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Inspire Leadership: Women in Leadership

Photo of UT Women in Leadership Conference attendees

Pictured left to right: Hunter Pritchard, Simone Stewart, Erin Bennett, and Leslie Poytner

Women in leadership positions and women identified by leadership as being emerging leaders from all across the UT System were invited to the annual UT Conference for Women in Leadership on June 5 in Murfreesboro. This year’s theme was “Leading with Authenticity – Lead by Being You” and had sessions with tracks referencing, Next Level Awareness Leadership, Self-Awareness, Breaking Barriers, and Tools for Leadership Success.

Student Life was represented well, with leaders such as Erin Bennett, Leslie Poytner, Hunter Pritchard, and Simone Stewart from the Center for Career Development

“The two sessions I attended that I found most helpful was ‘From Fear to Eternity: Taking the Drama out of Feedback’ that gave practical tips on how to give direct and constructive feedback to employees” Erin said. “I also appreciated a talk called ‘It’s More than Carrots and Sticks: Helping Leaders  Harness Motivation’ which reference research done by Harvard Business school about what employees want, and how as a supervisor you can find out how to meet them and their needs to keep them motivated.”

Top Tips for Women in Leadership

“Invest in continuous learning (always seek out ways to improve your knowledge about your content area, or another area, even if you are considered the “expert” there is always something else you can learn).”
– Erin Bennett

“Speak unapologetically- women tend to say things like “I think” or apologize when asking a question or speaking in a meeting.”
– Leslie Poynter

“Be forgiving! Despite misunderstandings, recognize the talent and skills that someone can bring to the table.”
-Simone Stewart

Attendees were able to hear from Agenia Clark, president/CEO of Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee and Dr. Victoria Niederhauser, dean of the College of Nursing at UT Knoxville, of which Erin said she found to be inspirational and encouraging.

The UT Conference for Women in Leadership to address professional development needs of UT’s female leaders in more advanced leadership roles, as well as those who may be emerging as leaders. The conference provides sessions on topics relevant to women in leadership positions and invites speakers who have a wealth of experience in the topics presented.