Empowering Women in North Carolina

On April 5, students from UNC Charlotte attended the NeW Empowerment Forum featuring guest speakers Katy Gambella, Network Engagement Manager for Talent Market; Inez Fletscher, Senior Policy Analyst for the Independent Women’s Forum; and NeW staff members Amber Downer and Vanessa Rivera.

Gambella lead a session entitled Interviewing 101: It Doesn’t Have to be Terrifying. Gambella discussed how to prepare for an interview and encouraged the women to know their salary request and the history of the organization they are interviewing with. She stressed the importance of humility in all things, sharing, “know that you are not the only person who can do this particular job, [therefore] express why you are the best person for the job”. She also provided practical advice for the women about resumes, explaining how they can use their extracurriculars and group involvement, such as NeW, to look more attractive to potential employers.

During a session with NeW staff members, Vanessa Rivera and Amber Downer, the women learned how toportray themselves well online. Rivera, Campus Program Director for NeW, lead a discussion on how social media is portrayed in the job search. She stressed a person’s social media profile can have a profound impact on their professional lives, so it is critically important to think before posting. Amber Downer, Program Director for NeW, shared her email etiquette techniques including how to ask for professional references in online correspondence. She also gave the women some networking tips.

Keynote speaker, Inez Feltscher, started off the second half of the forum with media training. She discussed the various pressures that arise when dealing with the media and how to handle a dishonest journalist. Fletscher stressed that today’s media is focused on the thirty second talking points – an important thought to keep in mind when preparing for a media appearance. Additionally, she encouraged the women to think through their main thesis when preparing for a media opportunity to ensure that key point is effectively communicated. She finished her conversation with the women with a dynamic round table policy discussion about some of today’s big issues, free speech and immigration.

The Forum ended at Painting with a Twist where the women enjoyed painting their own portraits and bonding with one another.



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