The 24th Annual Women’s Business Leadership Conference was full of advice on, among other things, finding one’s passion, the importance of being willing to change and the importance of listening to other people’s points of view.
Among the several female executives and leaders who spoke at the conference was Sudha Pennathur, president and CEO of the global design and manufacturing company House of Pennathur.
“If you follow your bliss, you find your life’s keepsake,” Pennathur said, addressing an audience of more than 100 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Tulsa.
Pennathur is among the many experts from around the world that Dr. Ken Eastman, dean of the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University, applauded the conference for bringing to Oklahoma over the years.
“Not only Oklahoma businesswomen have benefited with this conference, but I would say all of Oklahoma has,” Eastman said.
The Center for Executive and Professional Development at Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business presented Wednesday’s conference, along with the Oklahoma International Women’s Forum and the International Women’s Forum Leadership Foundation.
Icy weather curbed attendance a bit, but approximately two-thirds of the 250 registered for the conference were able to attend morning sessions.
Pennathur, who grew up in India, founded House of Pennathur after being included in a large round of layoffs at Levi Strauss as a young woman.
The company works with local artisans all over India to create high-end East meets West-inspired products for companies like Neiman Marcus.
In her presentation, Pennathur discussed the importance of merging intent with intention — that is having a successful business but also giving back to the community.
Above all, the House of Pennathur believes in the intrinsic nature of giving back, of building a community of trust and taking the best of what everyone can do.
“Everybody has their own standard,” Pennathur said.
And if we can figure out what it is, everyone will have a tremendous life in this world.”
Other conference presenters included Toni Portmann and Nancye Green.
Portmann is a member of the board of directors for Dallas-based remote technology service company Support.Com. Green is chief design officer for acute and intensive care business The Medicines Company in New York.
Portmann’s presentation on keys to success in business and life highlighted the importance of five qualities: change, organization, motivation, balance and optimization.
Green included in her presentation a call to “lead like a woman.”
Leading in a feminine way means to bring to the table a highly collaborative, holistic and integrative mindset, she said.
Casey Smith 918-732-8106