Coffee, questions, and conversation were key components of the annual Women LEAD Summit Thursday, hosted by The Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) at the American Institute of Architects. The speakers and panels addressed relevant issues facing women today, including women’s rights in the workplace, the conservative feminist movement, the future of the Supreme Court and the passing of Justice Scalia, and the institution of campus “safe spaces”.
Speakers included James Rosebush, former senior advisor to Ronald Reagan and Chief of Staff to Nancy Reagan, Caren Merrick, founder and CEO of Pocket Mentor, and Genevieve Wood, senior correspondent of The Daily Signal through The Heritage Foundation.
The IWF recently published a report entitled “Working for Women,” a modern agenda designed to improve women’s lives. In this report, they suggest policy reforms that would remove government regulations and encourage a more flexible working world for women. The report covers issues such as family leave policies, caring for children, workplace flexibility, pay equity, and retirement. According to the IWF website, their mission “is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty.”
“The tone is positive and the posture is empowerment,” said Brian Brenberg of the organization. Brenburg is the chair of business and finance at The King’s College and a working group member.
Sabrina Schaeffer, executive director of IWF, said, “Speaking passionately is different than speaking emotionally and personally.” She encouraged women to share from their experiences and recognize the importance of policies and reforms that help them achieve their dreams. “There are differences between men and women,” Schaeffer said. “We should celebrate those instead of trying to keep up with each other.”
Members of IWF hope that by promoting discussion about issues that women face today such as gender equality and pay equity, and reaching out to the public through publications and media, they may see more women join with them to advocate for a “limited, Constitutional government.”