The second annual EMPOWER Conference was hosted by Harvard-Westlake’s La Femme Club on Oct. 7, 2018.
The conference had free admission and was open to all students in grades 9-12. Six female speakers gave introductions and responded to student questions. The speakers were as follows: Emmy-nominated casting director Cathy Gelfond (Lucas ’19), plastic surgeon Dr. Kay Durairaj, city councilwoman Nury Martinez, entrepreneur and civic volunteer Jaime Lee ’03, biomedical scientist Dr. Knatokie Ford and actress and author Lily Collins ’07.
La Femme Club Co-Leader Rebecca Frischling ’19 spoke about the importance of diversity among the speakers at the conference.
“We wanted to make sure that we had speakers from diverse backgrounds and fields, because we wanted to have many different viewpoints and experiences represented,(“) Frischling ’19 said in an email.
Although the conference was mainly centered around female empowerment, topics included confidence, leadership, activism, gender equality and diversity, social media, taking advantage of opportunities, the power of education and more.
“We really hope that the young women who attended this conference will leave inspired and more ready to talk about feminism. I would hope that the conference would be able to help ignite a passion for the cause in some of the attendees, and that they are able to carry this experience with them as they work towards more progress in the future,” Frischling ’19 said.
Paris Little ’22 attended the conference. When asked about her experience at the conference, Little said that she enjoyed hearing about the speakers’ backgrounds and perspectives.
“It was just fun and cool to listen to everyone’s experiences that they had in their careers and their experiences in life,” Little said.
Rhea Madhogarhia ’22, who also attended the conference, said that she thought it was interesting to hear from two Harvard-Westlake alumnae.
“I really felt a little bit more connected with all the professions that I could have when I’m older and I know that it’s possible from where I come from to be successful,” Madhogarhia said.