On Networking

Women's Summit brings professionals together
Womensummit Res

File photo from Jan. 2020 Women’s Summit c/o Cape Fear Women in Tech

The Cape Fear Women’s Summit in December provides an opportunity for women and the community to reconnect with an evening of networking activities. TRISTA BANFIELD, a technical project manager at Apiture and organizer of the summit, says the event will foster collaboration across the local women’s groups and share opportunities to work towards like-minded goals.

“The spirit of the summit is to unite women from all walks of life and work together through collaborative events, networking, volunteering, etc. This event provides a space for women to meet each other and find commonalities,” she adds.

The virtual event on December 9 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. will include discussion breakout rooms to encourage conversation. Topics include:

  • Wren Lanier – Apiture head of user experience will be discussing: “Sometimes, you’ve got to let a problem be a problem”
  • Shawn Lamb – GE Hitachi nuclear engineering manager will be talking about her experiences as a nuclear engineer
  • Shane Heffernan – Audi Cape Fear brand specialist will be talking about the technical aspects of electric cars and their sustainability
  • The Harrelson Center and Helping Harvest Foundation Inc. will be discussing nonprofit opportunities
  • Wilmington Health will also participate in a topic discussion

There will also be complimentary gift bags for attendees to pick up the week of the event and icebreakers with prizes.

To help attendees prepare for the event, Banfield shares tips including networking advice, creating an elevator speech, and ways to connect with people in a specific industry.

WILMA: Do you have networking tips for people interested in reaching people in their fields?
Banfield: “We have a wealth of Meetup groups, networks, and other collaborative events throughout the region. Get out there and get involved! The more we can connect online or in-person the better.”

WILMA: Would you advise participants to prepare an introduction or “elevator speech” when being part of a networking event?
Bandfield: “100% know yourself and be able to speak about your strengths. A great way to prepare for this elevator pitch is to think of it as the opening to your CV. What do you want people to know most about yourself and what are your goals? These are great answers to include in preparing to introduce yourself to new people. Get comfortable and practice out loud regularly. Confidence is the key!”

WILMA: Why is it important to join forces with local networking groups?
Banfield: “We are better together! In order to achieve our common goals throughout women’s organizations, we need to be able to support and champion each other. The more we can collaborate the better off we are for the common good of women in the Cape Fear Region.”

WILMA: For women interested in meeting or learning from other women in STEM, what is your advice for them to take that approach?
Banfield: “Cape Fear Women In Tech is an excellent resource for collaborating with STEM professionals! We (CFWIT) plan to have a much more active calendar year in 2022 and are hoping to have some co-op discussions that involve women in all areas of STEM. Other great outlets are local Meetups and free online code camps. We also have two amazing (UNCW & Cape Fear Community College) colleges that offer opportunities to individuals returning to continuing education.”

Read more about the summit, its goals, and how the local networking groups decided to collaborate in the December issue of WILMA.

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Categories: Women to Watch