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October 22, 2020

Following recommendations issued by Governor Cooper and the CDC, the NC Chamber’s Women > A Force in Business will be a virtual event. Our team remains in close contact with state officials and we feel that this decision is in the best interest of the health and welfare of our community. Thank you for understanding. 

A pandemic won’t keep us from smashing glass ceilings.

In a year where remote work, virtual schooling, social distancing, anxiety, and chronic fatigue have almost become the norm, Women > A Force in Business is more timely than ever. Join us virtually October 22 at the state’s premier conference for professional women and their advocates. An array of keynote speakers and breakout sessions will explore topics that propel female professionals forward in their careers while emphasizing self-care and balance.

This half-day virtual event promotes leadership development, advocacy, mentorship, and personal wellness for women in the workplace, as well as their male peers.

Event features

  • Renowned keynote speakers
  • Breakout sessions
  • A virtual exhibit hall offering products, services, and development opportunities geared toward professional women and their advocates
  • Networking lounge
  • Women’s bookstore: Our selections have been carefully curated to align with the messaging and purpose of the event. Explore the titles that interest you and grab your favorites starting today; you’ll be supporting a local, women-managed business! Visit the bookstore.


Attend both the October and November editions of  Women > A Force in Business by purchasing an “Add-on” ticket. Please contact Lenka Hejlkova at and get two events for just $65 more (member rate).

Presented By
  • Bank of America Logo


Thursday, October 22
7:45 amLobby, Exhibit Hall and Networking Lounge Open
8:00 amOpening Session and Keynote

Living Beyond “What If?”
Dr. Shirley Davis

We all dream. We all imagine. And we all plan. But why is it that some people achieve their dreams and most do not? Experts say that when we are living a life of meaning, purpose, and significance we are happier, healthier, more productive, and come up with better solutions. So, what makes us press the pause button on our dreams and live our lives by default versus by design? What makes us settle for a life of mediocrity versus a life of greater meaning and fulfillment? What keeps us unable to get beyond “What If?”

In this life transforming session, Dr. Davis will expose the many limits that we place on ourselves that can hijack and sabotage our purpose, our power and our possibilities. She will reveal the common dis-empowering “What If?” questions that keep our dreams on pause and our destiny delayed. Dr. Davis will take participants on a journey of self-discovery and a search for significance that will enable them to release the limits so that they can realize their dreams and begin living on the other side of “What If.”


9:00 amNetworking Break

Enjoy the exhibit hall and networking lounge during this time.

9:15 amBreakout Session I

Easy Ideas for Hard Conversations: How to Effectively Use Your Voice to Always Say the Right Thing

Bridgett McGowen, Professional Speaker, Coach and Author

You show up to the office with every intention of having an amazing day and making a difference. And just as you feel like you are hitting your stride – maybe you’re even ready to high-five the entire office because you have had a pretty good day so far – it happens. Someone comes to you unhappy about one thing or another, and you have to handle a difficult conversation. What do you do, and more importantly, how do you keep your cool?

In this interactive session, learn how to prepare for and handle difficult conversations with ease and diplomacy. You will also learn how to understand the communication styles of others so you can consistently create positive experiences and excel in interpersonal conversation.

Unlearning Impostor Syndrome: Why Capable People Feel Like Impostors and What to Do About It

Dr. Valerie Young, Impostor Syndrome Expert and Author

  • Do you chalk your success up to luck, timing, or computer error?
  • Do you believe “If I can do it, anybody can”?
  • Do you agonize over even the smallest flaws in your work?
  • Are you crushed by even constructive criticism, seeing it as evidence of your ineptness?
  • When you do succeed, do you think “fooled them again”?
  • Do you worry that it’s just a matter of time before you’re “found out?”

If so, join the club!

Millions of people — CEOs and entry-level professionals, first year college students and PhDs, artists and engineers — secretly worry they’re not as smart or talented or qualified as other people “think” they are. It’s called the impostor syndrome. Left unchecked, it can lead to costly consequences not only for individuals but for their organizations as well. Fortunately, there is a solution.

In this surprisingly upbeat session, you’ll discover what impostor syndrome is and who is most susceptible. As importantly, you’ll walk away with practical, immediately usable strategies to help yourself and/or the people you lead, manage, mentor or parent.

Let’s Get Real: How to Lead with Authenticity in an Ever-Changing World

Authenticity is more than buzzword; it’s a key ingredient to effective leadership and a welcoming workplace culture. In this session, you’ll learn timely strategies for flexing your unique brand of leadership while also remaining flexible in a workplace environment that undergoes flux and change.

10:00 amNetworking Break

Enjoy the exhibit hall and networking lounge during this time.

10:15 amBreakout Session II

The Effect of Longevity on Your Finances and Life Priorities

Cyndi Hutchins, Director of Financial Gerontology, Bank of America

We have added 20 years to our life expectancy just since 1950 and we are adding 1 month for every year that passes. This “longevity bonus” presents us with unprecedented opportunities but also with new challenges that we must contend with as we plan for what could be a 20, 30 or even 40-year retirement.  This session will highlight some of the financial challenges that we now must plan for in order to align our lifespan with our ”health span” and “wealth span.”

Sponsors and Mentors: Advancing Women in the Workplace

  • Angelique Vincent-Hamacher, Shareholder, Robinson Bradshaw
  • Jhaymee Tynan, FACHE, PfMP, PMP, Assistant Vice President, Integration, Atrium Health
  • Tizu Menelik, Managing Director; Group Head of Diversified Industries & International Corporate Banking, Fifth Third Bank
  • Moderator: Tim Humphrey, Senior State Executive, NC, IBM

One of the best tools for career success is finding the appropriate mentor and sponsor. This session caters to anyone who wants to become a better sponsor/mentor, or who is seeking a qualified sponsor/mentor. We will discuss how to find your perfect match, best practices for your specific role, and strategies for effectively advocating for yourself and others. 

Pathways to the C-Suite

There’s more than one avenue to an executive role; in fact, the pathway to the C-suite is rarely linear. In this session, you’ll hear from panelists whose journeys to the corner office were anything but typical. After this lively discussion, you’ll walk away with an updated tool kit for advancing your career long-term, including tips on lateral moves, strategic networking, reskilling and more.

11:00 amNetworking Break

Enjoy the exhibit hall and networking lounge during this time.

11:15 amClosing Session

Resilience Reset: It’s Your Turn to Thrive
Anne Grady, Resilience Expert

The ability to successfully navigate change, rise above adversity, and triumph in our lives boils down to one word: RESILIENCE.

When faced with challenges, ambiguity, and adversity, those who practice resilience refuse to let fear hold them back, and they break through the barriers keeping them stuck to not only survive difficult times, but thrive as a result.

Learn how to cultivate courage, improve resilience, and triumph over adversity, obstacles, and setbacks in this energetic keynote.

Be Here Now – A Moment of Mindfulness
Aaron Less, Ph.D., Senior Vice President in Human Resources, Bank of America

12:20 pmNetworking Reception

Enjoy the exhibit hall and networking lounge during this time.

12:30 pmEvent Concludes