Women Do Everything Summit & Career Expo
By Staff Report
As the workforce struggles back from the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic, data shows that women continue to find their lives, careers, and earning potential severely impacted by its economic and social consequences.
But one woman, serial entrepreneur and women’s advocate Tonya Hicks has personally committed to doing something about it.
“Women have always stepped up selflessly, leaving their jobs behind and limiting their own earning potential,” said Hicks. “Women need equitable career and job opportunities that pay a livable wage, benefits that support women’s health, and access to affordable housing. The life of the working woman has changed drastically and it’s time the working world responds.”
Hicks will bring this message to the masses when her Women Do Everything (WDE) Summit and Career Expo kicks off in Atlanta on Thursday, Sept. 29. The event will feature some of today’s most accomplished women entrepreneurs, executives, and community leaders who will gather to offer insight, advice and even jobs to the hundreds who will be in attendance. The festivities will then conclude with a free career expo Saturday, Oct. 1 at Georgia State University’s Center Parc Stadium.
Summit & Expo Highlights
Summit speakers include Atlanta Hawks’ Vice President and CMO Melissa Proctor, Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s President and CEO Veronica Maldonado-Torres, Atlanta Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative’s Executive Director Monica Hooks, and Bank of America’s Senior Vice President Danielle Cheung.
Summit panels will include discussions such as “Is College the Only Way to a 6-Figure Job?” and “Who Are the Workers and Where Are the Jobs,” alongside sessions on subjects such as “Women in Franchising: This Business is Not for Men Anymore!,” “The Gig Economy,” and “Body Image and Personal Branding.” The Summit will also include an awards ceremony honoring several of Georgia’s most “influential” women leaders.
On Saturday, Oct. 1, the WDE Career Expo will feature 60+ exhibitors ranging from Fortune 500 companies, healthcare providers, and nonprofits to public safety agencies, tech startups, financial institutions, and more. The free event will also include opportunities for attendees to network one-on-one with career coaches and personal branding/marketing professionals in the Women Do Everything “Career Coaching Corner.”
Trailblazing Engineer, Entrepreneur Channels Personal Adversity into Advocacy
Women Do Everything LLC, the engine behind the event was founded by Hicks in 2015 as a social enterprise on a mission to change the future of work for women by providing the tools necessary to gain access to high-paying careers and contracts in male-dominated industries.
Her passion was inspired, in part, by her own career journey. Hicks was the first Black woman to be certified as a journeyman electrician in her home state of Mississippi. She is also the CEO of her electrical engineering firm Power Solutions, which she founded 22 years ago at the age of 28. (In the United States, only 2.4% of electricians are women, and just 9.5% of electrical contracting businesses are owned by women.)
Hicks, who is also a mother of two, personally recognizes the challenges facing women trying to balance the demands of the workplace and daily life, which have only been exacerbated since the pandemic.
In the United States, more than 2.3 million women have left the workforce as of 2021, compared with 1.8 million men who dropped out or lost their jobs. According to McKinsey & Company’s “Women in the Workplace” study, women’s participation in the workforce was 57% in 2021, the lowest percentage since 1998.
“This is a particularly critical moment for women – be they, employees or entrepreneurs,” said Hicks, who believes businesses need to prioritize flexibility, equity, and inclusivity to address worker shortages and ultimately attract talented and skilled women back into the workforce. “This is the appropriate solution to building a more inclusive, supportive, and representative workplace culture, and we are here to help guide them along the way,” said Hicks.
Anyone wishing to participate in the Women Do Everything Summit and Career Expo as a sponsor or vendor can contact the organizers at firstname.lastname@example.org. Those interested in attending may register online at www.womendoeverything.com.