The 2009 Women’s Industry Network (WIN) conference in Dallas, Texas, was well-attended despite the struggling economy.
“Although we know that some organizations rotate the women who attend our conference from one year to the next, we have also seen the actual number of women coming from individual companies grow, as employers see the value in what we offer,” said Frederica Carter, communications manager for AkzoNobel Coatings, who served as the 2009 WIN Conference committee chair. “We know that we have met our goals when we hear from industry dignitaries (who have attended many conferences) as well as women who have never attended an industry event, that they felt the agenda offered excellent educational and networking opportunities in a welcoming environment.”
Other interesting attendee trends included companies that sponsored female customers to attend as part of their business marketing strategy and at least one business owner that sponsored a student as part of her personal commitment to advancing young women in the industry.
Topics covered at the conference included understanding financial documents, marketing yourself in business and process improvement. WIN’s annual scholarship walk was raised over $1,500. Another feature of the conference was the annual “Cornerstone Award” for outstanding leadership and support of women in the industry, which was presented to Trish Serratore, group vice president of industry relations for ASE and WIN’s treasurer.
Other highlights included the installation of Kim White, district sales manager for FinishMaster, as WIN’s new chair. White previously chaired the scholarship committee and served on the conference and sponsor committees.
“Our annual conference is representative of who we are as an organization. It is an environment where an attendee will arrive, get her registration packet and ask whether there is anything she can do to help, but she knows everyone is there to help her as well,” White said. “WIN members are encouraged to think of every member as a resource. And because our sole focus is a common goal of advancing women in the industry, we find that many of the tensions that exist in other settings do not exist at the WIN conference.”
WIN plans to announce the date and location for next year’s conference soon. For more information, visit www.womensindustrynetwork.com.