Professional women impart wisdom
Woven Conference addresses relevant topics while emphasizing faith in the workplace. | Jessica Goddard / THE CHIMES
Andrew’s Banquet Hall, immaculately decorated in purple, filled with the scent of coffee and bagels while over 100 women and a few men entered to attend the fourth Woven Conference on Feb. 4, the largest one since it’s beginning.
“I think we had about 80 girls last year and we were hoping to jump into the hundreds. We want this to continually grow because I think it’s a great place for women,” said Kathryn Starr, senior marketing management major and one of the event planners.
The event consisted of four speakers, all women who have had success and wished to share their knowledge in a faith-based context: Founder of Inquiry, LLC Sarah Moore, speaker, coach and author Rachel Sherburne, founder of The Master’s Program for Women Sandy Olsson and first female graduate of Talbot School of Theology doctorate for ministry in preaching Naima Lett.
The speakers presented on their life journeys, success in male-dominated fields and finding one’s purpose in Christ. This year, the conference held more importance than ever because of the sexual assault cases surfacing in almost every industry due to the #MeToo Movement and the Time’s Up Movement.
“I think a conference like this is empowering because it reminds you that you’re not alone, and there are lots of women out there who’ve gone through a lot of the things that are coming out in the media today,” said Shenna McLaughlin, freshman political science major. “It reminds us also that even if you haven’t been through it yourself, if you know that someone has, it’s your obligation, your responsibility to step up and help them out too.”
Response to sexual assault
Lett, who also planted and pastors at the church Hope in the Hills, spoke about the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements and how the church must come forward to repent for sexual assault issues brought up and to support those affected by sexual assault.
“I think the anger’s justified, so I don’t discount anybody’s anger because we have to process that, rightfully so, when we’ve been done wrong, being able to express it,” Lett said. “As we process the anger and help one another process the anger, at some point, we also have to be aware that we’ve gotta change the structure and the systems in place.”
She also said that the body of Christ should not judge survivors, rather it should speak up for and with them. She stressed the importance of community during this time and being good sisters-in-Christ.
“I believe with all my heart that as we support one another, we need each other, oh my God, we need each other and we need to support one another and we need to walk with each other through the journey, walk with each other into healing,” Lett said.
The speakers brought up topics such as this in order to prepare and encourage students entering the workplace. Above all, the speakers emphasized the importance of following the Lord from their knowledge in navigating several industries.