Stephanie Justice

Senior Marketing Coordinator

On March 11, a group of GLY team members attended the virtual EmPower Women's Leadership Conference 2022. This all-day annual event "brings together women in trades careers to celebrate their success as leaders, inspire other women to find and embrace their inner leader, and showcase the possibilities when women succeed in breaking barriers."

I asked our attendees Jona Ancira, Heather Johnston, and Laura Soma to forward takeaways from the conference—and they provided several great points of inspiration, celebration, and lessons learned worth sharing in honor of Women's History Month!

Panel 1 - Women in Leadership in the Trades

This panel of seasoned women leaders from the carpentry, ironwork, welding, and aerospace machinist trades offered consistent, proven advice:

  • Speak up for yourself.
  • Show up each day ready to do the work you know how to do and do it well.
  • Create a network in your trade and industry.
  • Ask questions.
  • Know your capabilities and be confident!

Panel 2 - Emerging Leaders in the Next Generation

The GLY attendees were impressed by the passion these speakers brought to their trades, which included sheet metal, labor, and carpentry.

  • Be prepared, transparent, trustworthy, consistent, and accountable, with the right mindset.
  • Build your own backbone.
  • Connect with leaders and mirror their best habits, especially if you want to lead yourself.
  • Connect with your team to help grow and share support.
  • Embrace mistakes; they are part of growth.
  • Support others, with an emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Panel 3 - Building the Bridge to Sisterhood

The four women on this panel view opportunities through their positions in workforce development, field supervision, and trades.

  • Bring your best self to work every day, with a can-do attitude and willingness to learn.
  • Recognize that your main limitations are the ones you put on yourself.
  • If you see another struggle, reach out to help them help themself.

The day was full of great advice! I will leave you with one more shared by our team that we should all remember:

No ceiling is unbreakable.