Imani Forrest, Director of Communications at WHA, and Carmen Kumpula, Director of Programming and Operations at WHA, attended the 2019 Young Women’s Leadership Symposium, held on Friday, March 8th, this year’s International Women’s Day.
The Young Women’s Leadership symposium is an event hosted by the Gulf Coast Diversity Council, a division of the Texas Diversity Council, that focuses on bringing professional women to the same spaces as young women grades 8 – 12 to share their experiences in the workforce and how they navigate through it. WHA’s Education & Workforce Development Committee member, Karla DeCuir was the Symposium Chair this year that brought in nearly 200 girls. The students got the opportunity to hear from several distinguished women on how they got to where they are today at HCC’s West Houston Institute.
Throughout the day the girls were given the chance to hear about women breaking barriers in their respective industries as well as how each of them has helped other women succeed in their careers. In addition to hearing those topics from an opening keynote, lunch keynote and two panel discussions, the girls were given opportunities to choose two separate breakout sessions (about 30 minutes each) that gave them a deeper dive into a wide range of topics.
The topics in these breakout sessions ranged from to following:
1) Beyond STEAM – A first-hand look at how STEAM is transforming the Arts and every aspect of future jobs.
2) Careers in STEM fields – Careers in STEM vary and sometimes the road may become confusing and filled with many options.
3) Careers in Finance, Banking and Law – Careers in Finance, Banking and Law are underrepresented by women; yet, women are breaking barriers in these fields because of all of their expertise and dedication to these fields.
4) Careers in Government – Learn from career guidance experts on the main things that you should know, questions that you should ask, and things as simple as where to begin.
5) Career Guidance – Choosing a career can be intimidating. The great news is that, as Michelle Obama stated in her book, “becoming” is a part of the on-going process. One of the panelists, Sarah Martin (Katy ISD), also serves on WHA’s Education & Workforce Development Committee.
6) Brand YOU – Personal branding is ongoing. Learn from these branding experts about finding your motivation, creating the best version of yourself (including on social media), and branding yourself for future opportunities.
7) Taking Care of YOU – Taking care of yourself is very important. Learn from these motivational speakers and coaches on ways to avoid depression, when to ask for help, and how to best overcome challenges in various situations.
The event was truly a great opportunity to be a part of guiding our future women leaders in the right direction. A special thank you to Karla DeCuir of UHV for inviting both Imani Forrest & Carmen Kumpula to attend.
For more information about the symposium click the link below.