Women 2 Women Event Encourages Women to Slow Down and Care for Themselves

On October 15, The Rivers Club hosted Women 2 Women, an event with presentations by women in the Pittsburgh community who have a lot on their plate as both professionals and caregivers, and yet still manage to pull it off. The event stressed that it’s okay for women to put the focus on themselves, even for the night, where women—and even a few men—gathered to listen and share their experiences. 

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The night began with Jennifer Antkowiak, who is a mother, caregiver, coach, KDKA-TV news anchor, author, entrepreneur and fitness instructor. Jennifer immediately prompted the audience to raise their hand if they have ever assumed the role of a caregiver for someone, whether it was a child, ailing parent or friend. Almost all of the audience responded, proving Jennifer’s point. Research shows that statistically 80 percent of women are voluntary caregivers, and consequently, they end up putting others ahead of themselves. 
Jennifer explained that it is so easy to get wrapped up in the caregiver role and forget to take care of you in the process. Women need to make themselves the priority. Jennifer encouraged the audience to go home and Google stress relief tips. Start small. It’s no longer a matter of being a caregiver for others; it’s a matter of making your own moments.
Peggy Morrison Outon, executive director of the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University, shared research on the struggles of women working in nonprofit organizations. Peggy shared data on the pay equity gap existing between men and women in the nonprofit world. Some surprising facts: females earn approximately 74 percent of the male-earned dollar, and that a female has to have a Doctorate to earn as much as a male with a bachelor’s degree. Peggy encouraged those involved in the nonprofit sector to take a stand to correct this inequity.
TED Talk speaker and partner of Align Leadership, Christy Uffelman, shared the lessons she learned on her journey to become the strong businesswoman and mentor she is today. She began by questioning, “How do you intend to change the world?” Christy explained that individual achievement is not enough for true leaders. It is increasingly pivotal for women to embrace their accomplishments and rise to self-empowerment. 
Bonnie Artman Fox, an insightful speaker and coach for a Conscious Choice, called everyone into a state of relaxation. She asked the audience to close their eyes and sit up straight in their chairs. In a soothing voice, Bonnie urged the group to release any tension and focus on the moment. Her exercise proved that even a few minutes of quiet meditation can be helpful in relieving the stress factors of daily life.
Before and after the presentations, attendees were given the opportunity to learn more about the work of several nonprofits present including Junior Achievement, United Way, Treasure House Fashions, Zonta International and Girls On The Run. Many attendees left the event with much to ponder about their lives, careers, passions and, most importantly, the need to care for themselves.

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