ATLANTA – Women will learn the edict: “put self first” to attain greater health, career success and overall well-being at the Seventh Annual Spelman College Leadership and Women of Color Conference, May 11–12.
This year’s conference, “Reset: Sustaining Women for 21st Century Leadership,” offers the best practices to help women achieve better personal and professional sustainability.
Conference dialogue will address how society’s assignment of gender roles on women, combined with today’s tough economic environment, has led to:
• Globally, 23% of women executives and professionals say they feel "super-stressed." (Roper Starch Worldwide Survey)
• Women more stressed at work are more likely to have a heart attack or other forms of heart disease. (National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute)
• Two-thirds of American families with children now rely on a woman’s earnings for a significant portion of their family’s income. (Center for American Progress)
• The cost to businesses because of absenteeism and workday interruptions due to female caregivers activities has been estimated at $3.8 billion. (Metropolitan Life Insurance Company & National Alliance for Caregiving)
“These statistics underscore the need for women to take a step back, explore and reset to gain a fresh perspective,” said Jane Smith, Ed.D., executive director, Spelman College Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement. “Achieving sustainability in the current landscape requires resilience, personal fortitude and a strong set of leadership skills and principles. As women, we must learn that we have to take better care of ourselves to be more effective at work, home and in the community.”
Each year, this intergenerational conference for women, assembles experts from the private and corporate sectors to identify and dialogue with attendees on proven strategies and best practices to enhance essential leadership skills.
This year’s closing keynote speaker, Bonnie St. John, will offer real-life lessons to help women on their journey to sustainability. Named “one of the five most inspiring women in America” by NBC Nightly News, St. John will share her personal strategies for achieving and sustaining a positive, joyful life no matter one’s circumstances. Tackling the trials and challenges faced by many women today, including abuse, divorce, and disability as well as racial and gender disparities, St. John understands being down but not out.
Additionally, Soledad O’Brien, CNN anchor and special correspondent, will share personal insight on how she sustains while covering world affairs, during her keynote speech at the Legacy of Leadership Awards dinner. This signature event will recognize outstanding women who have faithfully served our country in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. These honorees have successfully sustained themselves throughout a war, sometimes two, and their returns home.
The two-day conference will be held at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis and the Spelman College campus.
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a prestigious, highly selective, liberal arts college that prepares women to change the world. Located in Atlanta, Ga., this historically black college boasts an 83 percent graduation rate, and outstanding alumnae such as Children's Defense Fund Founder Marian Wright Edelman; former U.S. Foreign Service Director General Ruth Davis, authors Tina McElroy Ansa and Pearl Cleage; and actress LaTanya Richardson. More than 83 percent of the full-time faculty members have Ph.D.s or other terminal degrees, and the average faculty to student ratio is 12:1. More than 2,100 students attend Spelman.
LEADS at Spelman College builds on the legacy of the private, historically Black institution by creating and teaching a leadership model based on the historic influences, experiences and achievements of Black women worldwide. Through a variety of campus-based student initiatives, community and public programs, LEADS supports Spelman women’s choice to change the world by preparing them to be effective global leaders.