An illustrious history is woven
Volunteers explain purposeful history of annual women’s conference. | Chak Hee Lo/THE CHIMES
Three years ago, associate professor of marketing Laureen Mgrdichian wondered why Biola did not hold a women’s conference. She felt disturbed women did not have ample resources for encouragement on campus. Consequently, she created Woven Conference.
Resources for encouragement
“Our purpose is to encourage women in the workplace and in their walk with the Lord,” Mgrdichian said.
The Woven Conference held its third event Saturday, March 4. The speakers and the amount of people who attended encouraged Mgrdichian and her female student staff with the progress the conference has made in just three years and the hope for a future.
“It’s growing every year. We’ve seen the difference from last year to this year and the difference is huge and very exciting,” said Sere Brown, senior marketing management major. “[It’s] exciting to see how God works through these experiences.”
A conference is born
The idea came to her after a Women in Management class. Women speakers came to talk about their experience rising in management, but their stories always lacked a religious side. After noting this one evening, she and her class thought up the idea of the Woven Conference.
“We were kind of surprised that there wasn’t a conference for women yet,” Brown said. “We were like, ‘This is a great opportunity. Let’s go. Let’s go get this started.’”
The conference takes an incredible amount of work and planning. The team of students, picked by Mgrdichian, has their first meeting in September and meets a few times following that in the fall semester. Then, in the spring semester, they meet every week up until the conference, and during conference week, they work together almost every day to secure each last tiny detail.
“It takes a fabulous team [to host the conference],” Mgrdichian said. “I usually have six to seven students who help put it together because there’s no way I could do this.”
A team effort
Her student team, who expressed great admiration for Mgrdichian, enjoys the opportunity to help host the event. Amelia Dagon, international business major, served as a teacher’s assistant for Mgrdichian and appreciated the chance to learn from the teacher outside of the classroom, through the conference.
“I was actually lucky enough to be involved last year as well,” Dagon said. “I took a lot of classes with [Mgrdichian] and I was her TA, so it was fun to be doing another project with her.”
The staff remains passionate about putting the conference on because they feel women do not receive the emboldenment they need, especially when going into a male-dominated field such as business.
“I love the conference. It’s a great opportunity,” Dagon said. “As a female who’s planning on entering the business world, it’s nice to know that there are events that are actually happening to support women who are going into that field where it’s hard to find support networks.”