Inaugural Young Women in Leadership Conference Attracts Large and Diverse Audience


Written by Madison Bannister, Schmidthorst College Communications Intern

On March 8th, also known as International Women’s Day, BGSU students attended a student-led Young Women in Leadership (YWIL) Conference, the theme being Ready or Not: The New Generation of Women Leaders. This conference was organized by a collaboration of Women in Business Leadership, Feminist Organization Rallying for Gender Equity (FORGE), American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA), Women in Technology, and Women in Computing to make an innovative and powerful event.

Paige Redlin, an MBA student in the Schmidthorst College of Business, was the Program Director for the YWIL Conference. Redlin was the 2019-2020 president of Women in Business Leadership and the 2020-2021 Chair of Special Events for the organization. Her primary goal this year was to launch this inaugural event. Her hard work and the successful collaboration with other BGSU organizations led to the YWIL Conference being such a hit with young women and their allies on campus.

The conference was virtual, spanned over three hours, and was split into three sections. The first session was keynote speaker Andi Donovan, who leads the Carhartt Company Gear (CCG) business. Donovan spoke on how women can break their own glass ceilings, offering insights on how to not fear failure among many other things.

Next was a panel of five successful women leaders, including Kristen Brown (Digital Developer Lead at Owens Corning), Heidi Koedam (Engineering Learning Organization Manager at Dana), Kathy Mull (Executive Director of The Cocoon), Charmaine Brown (Founder and President of Connexions Consulting, Inc), and Patricia Sopko (Maternal Newborn Nursing and Pathopharmacology teacher). The focus of the panel was Silencing Self-Doubt: Overcoming Imposter Syndrome.

The last session featured interactive speaker Dr. Tasmin Astor, founder and Chief Habit Scientist of Yoga Brained Coaching. Astor spoke with the attendees of the conference about the importance of creating your own habits, positive affirmations, and recognizing negative self-talk. She utilized the breakout room feature of Zoom to split the attendees into small groups and let them talk through her strategy for overcoming these issues.

The YWIL Conference was a victory for its first (and fully virtual) year. Redlin committed on the success of the event. “Over 135 college students from every college on campus registered for the event, 14 corporate sponsors financially supported the event, and over $5,000 in scholarship funding was given away in 8 scholarship packages,” said Redlin.

For more information about the conference, visit its website:

Updated: 03/10/2021 03:43PM