Businesswomen gathered for the Ogden Weber Chamber Conference, an event aimed at inspiring and empowering leadership qualities in attendants. This year, the eighth annual Business Women Conference, with the theme “Women Empowerment: A Leadership Journey,” was held Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
The conference consisted of a few breakout sessions and two speeches by Barbara Matthews and Amanda Dickson.
“Our purpose for these conferences is to tell women they can do more than they think they’re capable of doing,” said Mari Newbold, a member of the Chamber of Commerce.
Matthews, founder of the Wasatch Woman Magazine, discussed “true leadership,” which she defined as leading in the small moments in life. She told her audience they should not only worry about what they say or do in public, but also what they say and do in private moments with family and close friends, including themselves.
“People matter more than business,” Matthews said. “Your contribution to those you influence is a compilation of the small decisions you make every day.”
Matthews later told her story of dealing with depression from being a stay-at-home mother and having a divorce. She said she realized it was not worth staying in bed hiding herself from the world; it was time for her to get up and take care of her children.
“Every single one of you, women and men too, we are all leaders,” Matthews said. “Even when we are chopping wood and getting water, we are making a difference.”
She said businesses tend to look for people who have vision, strategy, communication, teamwork and implementation. She also said a great leader serves, has vision, engages, goes ahead and leads, and does the right thing for themselves and everyone around them.
A video was shown before another keynote address called “Miss Representation,” which showed women around the world, including high school students, dressed as Playboy bunnies and top businesswomen. The featured women spoke of how women were valued for their appearances and not for their knowledge.
Dickson, author and co-host of Utah’s Morning News with Grant and Amanda on KSL Newsradio, spoke about “putting your oxygen mask on before assisting the child.” She said there come times when women need to pause and put on their oxygen masks. She said they need to make sure they aren’t getting too ahead of themselves.
“The absence of friendship on human beings had the same effect as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day or being an alcoholic,” Dickson said.
She explained that friendship in women’s lives helps them become healthier physically and emotionally.
“Somehow, we are stronger if we have these connections (friendship),” Dickson said.
She later spoke about the most important things women need to remember: being happy, forgiving themselves, making no assumptions and doing their best.
“Happy people make more money,” Dickson said. “Happiness doesn’t happen to people. They choose it.”