ABOVE PHOTO: AMC’s Robin Roberts speaks at PCW. (Photos by Bill Z. Foster)
By Denise Clay
If you want proof of how powerful The Power Of Us can be when applied to women and what they can accomplish, Strawberry Mansion High School principal Linda Cliatt-Wayman stands as a good example.
When she took the podium at last year’s Pennsylvania Conference for Women, Cliatt-Wayman did so as a woman fighting to improve a school that many had given up on.
But as a returning speaker at this year’s conference, Cliatt-Wayman came with news about her students. She had stories of children who were now on their way to college and were taking advantage of other opportunities that came through the help of some of the women in the audience.
She was there to tell the women in the ballroom at the Pennsylvania Convention Center that they were living proof that when women mobilize, children win.
“You are game changers,” she said. “When you are here, anything can happen for a child. Women have clout and you make others understand that you must invest in education. I thank you for taking your role seriously.”
About 8,000 women came to see Cliatt-Wayman and other women including Oscar-winning actress Diane Keaton, “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts, former “Today” show anchor and current CBS News contributor Jane Pauley and former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson share their wisdom during the conference.
There were also a variety of workshops that addressed everything from how to expand your business through Social Media to how to be a successful social entrepreneur. There were also opportunities for networking, meeting with local leaders and connecting with women who are holding their own in the business world.
When women come together, they’re unstoppable, said Leslie Stiles, President of the Conference’s board.
“Today’s Conference once again showed us that remarkable things happen when thousands of women come together to be educated, inspired and empowered,” Stiles said. “Our amazing speakers gave women of all backgrounds the confidence they need to explore their own unique abilities to create positive change in their personal and professional lives –and in their communities.”
One of the highlights of the day was the interview that “Good Morning America” contributor Tory Johnson did with Roberts, her “GMA” colleague.
In an interview where everything from her days as an anchor on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” to her recovery from cancer and a bone marrow transplant, things that Roberts also chronicles in her new book “Everybody’s Got Something”, she talked about the importance of not letting your challenges get you down.
“I’m fearless now,” Roberts said. “I’m not afraid to fail and I believe that the best is yet to come.”
The Pennsylvania Conference for Women was sponsored by Beneficial Bank, Bristol-Myers Squibb, PPL Corporation, Cisco, Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business, Hail Merry, QVC, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, Tierney, AmeriHealth Caritas, AstraZeneca, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, DuPont, Ernst & Young, LLP., GlaxoSmith Kline, Independence Blue Cross, Johnson & Johnson, Master Card Worldwide, PriceWaterhouse Coopers and Radian and State Street Corporation.
The conference was also sponsored by ACE Group, ACME Markets, AmerisourceBergen Corporation, Amtrak, Citizens Bank, Comcast, DLA Piper, eBay Enterprises, Fine Wine and Good Spirits, Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals, M&T Bank, NRG Energy, PECO, PNC Bank, Stradley Ronon, The Dow Chemical Company, United Airlines, Wells Fargo, Whole Foods Market, Interstate General Media, Philadelphia Magazine and WPVI-TV 6ABC.