2024 Professional Women's Forum Recap - Lancaster Chamber of Commerce
2024 Professional Women’s Forum Recap

by Lauren Radcliff & Sandy Gambone | Water Street Mission

This year’s Professional Women’s Forum was uplifting and enlightening, and each of the speakers and break-out session presenters provided practical guidance for women to walk with clarity and confidence in the workplace. The day was filled with engaging conversations covering a wide range of topics, including the inevitable and unpredictable nature of change, the unique qualities that professional women bring to the table, the beauty in authenticity, and more.

Breaking Through Barriers, presented by the Assets team, addressed the common obstacles that professional women face and offered strategies to overcome them. The team also discussed the importance of creating a personal mission statement to clarify your vision and passion. During Deb Ellenberg’s session on The Magnificent Power of Failing, she offered a refreshing perspective on failure, asserting that it should not be feared or avoided at all costs. Instead, failure can inspire learning and present opportunities for growth and development. Instead of identifying with our mistakes, we should seek to learn from them and move upward and onward.

Karen Snyder opened her Harnessing Power in Vulnerability session by sharing her own story with genuine vulnerability and honesty. She highlighted obstacles to vulnerability, like perfectionism and emotional distance. Referencing Brene Brown’s teaching that “There is no empathy without vulnerability,” participants engaged in heartfelt discussions about experiences of loss, feelings of inferiority, and strategies for better communication among female leaders. The vibrant Dr. Katie Sandoe, kicked off her “Discover the Voice of Clarity” session by immediately prompting us to set our intentions for the hour. She enlightened us on the idea that much of our behavior stems from others’ expectations. Using a calming visualization activity, we each encountered our “future self,” uncovering how self-criticism and a lack of self-compassion may hinder us from recognizing our inherent abilities and power as unique, professional women.

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