On Friday, March 31st, Reaching Out MBA hosted the 2017 Out Women In Business NYC Conference at the Skirball Performance Center for the Arts at New York University. In it’s third iteration, the conference brings 300 LBT women and their allies together to foster a stronger network of visibility and workplace support. Driven by current issues, policies, and trends, the content educates and encourages strategic action for women at every step of their career.
During the one day conference, attendees participated in a variety of networking sessions, panels, presentations, and Q&A’s. Two longer-formatted sessions were scheduled for the morning, beginning with “Did They Really Just Say That”, a workshop about identifying and navigating workplace micro-aggressions. Following was a presentation on diversity trends in modern culture which highlighted both positive and negative campaigns. The first keynote speech of the day was given by Geena Rocero, a Filipino transgender activist and model. She led the audience through her move from the Philippines to the U.S., her transition, and how those experiences brought her to working as an advocate for the LGBT community.
This year’s conference introduced a new four-part series known as OWIB Perspectives. These fast-paced presentations differed in topics but followed the aim to inspire through sharing experiences. Touching on military service, personal branding, government participation, and the work of rising leaders detailed what success looks like through individual experiences.
After a catered lunch, the afternoon panel delved into the observations of four LBT women being “out” at work. Reflecting on past experiences and the current culture of their workplace, attendees were given a personal history of the changes in policies and society through different generations.
Nneka Onuorah who formerly worked for Black Entertainment Television (BET) ended the event with a keynote speech about how the identities that society has deemed as disadvantaged led to her finding space to use them to her benefit. Based on her own experiences and observations she directed and produced “The Same Difference, a documentary about lesbians discriminating against other lesbians which has been gaining national attention.
The 2017 Out Women In Business Conference owes its success to the dedication of the volunteer steering committee. Comprised of both professionals and MBA candidates from as close as Manhattan and as far as Seattle, they planned content that aimed to be beneficial to conference attendees. More information about the conference can be found at www.outwomeninbusiness.com.