LOS ANGELES, March 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Stacey Abrams urged participants of the California Conference for Women to become champions for change within their own organizations and communities to help eliminate gender pay gaps and other inequities.
"Part of the way to hack the system is, instead of championing your own change, work within your organization to ensure that you are doing the best you can by those who are the most vulnerable and have the smallest voices and the weakest choices," Abrams said.
Abrams, the first Black woman in U.S. history to earn a major party nomination for governor, said she resisted calls to change her appearance before running for office, encouraging participants to not wait until they feel "perfect" to take action.
"Fundamentally if we don't like ourselves, if we aren't willing to be our whole selves, if we wait until we are perfect to act, then we never do anything," Abrams said. "You don't have to compromise your values or your authenticity."
Other speakers at the virtual Conference included the first Black woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company Ursula Burns; iconic conservationist Jane Goodall; best-selling authors Angie Thomas and Glennon Doyle; and award-winning professor and best-selling author Adam Grant.
The Conference, held during Women's History Month, focused on helping women move forward from a pandemic and economic crisis that forced more than 2.2 million women to leave the workforce in 2020.
California First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom joined the conversation with Burns, the first Black woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company, about the need for corporations to provide options to help women within the workforce.
"One of the things that we should all think about (for employees) is flexibility, particularly when their children are in their early years," Burns said. "Affording parents as much flexibility as possible to adjust their work schedules, to share work, to work from home, to do things that allow the family to stay kind of running semi-normally, is important."
On the topic of Covid-19, Goodall suggested that there has been "one silver lining."
"This one silver lining of this terrible pandemic, which has caused so much suffering, is that more and more people are understanding that we have, in many ways, brought this on ourselves, that it is desperately important that somehow we create a new, more respectful relationship with animals and nature," she said.
The nonprofit, nonpartisan California Conference for Women is part of the nation's largest network of women's conferences, which also includes events in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Texas. The combined events attract more than 50,000 attendees annually.
The California Conference also offered expert-led breakout sessions on resiliency; dismantling inequalities at work; parenting; and breaking bad habits?plus, facilitated networking sessions, a virtual career fair, and ways to support women-owned businesses.
The California Conference for Women is generously underwritten by presenting sponsor Google; champions for women sponsors Gilead Sciences, Inc., Juniper Networks and Silicon Valley Bank; official lifestyle sponsor Target; and official networking sponsor Cisco, among others. For a full list of sponsors, visit http://www.caconferenceforwomen.org/sponsors.
"We are extremely proud to be sponsoring this extraordinary event, which highlights our shared beliefs in empowering women leaders and striving for a diverse and inclusive culture," said Cynthia Pham Stark, director of corporate engineering at Google.
SOURCE California Conference for Women
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