With themes focused on "Creating Opportunity," "Unleashing Potential," and "Inspiring Impact," the conference offers sessions on leadership development, career growth, entrepreneurial financing, business marketing, innovation, and cross-industry networking to connect managers, entrepreneurs, and professionals.
The event comes in the wake of a reported $5 trillion of market value lost by public companies in the first three weeks of January.
Womensphere CEO Analisa Balares emphasizes the need for women to take charge of career growth and opportunity creation during the market downturn: "Right now, the need is even greater for women to invest in developing themselves and the people they lead. In defiance of a declining market and dipping morale, Womensphere has created an event to energize women leaders, enable women to succeed, help entrepreneurs grow their business, and foster building partnerships and relationships."
Embodying innovative principles, the event is also an eco-friendly, socially focused production. Leftover food and florals will be donated to local women''s shelters. A part of registrants'' fees are donated to non-profits that empower women and youth. An organic menu will be served. Recycled materials will be used.
Prominent women have rallied to support fellow women leaders, with conference keynote speakers including:
* Aurora Rubin, Global Chief Ethics Officer, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu * Carla Harris, Managing Director, Morgan Stanley * Freada Kapor Klein, Founder & Chair, Level Playing Field Institute * Joanne Creighton, President, Mount Holyoke College * Kim Slicklein, Founder & CEO, Enclave Rising * Marsha Firestone, Founder & President, Women Presidents Organization (WPO) * Monica Mandelli, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs * Rachel Mayanja, Assistant Secretary-General for Gender & Advancement of Women, United Nations * Sally Durdan, CFO, Retail Financial Services, JPMorgan Chase * Saranne Rothberg, Founder & CEO, Comedy Cures Foundation * Susan Segal, CEO, The Americas Society
Jane Wesman, President of Jane Wesman Public Relations, a leading New York-based public relations agency for authors and book publishers, will share success strategies for women entrepreneurs during the Keynote Roundtable on Entrepreneurial Leadership. Jane, author of the seminal book "Dive Right In, The Sharks Won''t Bite: The Entrepreneurial Woman''s Guide to Success," explains that "in today''s difficult economic environment, it''s more important than ever for women in business to stay connected and to build bridges of opportunity for themselves and for others. Events like this are the bedrock for making great connections, for building support, and for fostering the types of partnerships that enable women to succeed. It''s a wonderful opportunity to share ideas and strategies, and to get useful feedback."
Robin Daas, president of IDEAOLOGY, a New York-based branded marketing and promotion company, is speaking at the event''s CEO & Founders Roundtable on "Building Companies with a Heart." Robin, who is also co-founder of Heart of Gold Girls, a socially responsible online community empowering teen girls, shares: "The Womensphere conference is a catalyst -- an event to elicit change, both inside ourselves and outside in the world. We are at a crucial time in history that demands new ideals, new direction and new beliefs that will inspire and empower future generations to achieve their full potential."
Believing in the need to keep investing in women''s leadership, companies such as Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, The Bank of New York Mellon, Sanford Wittels & Heisler, USPS, Exclusive Resorts, and women-owned businesses Nanobiosym and Care.com, are supporting the event.
Steven Wittels, founding partner of Sanford Wittels & Heisler LLP (), one of the nation''s preeminent employment law firms specializing in protecting women''s rights in the workplace, emphasizes the need for network-building: "Given today''s uncertain economic and political climate, women need to be proactive in building mutually supportive relationships. Women need to counter the negative sentiments in the market by investing in positive and inspirational activities. My firm is proud to support this conference because we champion women leaders, and work hard to promote an equal playing field for women in the work place. This event represents a major step in the right direction in empowering women and enabling their quest for full equality in the executive offices and boardrooms."
Through Womensphere''s community partnerships, organizations and small businesses have also rallied to support the initiative. Community partners include Academy Women, Art for Refugees in Transition, ASCEND Pan Asian Leaders in Finance, Ayala Foundation USA, BlogHer, CEO Women, Comedy Cures Foundation, Fashion Indie Media, Filipina Women''s Network, Florisan, Global Fund for Women, Image Graphics, Lyons Network, Mount Holyoke College Alumnae Association, Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO), Special E, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure (North Jersey affiliate), Tuck Executive Education Back in Business Program, Workshop in Business Opportunities (WIBO), and Women Students Association at Harvard Business School.