The 11th annual Indiana Conference for Women is underway at the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis. The nonprofit organization, which supports education and professional development, says the event catalyzes connections and nurtures relationships among women. Over the last 10 years, the event has attracted more than 10,000 attendees, and this year’s nearly sold out event continues to garner similar momentum.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, event co-founder Billie Dragoo-Garcia says the conference is a showcase for the state’s talent.
“I think it provides some economic development opportunity for our state, and at the same time, I think our state has a lot to offer the people that come in,” said Dragoo-Garcia. “Our conference theme this year is ‘courage, compassion, curiosity.’ Choose courage over comfort, compassion over judgment, and curiosity over shame.”
Over its history, the event has featured more than 70 guest speakers and represented about 750 companies. Dragoo-Garcia attributes the conference’s longevity to the quality and caliber of its guest speakers and the support of its board and the community.
“I think the Indiana Conference for Women is unique because it brings together women from all facets of the professional environment to hear speakers from diverse backgrounds,” says Tavonna Harris Askew, board member and chief of staff for the Marion County Health & Hospital Corp.
This year’s event includes a panel discussion about Title IX featuring moderator Dr. Chantee Eldridge from Strada Education Network. Panelists include Allison Melangton, senior vice president at Penske Entertainment, Karin Sarratt, executive vice president at OneAmerica, Dr. Ruth Watkins, president of Strada Impact, and Amy Wilson, managing director of inclusion at the NCAA.
The event’s luncheon keynote is Dr. Susan David, an award-winning Harvard Medical School psychologist. Carla A. Harris, author and senior client advisor at Morgan Stanley U.S., will serve as the closing keynote speaker.
According to Dragoo-Garcia, the organization is also working on new programming in addition to its annual networking event.
“I think that you’ll be surprised next year at some of the program development surrounding this conference,” she said.
You can connect to more information about the conference by clicking here.