Some 70 women pursuing business degrees in the University of North Georgia's (UNG) Mike Cottrell College of Business had the opportunity on March 31 to learn how to gain and project confidence in the workplace during the college's "Confidence UNG" conference.
"Empowering young women to let go of the idea of perfection and instead pursue confidence and leadership is certainly important in business, but it's also critical for their personal lives," said Maria Pascucci, keynote speaker at the event and founder of Campus Calm. "This also creates better moms and dads, and moms and dads with this foundation can break the cycle of 'chasing perfection' with their children."
Pascucci also said that giving the next generation of women in business these skills is paramount to more than just their career success. As a certified professional life coach, she stresses that pursuing perfection can lead to more harm than good.
Her message aligned well with the purpose behind "Confidence UNG," which is to provide women of UNG an opportunity to build relationships, engage in interactive workshops and learn from inspirational speakers, all with the purpose of making them more skilled and confident in their leadership abilities.
"Discussions about a women's conference began almost two years ago to help our female students gain confidence going into their graduation," said Dr. Donna Mayo, dean of the Mike Cottrell College of Business. "Through the leadership of instructor Mary Norman and other faculty and staff members, students in attendance were exposed to valuable perspectives on confidence, leadership and professionalism."
Research by Bain & Co. shows that young women enter the workplace full of drive, yet after two years in a position, women's aspirations for top management drop by more than 60 percent. "Confidence UNG" was crafted to counter this and similar statistics by encouraging young women in business to start and finish strong as they pursue their dream careers.
"I believe in confident women," presenter Kam Throckmorton told students during a workshop on how to dress for confidence. "And I believe confident women can change the world." Throckmorton was recently named "Atlanta's Best Personal Stylist" by Best Self Atlanta Magazine and CBS Atlanta in addition to being featured in Jezebel magazine's "Glam Patrol."
Other sections of the conference covered various points with the students, faculty and staff in attendance, including:
- "Lead First with Confidence," by Pascucci
- "Dress Like You Mean It," by Throckmorton
- "Success Starts with Self Love," by Pascucci
- "Mentoring and Confidence Action Planning"
"I've really enjoyed talking about being confident and proud of womanhood in the workplace," said Abby Freeman, a senior Cottrell Scholar majoring in marketing. "Ideals such as striving for progress instead of perfection help us to focus on the right aspects in growing ourselves. Growth like this will give me what I need to grow the business for which I currently serve as the marketing director."