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November 16, 2020

Grab life by the lapels.

In 2019, more than 1,000 professionals gathered in Raleigh to help women rise. This year, we expect our largest audience ever at Women > A Force in Business,  the state’s premier conference for professional women and their advocates.

This one-day event promotes leadership development, advocacy, mentorship and personal wellness for women in the workplace, as well as their male peers. An array of keynote speakers, breakout sessions and pop-up learning opportunities will explore topics that propel female professionals forward in their careers.

Event features

  • Renowned keynote speakers
  • Breakout sessions
  • Pop-up learning sessions
  • On-site headshots
  • On-site bookstore
  • Exhibit hall offering products, services and development opportunities geared toward professional women and their adovcates
  • Complimentary networking reception
  • Lunch included with admission

Join us November 16, 2020 at the Raleigh Convention Center. It’s time to unleash your potential.


Monday, November 18
9:00 amPre-Con Session A: Impact and Influence for Women Leaders

The NC Chamber is pleased to offer as an add-on to your registration an exclusive workshop experience with Dramatic Resources—a renowned provider of arts-based learning and leadership programs for companies across the globe, including Cisco, Deloitte, Nestle, Visa and others.

What is it? 

Impact & Influence is a half-day workshop designed to maximize the impact of participants’ communication and their ability to engage and influence others in a range of business settings. The work explores issues of confidence and authority, illustrating how the behavioral choices you make affect those around you, and how you can create more of an impact when you are ‘taking the stage.’

The workshop will look at:

  • The signs and signals of status
  • Physical and vocal presence
  • Adapting your style to the situation
  • The impact of the non-verbals
  • Communicating so that others really understand
  • Approaching difficult conversations with courage and empathy

Duration: Three (entertaining, fast-paced) hours

Time Banks: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm OR 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm | November 18, 2019 | Raleigh Convention Center

Availability: 40 people per time bank

Fee: NC Chamber Members and Event Sponsors: $99 | Non-Members: $149

1:00 pmPre-Con Session B: Impact and Influence for Women Leaders
Tuesday, November 19
8:00 amRegistration and Exhibit Hall Open
8:35 amPop-Up Session

Pop-Up Session: Demand More from your Money

  • Jennifer Curtis, Wealth Planner, Fidelity Investments
  • Carrie Slaughter, Senior Relationship Manager, Fidelity Investments

In this quick and informative session, you will receive advice and tips on how to eliminate stress and anxiety around your money and make it work more for you. You will also learn how you should approach finances during different career and life stages to make your life easier.

9:00 amOpening Session

Emcee, Barbara Gibbs, Co-Anchor, ABC11 Eyewitness News

Remarks by Carol Flack, Vice President of Global Materials, Dell Corporation

A Conversation with Jessica McDonald

  • Jessica McDonald, American Professional Soccer Player, North Carolina Courage and United States Women’s National Soccer Team
  • Sharon Delaney McCloud, Vice President of Professional Development, Walk West

Living on the Other Side of Imagination

Dr. Shirley Davis, author, speaker and certified life coach

Are you living the life that you always imagined? Are you living your best life now? If the answer is “no,” join the 90% of those who admit that if they got to live life over again, they would live it differently—with more passion, intention, purpose and productivity. In fact, research reveals that when we are living life in this way, we are happier, healthier, more productive and come up with better solutions. So what keeps us stuck in a rut, a routine, and comfortable with the status quo?

What’s the secret sauce used by those who are living on the other side of imagination?

In this presentation, Dr. Davis will guide you through steps and strategies for how to make bold and courageous moves, how to conquer paralyzing fears and the stigma of failure, and how to navigate the winds of uncertainty. She will outline the key elements of how she made her dreams and imaginations a reality and today is living her best life. You will learn how to do the same through the art of creative and strategic thinking, goal setting, life mapping and reinvention. You will leave inspired and empowered to begin your journey of living on the other side of imagination

10:30 amNetworking Break

Enjoy networking and pop-up sessions during this time.

Pop-Up Session: The Multi-Tasking Mom: Striking Balance, Staying Sane, Finding Fulfillment

  • Sarah King, Co-Host, Two Men and a Mom, MIX 101.5
  • Emmy Boyette, Marketing Manager, NC Chamber

Whether you work inside or outside of the home, parenthood requires us to juggle an overwhelming number of responsibilities. What’s the secret to managing a hectic schedule, family responsibilities and a full-time career? Join Sarah King, co-host of MIX 101.5’s “Two Men and a Mom” for a brief, humorous and candid fireside chat that will help you ditch the guilt and stress that so often accompany the demands of motherhood.

11:05 amBreakout Session I

Browse our breakout session descriptions here.

12:00 pmLunch and Keynote

Emcee, Amber Rupinta, Anchor, ABC11 Eyewitness News

Introduction by Dana Guzzo, Senior Vice President, Sustainability, Community Relations and Communications, Martin Marietta

That’s What She Said: Making Our Internal Dialogue our Biggest Cheerleader

Jess Ekstrom, Founder, Headbands of Hope

Whether or not we recognize it or hear it, we have this voice in our head: the voice in our head that tells us we’re not ready. The voice in our head that makes our failures louder than our wins. The voice in our head that compares us to the woman beside us. The voice in our head that tells us someday, but not today.

This voice places a buffer between our world and how we feel or respond. It tells us when:

  • We can or can’t.
  • We’re too old or too young.
  • We’re too busy or too bored.
  • We’re too tall or too short.
  • We’re ready or not.

Sometimes, this voice doesn’t know what the heck it’s talking about. Sometimes, girlfriend is whack. It tells us we shouldn’t apply for the job or it’s not the right time or we’re not good enough or it feeds off of all the negativity.

So what happens when we change the story?

Opportunity. That’s what happens when we change the voice in our head to tell us we can “bring it.” It opens up a world we once considered beyond reach. Everything we want is within reach if we’re willing to throw perfection out the door and embrace the messiness of the journey.

But first, we have to learn to recognize the voice in our head and train it to be our biggest cheerleader, instead of the coach that keeps putting us on the bench. In this keynote, Jess will use her story of Headbands of Hope to show how she actively trained the voice in her head through times of inspiration, chaos, failure and purpose.

1:45 pmBreakout Session II

Browse our breakout session descriptions here.

2:45 pmNetworking Break, Book Signings, Pop-Up Sessions

Enjoy author signings, networking and pop-up sessions during this time.

Pop-Up Session: From Intern to President: Five Lessons I Have Learned Along the Way
Kelly Williamson, President, North America Region, APCO Worldwide

In this session, APCO Worldwide President Kelly Williamson shares her journey from entry-level to top executive at the world’s largest majority women-owned communications firm. Having worked 20 years at APCO, Kelly is also a mother and an adjunct professor at UNC Chapel Hill’s Media and Journalism School.  She was named a Champion in the 2018 PRWeek Hall of Femme and a 2019 Top Women in PR by PR News.

3:15 pmClosing Session

Emcee, Tisha Powell, Co-Anchor, ABC11 Eyewitness News

“Wait…what?” Taking Risks and Building Relationship Assets with Agility-Pamela Norley Shares Career Advice

Pamela Norley will share lessons learned, risks taken, and her unique approach to mastering a new role gleaned from a multi-decade career in the legal, financial services, and now philanthropic fields. Pamela began her career as a junior attorney and is now President of the nation’s largest grantmaker, Fidelity Charitable, which last year granted over $5.2 billion to nonprofits through its donor-advised fund program. Pamela co-founded the Women’s Leadership Group at Fidelity Investments over 15 years ago, which now has more than 8,300 members worldwide.



4:00 pmPower Hour Networking Reception

Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with your peers and the event speakers during this networking reception. Complimentary wine and beverages provided.

5:00 pmConference ends, exhibit hall closes