Oct 28, 2009

Truly Remarkable Women - The 2009 Women's Conference

"SOLD OUT IN TWO HOURS! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?" This was me in the early morning hours the day the Women's Conference tickets sold out and I was left empty handed. Disappointed that I would not be attending, I learned of the Women's Conference in streaming video. I marked it in my calendar and awaited an empowering experience.

On October 27th I expected to be working at my desk and listening in to the Women's Conference. Boy was I wrong... about working I mean. Once I started watching I was hooked. What truly remarkable women!

Here were my favorite speaking segments:


Madeleine K. Albright, Chair, Albright Stonebridge Group; Amy Holmes, Political Analyst; Former Speechwriter for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist Valerie B. Jarrett; Senior Advisor to the President, Assistant to the President for the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, Chair, White House Council on Women and Girls Claire Shipman; Senior National Correspondent, ABC News’ Good Morning America Moderated by David Gregory, Moderator, Meet the Press

"The first step to success for women and girls is to learn how to interrupt. In the classroom or workplace, a woman who is afraid to interrupt may never be heard, and only by being heard can we make a difference."
-Madeleine K. Albright

"Be spontaneous. Be courageous. Be yourself."
-Laysha Ward
President of Community Relations and Target Foundation


Elizabeth Edwards, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress
Susan Saint James, Actress and Entrepreneur
Moderated by First Lady Maria Shriver


The California Governor and First Lady's Conference on Women, now known simply as The Women's Conference, is the nation's premier forum for women.

• The goal of The Women's Conference is to transform women inside and out – and then empower them to help transform our world as Architects of Change.
• For two full days, more than 100 newsmakers and world opinion leaders gather with more than 25,000 women from all walks of life to be educated, inspired and empowered to be Architects of Change in their own lives, within their communities and around the world.
• The Women's Conference is the destination for the world's greatest voices, hearts and minds. Speakers have included former Prime Minister Tony Blair, Cherie Blair, Bono, Warren Buffet, Deepak Chopra, Thomas Friedman, Diane Von Furstenberg, Heidi Klum, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Jennifer Lopez, Her Majesty Queen Noor, Indra Nooyi, Michelle Obama, Sandra Day O'Connor, Her Majesty Queen Rania, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Tim Russert, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, First Lady
Maria Shriver, Martha Stewart, Oprah Winfrey, Barbara Walters and Muhammad Yunus.
• The Women's Conference has become a “must attend” event. Each year, full day passes sell out in recordbreaking time. Tickets this year sold out in less than two hours, beating last year's record of three hours.
• In response to this surging demand, The Women's Conference expanded the event to two full days with the addition of A Day of Transformation and Night at The Village. These first-day events increased attendee capacity by 11,000, bringing the total attendance to 25,000. Tens of thousands of women also watch the conference's main event live on its Web site at
• The first event of the conference, beginning the morning of October 26, is called A Day of Transformation. This event features the nation's top experts and speakers leading professional, educational and personal sessions offering practical tips and tools for how to transform their lives and become Architects of Change.
• The first day of the conference is capped off with a Night at The Village. More more than 10,000 women “meet, mix and mingle” with the nation's best-selling authors, most inspirational speakers, top chefs, socially responsible companies and Architects of Change like themselves, all in a dynamic 160,000 square foot
women's village. The Village stays open for shopping, networking and book-signing throughout the conference and it is a popular gathering spot for speakers, authors and attendees to connect with each other and build a community.
• The Women's Conference 2009 main event on October 27 features its signature news-making moments and “once-in-a-lifetime conversations” that combine the world’s most authentic and influential voices with engaging discussions about the issues that matter most to women's lives. The forum's main stage conversations and twelve breakout conversations address topics such as Making Tough Decisions in Tough
Times, Grieving, Healing & Resilience, Overcoming the Unimaginable, Using Your Voice to Change the World, Changing the World Through the Web, Starting Your Own Business, Beating the Odds, Managing Health & Stress, Raising Strong & Confident Children, Managing Money, and many others.
• This year's lineup of speakers and participants includes former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, FDIC Chairwoman Sheila Bair, Martha Beck, Sir Richard Branson, Katie Couric, Stephen M. R. Covey, Geena Davis, Paula Deen, Elizabeth Edwards, Linda Ellerbee, Dr. Jane Goodall, David Gregory, Senior Advisor to the President Valerie B. Jarrett, Caroline Kennedy, Alicia Keys, Ashton Kutcher,
Annie Leibovitz, Lisa Ling, Cindy Hensley McCain, Somaly Mam, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Danica Patrick, Robin Roberts, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Claire Shipman, First Lady Maria Shriver, U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and Paula Zahn.

• At the end of the day, The Women's Conference will continue its tradition of honoring “Remarkable Women, Remarkable Legacies” with the always inspirational and moving presentation of The Minerva Awards. Held during the afternoon main stage session, the special ceremony is hosted by Maria Shriver and features remarks by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nicholas Kristof, Alicia Keys and Caroline
Kennedy. The 2009 Minerva Award honorees are Agnes Stevens, Helen Devore Waukazoo, Dr. Kathy Hull and Dr. Jane Goodall.
• Women leave The Women's Conference transformed, inside and out. The conference encourages women to pass on their stories, wisdom, inspirational life-lessons and practical tools to empower other women to see themselves as capable of making a difference in the world.

1. Find your own unique voice and listen to what it’s saying.
2. Empower a young woman. Become a mentor by connecting with a young woman in your workplace, neighborhood or place of worship. Find small ways to reach out, listen and support her.
3. Act locally to make a difference globally. Make informed choices about what you buy and consume, as well as how you dispose of items. Reduce your carbon footprint, use energy and water responsibly and green your life.
4. Advocate for a cause that you care deeply about. Your time and expertise could help make a difference as a volunteer, counselor or board member.
5. Invest in women entrepreneurs. Join Team Maria in the WE Invest/Kiva partnership to give women the tools to start or expand their own businesses. For as little as $25, you can "Become a lender. Change a life."
6. Speak up & ask for what you need. If you need to take time off of your job to care for a child or parent, ask for it. Families need more flexible work schedules, better child care policies and changes in family and medical leave. We need to use our voices collectively to improve workplace policies.
7. Engage your children in the world. As a mother, get your children involved at a young age in seeing the world through the eyes of others, respecting diversity, developing empathy and understanding the gift of giving back.
8. Donate to nonprofits that help women. Instead of purchasing a birthday, anniversary or holiday gift for family, friends and colleagues, make a donation in someone’s name to a nonprofit that works on improving the lives of women and girls.
9. Be an informed citizen. Educate yourself about the world you live in, share your knowledge, educate others and ignite a conversation.
10. Invite 10 of your friends to join The Women’s Conference online community at WWW.WOMENSCONFERENCE.ORG -- The Home for Architects of Change.

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