Thousands attend Pa. women's conference in Center City Philadelphia

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Thousands of people turned out for the 13th annual Pennsylvania Conference for Women in Center City Philadelphia. (WPVI)

Thousands of people turned out for the 13th annual Pennsylvania Conference for Women in Center City Philadelphia.

A sold-out crowd of 9,000 attendees packed the Pennsylvania Convention Center Thursday. It was the biggest turnout ever for the conference.

"I do think there's strength in terms of coming together," said Karen Colquitt-Hall of Mt. Airy, "things you just don't get in your normal day-to-day setting."

"Sometimes you get so mired down with all the things you're trying to do to be a good employee, mom, friend, it's important to stop and take a breath and bond with other women going through the same thing," said Mindy Geib of Audubon, Pa.

Action News anchorwoman Tamala Edwards served as emcee for the full-day event, which was packed with speakers and breakout sessions, opportunities for personal and professional growth and networking.

"I talk about the fact that the woman sitting next to you might be the door to opportunity," said the conference's board president, Leslie Stiles. "And that's very important, because unless we interact with one another, we're not going to make progress, be change agents."

The lineup of keynote speakers included Wharton Professor Adam Grant and Annie Clark, an author and campus activist against sexual assault.

"Unfortunately it's a radical act of activism to believe a survivor," she told the gathering.

Attorney and civil rights activist Anita Hill also took to the podium. She discussed harassment.

"My challenge is to remove assault, harassment and any other obstacles that stand in the way of gender equality," she said.

A group of young women from Hallahan Catholic Girls High School came to the conference for education and inspiration.

"It's an honor for all of us to be here and to watch all these wonderful women become so successful," Minh Nguyen told Action News.

"It was really an amazing opportunity to be here today to learn much more about leadership through this conference," said Michaela Zammuto.

Afternoon speakers included writer and actor Mindy Kaling and Olympic soccer star Abby Wambach.
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societywomenpa. newsphilly newsCenter City Philadelphia
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