Be Your Best Advocate

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"Sometimes, women are their own worst enemy," said Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss. "We think about all the things we can't do, the things we're not good enough at, and all the reasons we shouldn't go for it; we need to go big and support other women who are doing the same."

According to research conducted by the Center for American Progress, women account for 47 percent of the United States labor force and 49 percent of the college-educated workforce. Yet they remain underrepresented in leadership positions across all sectors. Only 25 percent of executive- and senior-level officials and managers in the S&P 500 labor force are women, and women hold only 20 percent of board seats and account for only six percent of CEOs.

It is vital for women to advocate for themselves and support one another.

Though it's not always easy.

"Advocating for yourself involves becoming confident, being willing to take risks, learning to negotiate—soft skills which are not natural to all women," said Nancy Terrell, leader of the Lean In Grand Rapids Inspiration Circle.

The Lean In Michigan Leadership Conference on Saturday, October 28, will empower women to be their own best advocate and to support one another.

Mayor Bliss will take the stage to share her expertise, insight and experience. Participants also choose three information-packed breakout sessions from 10 topics including managing stress, growing emotional intelligence, and the value of diversity and inclusion.

"Our shared and varied experiences bring a valuable voice to the table," said Bliss. "We need to be our own best advocates and support one another if we are going to change the numbers."

Learn more and register for the Lean In Michigan Leadership Conference online at www.LeanInLeadership.org.



Written by Cassie Westrate, staff writer for West Michigan Woman.

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