Inspiration is the first word that comes to mind when thinking back on the recent 2018 annual Women Business Enterprise Council – Western Region (WBEC-West) Conference in Indian Wells, CA. The WBEC-West team did an amazing job, putting together a truly amazing conference. The leadership team created an environment at all events that fostered genuine connections with women business owners and corporations. I’ve never been somewhere like it: everyone, truly, wants to help you succeed, even if they get “nothing” in return. It takes powerful leaders to make this environment possible, and belief in something more than the results one person might see.
What was possibly even more impactful, aside from the events and networking opportunities, was the amazing community of powerful, driven, successful and inspiring women business owners that make up WBEC-West. To see the wide array of industries these women have been able to carve paths of success into, from food to fashion to construction to biohazard cleanup to auto transmissions and more, truly exhibited the effectiveness of putting your mind to something. Seeing so many women leaders wanting to help and collaborate with fellow owners and leaders, whether competitors or not, illustrated the strength that comes from a true community.
Overall, the effect was mesmerizing. Through lots of laughs, smiles, thought-provoking questions, genuine interest and input, you could see all the attendees, both Women Business Enterprises (WBEs) and corporates alike, becoming more inspired as the days progressed. While the keynote speakers were influential, even more so was the effect you could see on the audiences, and the fires that were lit behind their eyes.
The experiences at the conference made me realize that with the help of supplier diversity teams’ at large corporations, and the tenacity of women business owners from around the world, there is a “Gentle Impact” happening to businesses on all fronts. I call it a Gentle Impact, because this is a force that has been happening slowly, but consistently, and one that isn’t going away. This Gentle Impact is bringing improvements for all levels of business everywhere. This is made possible because of women owned businesses and women leaders, working in traditionally male dominated fields, and showing themselves, businesses, and the world the benefits diversity can bring to any work place, engagement, or project.
I can’t wait to continue to see this movement make waves across the USA and world, and I’m grateful to know that WBEC-West will continue to foster a place to let this Gentle Impact blossom.