“One of our goals at the Business Women’s Forum (BWF) is to Influence positive change in the community,” said Jennifer Goodwin, BWF Chair and Director of Selection, SLC Downtown Northwestern Mutual Office.

The September 21, 2021, BWF focused on imposter syndrome and finding one’s courageous voice, leadership development and empowerment. The fight for equality and justice is a battle many women are fighting today. Speaker Dr. Jennifer Saunders, Dean, School of Applied Technology and Technical Specialities, Salt Lake Community College, discussed how to overcome the negative repercussions of simply taking up space.

“You don’t need to apologize for taking up space,” said Saunders. “Ever. This is a learned behavior. It’s hard work, it takes effort to be different, but you can do it.”

Confidence and courage stem from understanding one’s own behaviors and habits. Every woman is different in the various skills they bring to the table. These skills should be shared and inspire others, not held back! It all starts with identifying barriers and developing your own plan for change.

“What does change include for yourself?” said Saunders. “It’s not the same for everyone else. You must find your own path to change.”

Overcoming barriers is both a personal and professional feat. It can be accomplished step by step, but must be deliberative. No problem is permanent, regardless of where an individual stands or what situation she is in. Success looks different for everyone and is not measured by how much of the problem is still there. Rather, it is measured through one’s personal achievements.

“Change is one of those things that I realized was progression,” said Saunders. “It feels so good to move. And, if you’re not at that point where you need to be making those baby steps, think of what you have to do.”

Inevitably, facing challenges is part of the changing process. However, they are easier to face alongside other supportive women. Practice. Practice. Practice. It is okay to ask for help. In fact, “Asking for help is for sure the strong mark of a confident person,” said Saunders. Great leaders not only ask for help, but stand up for themselves and others in a civil and respectful way.

“Find your own voice,” said Saunders. “But it never hurts to be kind. That humanity is everything – for yourself, community and work environment. It will be a lifeline and strategy that should never be underestimated.”

Join us at the next Business Women’s Forum on October 19, 2021 — Bias Busting: Recognizing Unconscious Bias at Work. Whether it’s being treated differently, missing out on promotions, or being spoken over during a meeting, many women experience unconscious bias in the workplace. Though rarely intentional, unconscious biases often hurt women, especially in the business sector, by depriving them of jobs, promotions, or even respect. During this Business Women’s Forum, speaker Heather Doggett, COO of Loveland Living Planet Aquarium, will discuss how to overcome unconscious gender bias in the workplace and succeed in our careers. Learn more here.