On March 8th and 9th nine URA activists attended the New Jersey AFL-CIO’s 10th Annual WILD Conference at the Hilton Hotel in East Brunswick, NJ. WILD stands for Women in Leadership Development and the event kicked off on Friday, which was International Women’s Day. Below, member and COPE chair, Kay Schechter recounts her experience at the conference:
The presentation “We’re Not Finished” — Women’s Leadership, Building for the Future featured Teena Chaill, PsyD, Director of Wisdom and Beyond. While being energetic and humorous, she connected with the women at the conference regarding our own futures.
Dr. Cahill’s mantra is “Come on World. I am going to be OK no matter what.” She emphasized that we all need to be solution-based and see what is right because others like you more if you are solution-based. We need to build on our strengths. Find what we like to do and build on that. Leverage our power. Money is power. We need to be willing to walk away from the table sometimes to get what we want. We need an internal locus of control to grow past ourselves.
Women need to be brave and take calculated risks. We need to use emotional intelligence. We have to be out there in the world. If we don’t take risks we don’t get anything.
Women need to be strategic in meetings. We should be the 1 of the first 5 people to speak at any meeting, even if just to agree with something someone else said. We need credibility. We need to change the way people think of successful women. Right now the more women succeed the less they are liked. This has to change. Men are not viewed the same way.
We need to take control of first impressions and what people think of us. Fifty-five percent of impressions are based on how we are dressed, 38% of impressions are based on how we speak, and only 7% of impressions are based upon what we say.
Other speakers at the conference included gubernatorial candidate and state Senator Barbara Buono (D‑18), state Senator Linda Greenstein (D‑14); Assemblywomen Pam Lampitt (D‑06); Dr. Mary Gatta of Wider Opportunities for Women, and NJ State AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Laurel Brennan. Additionally, a multi-media presentation of women in the labor movement was provided by Bev Grant and narrated by conference participants representing various labor groups.