Women’s Weekend offers inspiration for transformation

Celeste Headlee, public-radio show host and author.
Celeste Headlee, public-radio show host and author.
Celeste Headlee, public-radio show host and author.

Across America, brilliant, accomplished and powerful women are running companies that are transforming industries. They are leading organizations that are improving communities, and they are inspiring young girls and other women to not only dream big, but to believe they are capable and deserving of every opportunity to pursue and achieve their goals.

From Oct. 20–22, about 125 of these women — Binghamton University alumnae, parents and friends — came together and made meaningful connections at the University’s first-ever Binghamton Women’s Weekend, held in New York City.

The conference gave attendees an opportunity to expand and strengthen their Binghamton network, engage one-on-one with women leaders of the University, and gain tools and resources to enhance their career success, life skills and personal fulfillment — while having fun, too.

Keynote speaker Celeste Headlee, public-radio show host and author of Heard Mentality and We Need to Talk: How to Have Conversations that Matter, discussed the art of conversation and focused listening. Her motivational talk featured practical lessons and strategies for enhancing personal and professional relationships by simply becoming better at having conversations.

The conference also featured nine breakout sessions presented almost entirely by Binghamton alumnae who shared ideas and led thought-provoking discussions, including “Impactful Leadership: Five Strategies to Success,” “Finding Your Voice: Writers Sharing their Personal Journey” and “Giving Matters! Exploring Philanthropy.”

Attendees learned about the successes, goals and future of the University from President Harvey Stenger, the event’s opening plenary speaker. Stenger highlighted several Binghamton women faculty and their research and scholarship.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand closed out the conference by speaking about “Women’s Voices Today,” in celebration of the 100th anniversary of suffrage in New York state. Gillibrand, who has two young sons, also discussed the challenges that working families face in today’s economy and her efforts to establish a national paid family leave program for workers.

Discussions are already underway to plan the next Binghamton Women’s Weekend.

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