YWCA Bristol Inaugural Event Promotes Empowered Women in the Workplace

YWCA Bristol Inaugural Event Promotes Empowered Women in the Workplace

To coincide with women’s history month, YWCA Bristol kicked-off its first workshop in the Emerge women’s professional series on March 20.

Eastman team members with Kathy Waugh, Executive Director, YWCA Bristol.

YWCA Bristol team with Dara Richardson Heron, M.D., CEO, YWCA USA.

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.@EastmanChemCo Corporate Social Responsibility team works with @YWCA_Bristol on inaugural event http://3bl.me/rqw8vz
Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 12:30pm

CAMPAIGN: Eastman Corporate Responsibility

CONTENT: Press Release

March 31, 2015 /3BL Media/ - Women from Northeast Tennessee to Southwest Virginia ascended Bays Mountain in Kingsport, Tennessee to take part in the inaugural event. Together, they explored topics such as leadership, multiple generations in the workplace, and negotiating from local, regional and national presenters. Eastman Corporate Social Responsibility sponsored the series because of the emphasis around empowerment and education for women that leads to impact on economic development. These are just some of the priority focus areas for Eastman and Corporate Social Responsibility team.

Aimee Davis, Director of Global Marketing Communications and Downstream Engagement at Eastman, emceed the event, welcoming the attendees and a cadre of experts on hand to share knowledge.

David Golden, Senior Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, and Corporate Secretary at Eastman, introduced the Keynote Speaker Dara Richardson-Heron, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of the YWCA U.S.A. In a moving speech, he highlighted the important influence women have had in his life and his enduring commitment to women as key contributors.

Through personal stories and actionable advice, Dr. Richardson-Heron examined the extraordinary nature of women to contribute and to overcome barriers, and the importance of finding opportunities that match one’s passion to truly create influence.

Even while celebrating women for their achievements, she cited a continuing disparity, noting “women are created as but not always treated as equals.” Women continue to lag in leadership roles: only 26 of the Fortune 500 CEOs are female. She shared tips to maximize power, influence, and impact, noting we all deserve to live a life of health, happiness, and prosperity.

Jessica Stollings, owner of ReGenerations, helped navigate attendees through the nature of the four generations in the workplace and ways to better interact cross-generationally. From Traditionalists, whose iconic historic moments in life begin with World War II to the Millennials, most of whom have always had digital technology at their fingertips, each generation has a unique and valuable perspective to offer in the workplace. They also have unique ways they prefer to communicate. When generations take time to understand these factors, they can make real progress together. She notes that those companies that work proactively to build effective cross-generational communications create a competitive advantage over those who through lack of action leave the work environment at risk for conflict. 

Kim Keating, Founding and Managing Director of Keating Advisors, provided tips on how to negotiate. Ms. Keating opened her talk with an apt quote from negotiation expert Charles Karrass, “In business as in life, you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.” And women, she says, leave on average $12,000 in compensation because they fail to negotiate, which helps perpetuate the gender wage gap. She encourages women not to leave money on the table, inviting them instead to negotiate their compensation, including sometimes overlooked value, like telecommuting, time off, learning opportunities, and more.

620 State Restaurant in Bristol, a supporter of Appalachian Sustainable Development and participant in the Rooted in Appalachia local food campaign, provided the catered lunch for the event. Majority of the food provided was locally sourced in our region. They partner with local farmers to offer organic local fresh items.

Appalachian Sustainable Development, a non-profit organization, has been working to build sustainable local food and forest based economies in southwest Virginia and northeast Tennessee since 1995. ASD’s mission is to develop healthy, diverse and ecologically sound economic opportunities through education, training, and the development of cooperative networks and marketing systems.

All the extra food from lunch went to the Haven of Rest Rescue Mission.

The YWCA is inspiring a new generation to become strong leaders and advocates for opportunity and equity for all women. They promote solutions to improve the lives of women, girls and people of color across the country. Emerge is an event that builds upon the strengths and talents women already possess. In addition to the presentations, interactive trainings and networking were available. Proceeds support the YWCA women’s leadership initiatives.

Please click on links to learn more about the YWCA, YWCA Bristol, and Appalachian Sustainable Development