Conference aims to empower, encourage women leaders

Diverse leadership skills may be of imperative value for women, says a U official.

The Leadership Development Office and United Leadership Council of the Associated Students of the University of Utah are sponsoring “Women and Leadership” today as part of its monthly workshop series.

According to Leda Mareth, assistant director for the office of orientation and leader development, the workshop will concentrate on “great women leaders” and the differences in their leadership styles.

“We want to give information about women in leadership roles, how they differ through styles, expectations and impressions and how people respond to women in leadership roles versus men,” said Debra Daniels, a director at the Women’s Resource Center and speaker at the seminar.

The seminar will provide and opportunity for students to learn leadership principles as a team, said United Leadership Council director Spencer Ricks.

“Women are inclusive to other leadership styles as well as their own,” added Kristy Bartley, counseling coordinator at the Women’s Resource Center.

“Women have a way of adapting and the ability to create successful relationships with people. That’s not to say men don’t, but women do it more,” Daniels said.

Unfolding misconceptions about women in leadership is another topic that’s vital to discuss during the seminar, Bartley said.

“We’d like to debunk a lot of myths-for example, gender expectations by men and other women who believe women are supposed to be nurturing in their style of leadership. When a woman is being matter-of fact, it’s seen differently as if she’s being harsh, where as no one thinks a thing about it if a man is.”

Daniels said the workshop will be more of an interactive discussion-however, information will be provided.

“It’s really important for girls and young women to see women in leadership roles to show them that they deserve to be there and to be paving the way. We want people to see that it’s just as common for women to be in a leadership role as it is for men,” she said.

“Leaders have more access to resources and everybody needs more access, including women,” Bartley said.

The workshop topics vary monthly and the presenters consist of staff, faculty and students for a wide-ranging outlook, according to Mareth.The point of the leadership workshops are to “provide practical training and experience for all students regardless of their leadership experience, and it’s free,” Mareth said.

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