They came from around the city and around the world. More than 500 attendees gathered at the MGM Resorts Foundation’s Annual Women’s Leadership Conference.
The two-day event kicked included a packed agenda including educational presentations, networking sessions and even a moving performance by the Inspiring Our World cast. A slew of accomplished and engaging speakers shared their tips and advice on how women can achieve success, something Beau Rivage’s Rogena P. Barnes enjoyed.
“The gathering of so many esteemed and accomplished women here is astonishing and rejuvenating to me. I’ve loved seeing these … examples of women who have broken through the glass ceiling,” said the property’s Vice President of Human Resources. “As a leader in our organization, I’m thrilled to be a part of a company that gives the opportunity to showcase accomplishments like these.”
The seventh annual event was hosted by The MGM Resorts Foundation as well as the Women’s Food Service Forum. The Foundation will donate the proceeds to nonprofit organizations or programs in the Las Vegas community aimed at bettering the futures of women and girls.
“We all know there’s a lot of talk about equality in the workplace and talk of the slow pace of progress,” said Phyllis James, Chief Diversity Officer for MGM Resorts. “However slow it might seem, upward mobility of women is going to continue and it’s gaining momentum. The glass ceiling is cracking, even if it seems fissure by fissure… and the more it cracks, the closer we are to equality becoming a reality.”
The 500-plus attendees experienced a few numbers from Inspiring Our World, including the Sawa Bona/ Sikhona show opener. Educational sessions in the two-day program were divided into three tracks – Emerging Leader, Emerging Executive and Executive – to help attendees tailor the conference agenda to their own experience level.
A program on social media focused on how to leverage tools like Facebook to lead people and movements. CEO and Founder of Talent Revolution, Inc. Amanda Hite, shared some of her rules to approach social media: get other people to talk about you or your product; anything happening online is a reflection of something happening offline; engage in conversation with like-minded communities; and passion trumps influence.
“For the first time, our history is being documented in real time. That’s a profound concept for me,” Ms. Hite said. “These are great tools for us to connect with each other and build communities that share the same passion.”
Other speakers’ presentations focused on how to not just speak, but be heard; accelerate your impact as a business leader; effective results-producing communication; and the value of a strategic plan. Employees from nearly every MGM Resorts Las Vegas property were in attendance. Some employees even traveled from as far away as MGM Macau, as well as the offices of the proposed MGM Springfield, Mass., to attend the conference.
“This is such a great event – it’s our first time attending and we are excited to be here. We don’t have something like this in Asia, much less Macau, so it’s interesting to see the diversity and what the speakers have to share,” said Michelle Chiu, MGM Macau Director of Human resources.