Senator Leahy has proudly hosted the Women’s Economic Opportunity Conference (WEOC) since 1996. Each year this highly anticipated event brings together hundreds of Vermont women for a full day of workshops and presentations on how to navigate workplaces, grow businesses and succeed in a modern economy. Unfortunately this year, Senator Leahy announced the cancellation of what would have been Vermont’s 24th Annual Women's Economic Opportunity Conference (WEOC), due to the challenges of the COVID pandemic. It is only the second time in the long history of the conference that it has been cancelled, the first time being after 9/11.
In a letter sent to nearly 3,300 Vermonters, Leahy said: “The strength of this conference lies in the personal stories and lessons that are shared and the personal connections that are made, whether in workshops, a keynote address, or simply over lunch. These connections make this conference unique, and when we explored options for WEOC this year, we simply could not overcome the obstacles brought on by COVID concerns.”
This conference supports and encourages women wherever they are in their careers, with resources and workshops for women at all stages of professional and personal development. Whether networking to find a job, navigating a difficult workplace or launching a home business, WEOC has a workshop to help out.
Each year the conference features a keynote address where speakers offer personal stories and life lessons to motivate and inspire. Past keynote speakers include Mary Alice McKenzie, Former U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, VPR’s Jane Lindholm, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and equal pay activist Lilly Ledbetter.
“The talented speakers and enlightening workshops at the Women’s Economic Opportunity Conference reflect the depth of talent, professionalism and entrepreneurial spirit of women in our great state,” Senator Leahy said. “Vermont has made significant progress encouraging female entrepreneurs, but we cannot turn back the clock. I am proud to encourage the continued growth of women-led businesses and the success of female professionals.”