2020 Women’s Summit: Expand Your Vision!

When I think of 2020, the vision screening at the eye doctor comes to mind. We want 2020 vision, but many of us need corrective lenses to achieve that perfect number. In our professional and personal lives, we often have to expand our vision to succeed, thus the theme of the 2020 Women’s Summit at Bryant University.

We all need to “Expand Our Vision” to meet the many challenges ahead. We are undergoing a technological revolution that will alter how we live, work, and communicate with each other. We also must expand our vision of diversity and inclusion to foster civil discourse among all races, genders, religions, and political parties. To navigate these changes, women must be at the table.

In 2017, millions of women organized political movements culminating in women seeking elective office in larger numbers than ever. Now, a number of women are running for president in 2020, the 100th anniversary of women’s voting rights.

But, women still are outnumbered in corporate America, from entry level to the C suite. In The Wall Street Journal, Sheryl Sandberg and Rachel Thomas recently cited a 2018 Leanin.Org and McKinsey & Co “Women in the Workplace” report identifying the first step up to manager as the step on the corporate ladder with the greatest impact on women’s advancement. Only 72 women are promoted to manager for every 100 men, and bias is believed to be the reason. With an ever-increasing number of women as breadwinners and family decision makers, the corporate world must provide greater opportunities for women to advance.

In a February 2018 Harvard Business Review article, Shawn Achor’s research showed that women who attend a women’s conference are twice as likely to achieve career boosting milestones – such as promotions and pay raises – by the next calendar year. Contributing to that success are a sense of social connection, engaging sessions, and role models who exemplify the qualities each conference seeks to instill.

We hope that you enjoy this day of professional, personal, and financial empowerment on Bryant’s beautiful campus, where you can also network, connect, and reflect about how you will expand your vision in the coming year.

The 23rd Women’s Summit will be the last one I direct from start to finish. I am proud to have co-founded the largest and longest-running conference for women in Rhode Island. The summit is the result of the hard work of our dedicated co-chairs, committee members, and the entire Bryant community, including faculty, staff, and students. The generous financial support of our sponsors has enabled us to provide an affordable and memorable experience each year.

Kati Machtley
Director, Women’s Summit