What do a massage therapist, clothing designer and vegetarian chef have in common? They were all at the Working Women Expo from on Saturday.
The event, which was free and open to the public, was the second annual Working Women Expo hosted by the student organization, Women Who Empower.
Andrea Morris, the president of Women Who Empower, organized the event to continue the organization’s mission.
“Women Who Empower believes in empowering women personally, academically and professionally,” Morris, a senior english education and journalism major, said. “[The Working Women Expo] is specifically geared towards professional development and expansion. We wanted to provide a platform for all students, but specifically women, to come and network and grow professionally.”
Taylor Baker, the vice president of Women Who Empower, helped organize the event as a way for women to support other women.
“Female students should be particularly interested [in the Working Women Expo] because we should always be looking to encourage other women, and it also allows them to see that women can be successful with hard work,” Baker, a junior psychology and pre-med double major, said.
In addition to students, vendors of all types were present at the Working Women Expo.
Monet Marzette, the brain behind Mo’VEGGIES. By running a vegetarian blog based in Chicago Marzette said she aims to defeat the stigma that meat-less, nutritious food can’t taste good. Marzette hopes to educate and encourage others to incorporate more vegetarian and/or vegan meals into their current dietary habits.
The Working Women Expo provided her with a way to get her business “out on people’s radars” and provide a ndew perspective to womenas she sold nachos at the event.
“It’s important to attend events like the Working Women’s Expo to encourage and uplift women who are working towards achieving their goals,” Marzette said. “I’d much rather spend my time motivating my fellow women rather than competing against them. We’ll get nowhere or not advance as women if we continue to think and act like that.”
Vendors’ booths were set up across the Michel Student Center Ballroom, many offering services on-site.
“A lot of people walk away either buying something, making a new professional connection or learning tips that can help better professionally brand themselves,” Morris said.
Christopher Watson, a junior interactive media major, attended the event to support his mother’s custom screenprinting business, G’s Creative Creations. At an expo catered towards women, he was one of few male students who attended.
“The women made me feel comfortable enough to have conversations with,” Watson said. “It’s a great opportunity to meet new people and to observe new products and businesses.”
For anyone who could not attend this year’s expo, Women Who Empower has plans to continue the event annually.
“We plan on expanding the expo even more than we did this year,” Morris said.
The Working Women Expo provided both students and vendors the opportunity to network and better their brands in an empowering setting.
“It was amazing to stand in a room with like-minded women who grind and shine,” Marzette said.