By Megan Sayles,
AFRO Business Writer,
Leadership of Baltimore County (LBC) on March 16 will host its second women’s event at the BECO Towers in Owings Mill, Md.
This event, which is open to the public, will focus on how women can rebalance, rediscover and reinvent themselves, and it will help leaders learn how to effectively support women at home, in the workplace and in the community.
“The real purpose behind it is to sort of create a community and network of women. After the pandemic, we realized that women were sort of leaving the workforce and struggling with this idea of work-life balance,” said Ann-Marie Thornton, event organizer.
“This year, we’re focusing on rediscovering, reinventing and rebalancing ourselves. The idea is to really empower women to feel that there’s a support system within their work.”
Incorporated in 1983, LBC brings together leaders from various fields to help them understand how to better support their community and effect change. The organization’s signature program trains individuals for 10 months, providing them with greater leadership capacity, community engagement and exposure to civic challenges and opportunities in Baltimore County.
LBC held its first women’s event last year after noticing that many women were struggling in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. The event provided women with tools to manage and boost their mental health.
This year, the event speaker lineup includes Janet Currie, president of Bank of America of Greater Maryland; Heather Iliff, president and CEO of Maryland Nonprofits; and Natasha Wainwright, owner of Natasha’s Just Brittle.
“When thinking about the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was really two years of crazy stress and pressure on women. All the evidence shows that the majority of household and children’s responsibilities fall on women’s shoulders,” said Iliff.
With mounting pressures at home and in the workplace, women did not have ample time to focus on their wellbeing.
] have enormous mental health challenges and a backlog of physical health issues that we haven’t taken care of. It’s not only children in the household that we’re caring for, but it’s aging parents. You can only run on adrenaline for so long, and at some point you hit a wall. In this quasi-post-pandemic phase that we’re in, we want to try to create a better workplace and a better future than we had before.”
During the event, the speakers will lead an informal conversation with attendees, allowing them to pose questions and share experiences. The speakers will cover topics, including gender equity, allyship of men, leaning into your authentic self in the workplace and employee benefits that provide women with more flexibility.
“I want attendees to leave with a feeling of connection and support, and I want them to leave with a few ideas that they can implement when it comes to supporting the women in their homes, their workplace and their communities,” said Mary Kay Page, assistant director of LBC.
Megan Sayles is a Report for America Corps member.