The California Women’s Conference

by Teri Hockett

Recently, I attended the spectacular two day California Women’s Conference held in Long Beach, California. There was an impressive list of 150 speakers, performances from Melissa Manchester and Helen Reddy, and over 250 exhibitors. There were also authors on hand to sign books, and an expansive list of empowering breakout sessions.

Monday morning  kicked off with keynote speaker Marcia Cross sharing some very revealing parallels between being a Desperate Housewife to a stay-at-home mom with twin daughters. Cross said, “How can we work together to build a world that supports motherhood, women’s careers and women’s choices, not because it is the right thing to do, but because it is the smart thing to do,” she said. “Women are not only the backbone of our families, but the backbone of the economy in rich and poor nations alike. We are the keepers of the flame. And we must value ourselves and each other.”

I found this very inspiring, a message that draws women together for the good of human kind, to promote and support each other.

Empowerment and finding your authentic voice are two key phases that were shared, along with Stedman Graham letting women know to not let anyone put you in a box, that only you can define who you are.


A chance meeting with the amazing Bri Clark representing the Women Speakers Association (WSA), led to a wonderful encounter with Melanie Benson Strick; who then said we had to meet Rhonda Britten. Meeting three incredible and powerful women all before the doors even opened Sunday afternoon meant we were off to an incredible start.

Women Speakers Association is the place to go to get your voice heard. They are helping women grow their visibility from the boardroom to the stage. Every women we met at their booth was dynamic and passionate about representing WSA.

Melanie Benson Strick, CEO of Success Connections, is also an Honorary Founding Partner of WSA. Success Connections is all about guiding and inspiring the entrepreneurs’ journey from overwhelmed and burned out to unleashing their passions to reach optimum performance.

Rhonda Britten, founder of the Fearless Living Institute (FLI), won an Emmy for your daytime reality drama Starting Over, author of several books, and has inspired millions of people worldwide to master their fear. Check out her Fearless America Tour 2013 at:

Shoe Envy

I realize this may seem like a strange topic when talking about a conference, but it is a personal one for me. You see, I am still in a walking cast which results in a very limited choice of shoes that match the exact height of the cast. Needless to say, I was very interested in the selection of shoes that attendees were wearing; from Nike to Louboutin and everything in between.

There is the wonderful sound of a woman walking in heels on tile floors (click click click). There is a certain air of confidence that a great pair of shoes can impart. Some shoes are a pure work of art; they are beautiful to look at. I do love a great pair of heels, and was surely envious of those women who could wear them all day at a conference; never once did I see a glimmer of pain across their faces.

However, when I would comment on how beautiful their shoes were, most all said they were envious of my shoe choice (REALLY, SERIOUSLY, you have got to be kidding me!). I never even wear socks that don’t match, even when you can’t see them. So for me to wear a walking cast and some other random dull flat shoe, makes it almost impossible to get out the door.

So the question is, when you know you are going to be on your feet all day long, do you go for comfort or style?

About the Author

Teri Hockett

Teri Hockett is the CEO of What’s For Work? The Premier Career Site for Women.

About What’s For Work?

The Premier Career Site for Women. Real People. Real Connections. Real Support. — with everything in one place!

Mission: To redefine how employers acquire talent and women find and preserve their dream jobs using innovative technologies.

Company Overview: What’s For Work? helps women take control of their careers by providing a rich set of tools that develop their knowledge, skills and confidence they need to land and preserve their dream jobs.

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