Womens symposium spreads message of encouragement

The Womens symposium focused on encouraging all women to advocate for themselves and recognize their worth
Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 6:27 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - The sixth annual Women’s Symposium of Northeast Louisiana was held at ULM’s Bayou Pointe on Tuesday, Mar 14. The event took place on ‘Equal Pay Day’, which brings awareness to the gender wage gap nationwide.

There were three sessions for panelists to speak on a variety of topics, like creating a workplace culture that is supportive of women and identifying male allies.

Megan Proffer, a local business owner, works in a male-dominated field. She says she came to the event to find her voice and be confident with it.

”A lot of times when you’re just one voice, it’s much harder to be heard. So, I think this is invaluable to our community so that we can create a collective voice.” Proffer says. “Women’s voices need to be heard, and we just need to be a little bit louder.”

The Keynote speaker of the event, Dr. Nicole Cross, is also an award-winning journalist and psychologist. She says society paints a picture of what women are supposed to do, say, act, and look like from a very young age.

She emphasized the importance of women advocating for themselves and future generations.

“Listen, it takes a village, it takes all of us being on the same page, working towards the same goals,” Cross says.

Dr. Cross says bringing awareness to undervalued members of society can translate into a long-term change when it comes to equality.

“I think we all realize that women are valuable parts of society and our community, and we all have to work together to make sure that they are celebrated and appreciated and set up for success,” Cross says.

Proffer says one of the big takeaways from the symposium is realizing the importance of knowing your worth and being unapologetically genuine.

“I’ve always just been told, I’m too much,” Proffer says. “So, this year, I decided, I’m going to be too much, and I’m going to be loud, and I’m going to sparkle, and I’m going to wear glitter, and I’m gonna have blue hair.”

Dr. Cross reiterated that women need to work together to make impactful change, but it starts by recognizing their worth.

“I think events like this are a fresh reminder that we deserve more. We’ve earned more, and we have to pursue what we want out of life,” Cross says.

The panelists were there to give women the advice and encouragement needed to take their futures into their own hands. Whether that be asking for a job, a promotion, equal pay, starting a business, or whatever it may be.