"You can have it all," said Linda Galindo. "But first you have to know what IT is? And how much is ALL?"
Galindo, vice president of Innovations Consulting Inc., gave the opening address at the 12th Annual Women and Business Conference in Salt Lake City on Friday and Saturday.The theme of the conference was "Wom-en and Men: Working, Communicating and Growing Together." Its chairwoman was Laura Headden, First Security Bank. It was sponsored by the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Small Business Administration and KSL TV and Radio.
In her speech, Galindo challenged the more than 550 women and 30 men who attended to "visualize what having it all is to you," before deciding which of the 30 seminars to attend.
"Maybe you will hear that you need to change something in order to better communicate with your colleagues or that you have been lacking the discipline necessary to enhance success," she said.
We need to feel uncomfortable. We need to push ourselves, in order to really grow, she said. Galindo believes that wom-en can't afford to see themselves as victims in an unsupportive business world, or they will only be able to create "victimized solutions" to their problems.
Each in their own way, the various experts offered suggestions for gaining influence in the business world. "Empower yourselves," they urged.
"Should you be discouraged because relatively few men have come to this conference to learn how businessmen and women can communicate with each other?" asked Network editor Karen Shepherd, in a conference newspaper, written before she knew exactly how many men and women would attend.
"No," she wrote. "Men will care about `talking' to women more when women are their bosses." In the meanwhile, "changing our own patterns of communication will do more than anything else to change the patterns of communication others have with us."
"The good news is that you are totally empowered to develop whatever skills you need," she concluded.
Candace Jones and Brooklyn Derr, a professor in the University of Utah College of Business, spoke on "Corporate Politics: Becoming a High Flier in a Big Corporation." They have studied "high potential" employees in various large corporations and learned that those who rise faster than their peers are dedicated, flexible and seen as a critical resource by their managers.
"The costs of being a `high potential' employee are enormous," said Derr. "If you choose that route you have to know yourself very well."
"Working With Women: A Man's Point of View," was a very popular presentation. James Brown, Doug Headden and Dan Lewis (executives with Gardiner Marketing Co., Mountain Fuel and Northwest Pipeline, respectively) took part in a spirited and sometimes humorous panel discussion led by Rod Decker of KUTV.
Decker asked the audience to respond to the question of whether women were treated unfairly in the workplace. Only a few raised their hands. "Are you treated fairly, then?" he asked. One hand was raised.
When panel member Dan Lewis suggested that women who don't have children now have every opportunity a man has but that women who have the "distractions" of home and children can't participate as fully in the workplace, the audience generally agreed.
At the same time, in the next conference room, Virginia Kelson, president of the Phoenix Institute, addressed that same issue as she talked about the two childcare bills now before the U.S. Congress.
Ironically, perhaps, as Utah women flocked to the Women and Business Conference (more than 100 had to be turned away) to learn how achieve success in the their own businesses or in local companies, the two keynote speakers both said they see women as the natural leaders of a global business community.
John Seybolt, dean of the University of Utah College of Business, said, "There are qualities women bring to organizations that men tend not to bring Cooperative communication, a sense of affiliation and attachment, a concern for process as well as the goal, empathy, vulnerability, and power as an instrument of public purpose rather than personal gain." Later he defined these skills as precisely those needed for cross-cultural communication.
"Women may well be the non-traditional resource we need. They can be world-class managers," he said.
Jean Yancey is a 73-year-old Colorado entrepreneur who was recently selected by President Reagan as the National Advocate for Women in Small Business. Her speech also recognized women as natural leaders in a time when "our horizons are global."
She spoke, not of business opportunities, but of a vision she has of the year 2000 and beyond. She brought the audience members to their feet. They applauded her poetic view of the future when she concluded her remarks by saying, "May our daughters stand on that threshold of the year 3000 and say as I say to the women who have gone before me and to all of you `Thank you. Thank you and I love you.' "