Upcoming Events » “The Power and Potential of Women”

June 14, 2016 11:00 am

LOWELL, Mass. – Award-winning interior designer and UMass Lowell graduate Taniya Nayak and humorist Gina Barreca will headline “The Power and Potential of Women,” the university’s first-ever conference for women leaders, which will explore avenues for their success.

Bringing together professionals in business, education, government and the nonprofit sector, the conference will delve into career and personal development topics, from the value of mentoring and negotiating salaries to building influence and leading a healthy life. The conference will be held on Tuesday, June 21. Registration to attend the event is now open and may be completed at https://continuinged.uml.edu/wlc/registration.cfm.

Nayak’s remarks will kick off the conference. The brand ambassador for talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres’ home décor product line, Nayak is a frequent guest on programs on HGTV, ABC and the Food Network. Raised in Weymouth, she earned a bachelor’s degree in business marketing from UMass Lowell and credits the university with teaching her the entrepreneurial skills that helped set her on her career path. Her success is on display at a variety of Boston restaurants where her company, Taniya Nayak Design LLC, has fashioned interior and exterior spaces. She also designs interiors for private homes and counts Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry and actor Jesse Metcalfe among her clients.

Barreca’s presentation will close out the conference and will likely leave participants laughing as they go. An expert on literature and feminist theory, she uses humor to shine a light on gender politics, both as a public speaker and as the author of 11 books that tackle topics including the workplace, aging, relationships and personal power. She has appeared on TV shows such as “Oprah,” “Today” and “Dr. Phil” and her weekly newspaper column is distributed worldwide.

UMass Lowell Chancellor Jacquie Moloney – a national pioneer in higher education, including online learning and teaching entrepreneurship, and an advocate for women’s success – is launching the conference in her inaugural year as the university’s first woman leader.

“‘The Power and Potential of Women’ will provide a unique opportunity for participants to grow their strengths, share what they’ve learned and network with others so that all women will take their rightful place as leaders while working to achieve balance in their lives,” Moloney said. “I look forward to meeting the many dynamic and influential women who will be joining us for this event.”  

To engage and inspire women in all stages of their careers – from emerging leaders to experienced practitioners – the conference will feature more than 25 panel discussions and speakers. In addition to Nayak and Barreca, they are scheduled to include Chai Feldblum, commissioner of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; former Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Evelyn Murphy, who is the founder and president of The WAGE Project, Inc., a nationwide organization that seeks to eliminate the gender-pay gap; and Jennifer Springer, general counsel and director of field operations for Service Employees International Union Local 888 and executive vice president at large of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO.

Conference sessions will be led by representatives from companies such as Boston Scientific, Fidelity Investments, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Raytheon Co. and Kronos Inc., along with professionals in Greater Lowell’s nonprofit sector, including Deborah Chausse, executive director of House of Hope Inc., and UMass Lowell Manning School of Business professors Elizabeth Altman and Beth Humberd.

Conference sessions will be organized by four guiding topics: cultivating a rewarding career; leading, empowering and inspiring others; building impact, influence and innovation; and understanding holistic health methods. Issues to be explored include establishing a successful career in a male-dominated field, mentoring employees, managing personal finances and reducing job-related stress. The conference will also include networking opportunities for participants to share ideas and make new connections. The full schedule can be found at https://continuinged.uml.edu/wlc. 

“The Power and Potential of Women” will be held at the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center, 50 Warren St., Lowell. Those interested in learning more or attending the event may visit https://continuinged.uml.edu/wlc/registration.cfm. Registration is open through Tuesday, June 14.

The event’s sponsors include Circle Health and SEIU Local 888.

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