter duo Kerry Schrader and Ashley Ammons. After downloading the app, attendees answered ten simple questions. Based on their answers, they divided into small groups based to make deeper and more meaningful connections with one another. Following the event, Pathway WBC staff will work to match attendees who said they were seeking a mentor to further their professional goals with those who said they were willing to be a mentor.
It was educator, politician and author Shirley Chisholm who said “if they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” The first Pathway International Women’s Day event was a tribute to her message and a reminder to women everywhere to Be Bold and take a seat at the table of success.