Hundreds of women gather for leadership conference

Hundreds of women gather for leadership conference
Cleveland is now ranked as one top cities to launch a business. (Source: WOIO)

DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - It's time to have a conversation about how women are changing the landscape of Cleveland. And these women are ready to talk about and share how they're making our city even greater.

More than 400 women from all walks of life got together at the Intercontinental Hotel in downtown Cleveland for a special conference this week for the Women's Leadership Conference of Northeast Ohio. Robin Doerschuk started the event two years ago to create a platform and opportunity for women.

"I wish I had something like this when I was 24 years old. There's nothing stronger than a female network. I didn't have the luxury in an all-male organization to have somewhere I could ask women how to negotiate salary, how to find a female mentor or event what a mentor meant," said Doerschuk.

More than 10 speakers at the event had the goal to inspire, empower, and educate those in attendance, because the more you know, the more successful you can be.

Erica Merrit with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District held a session called: "Bring your own shoes. Lead like no one else."

"Oh you have some really big shoes to fill and she would always say I brought my own shoes, and so the idea that you don't need to step into someone else's place that it's OK to make your own path and always bring your own shoes," she said.

First-timer Kelley Smith, who works in the human resources department for the city of Cleveland, says the conference is helping her network on a whole new level.

"Being in this type of surrounding with all of these educated women is actually helping you grow as a person. To be able to bring out the best ideas in everyone," said Smith.

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