Diversity & Inclusion
Women in tech

How Conversations with Women is making a difference in Delaware

Series cofounder Wendy Scott talks about past event highlights and what's to come in 2020.

Carol Arnott Robbins, Amira Idris Radović, Doneen Keemer Damon and Dr. Velma Scantlebury at October 2019's Conversations with Women panel. (Photo by Holly Quinn)

Conversations with Women Making a Difference in Delaware is about more than conversation. There’s a social mission, too.

One way it lives that mission: The series’ three events in 2019 raised $5,000 for the Delaware Art Museum, supporting the museum’s mission to be an inclusive, relevant community resource.

“2019 was our inaugural year for Conversations with Women Making a Difference, and we’re thrilled about how well this new event series has been received,” said Wendy Scott, chief strategy officer at Blue Blaze Associates, who organizes the events with Carol Arnott-Robbins, the founder of NEWS4Women.

“This series is distinctly different from other similar panel events,” Scott told Technical.ly. “Carol Arnott-Robbins’ thoughtful questions create a space on stage where unscripted conversations can blossom in an authentic way. The panelists interact candidly with each other, with Carol, and with the audience.”

The idea is for audiences to learn more about local influential women beyond what’s in their professional resumes. Panelists frequently offer personal insights and pearls of wisdom from their life journeys.

“By the end of the evening, audience members have received powerful takeaways and feel that they know these women personally,” Scott said. “Many attendees have told us that they leave these events feeling energized and inspired.”

Each event features a group of three panelists, intentionally selected to create a combination that represents diversity in age, race and industry. Sometimes the women come from such different life experiences that even in tiny Delaware where “everyone knows everyone,” sometimes panelists meet for the first time on the stage, Scott said.

Past panelists have included Melanie Ross Levine of the National Women’s Law Center, biotechnologist and entrepreneur Amira Idris Radović, transplant surgeon Dr. Velma Scantlebury and Wilmington Alliace CEO Renata Kowalcyzk.

The triannual event will return for its 2020 season on Feb. 6, featuring:

  • Claudia Peña Poretti — CEO, Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay
  • Kathy Jennings — Attorney General of Delaware
  • Lossie Freeman — Director of Corporate Partnerships, Zip Code Wilmington

The other two 2020 dates for “Conversations with Women,” with panelists to be announced later, are April 23 and Oct. 1.

“For our second season in 2020, our primary goal is to build on the momentum we created in the first season,” Scott said. “These events often spark connections and and motivate attendees in ways they may not have expected.”

All 2020 events will be held at the Delaware Art Museum from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and include networking and refreshments. Tickets, which benefit local nonprofits, will be available via the Conversations with Women Facebook page.

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