The first Women in Business Symposium, organized by the Business Management class, was held the morning of Feb. 7 in the Lecture Hall.
All the speakers at the symposium were all successful women who discussed their careers and were recruited for the event by Business Department chair James Anthony. Anthony and business teacher Jacqueline Niddrie invited students from their classes, the Falconer, Yearbook and Video Film classes to attend, among others.
The event included presentations from the five speakers, a question and answer session and lunch with the speakers afterward.
Celeste Pritchett (12), one of 11 female students in her Advanced Business Management class, helped plan the symposium by giving the presenters an outline of topics to discuss at the event, and she was inspired by the successful women.
“The symposium only piqued my interest further in a business career,” Pritchett said. “Executive positions are rarely held by women — only 4 percent are — and I would like to be one of the women to grow that 4 percent into something much larger.”
The symposium was also an inspiration to Sage Glass (12), who learned more about the business industry.
“The symposium was successful in that girls of all ages were able to get a real life account of business and the challenges it may entail,” Glass said. “The speakers told us about what they do day to day, specific experiences and even tips for our future life in the professional world.”
Pam Hendrickson, the mother of a TPHS student and the founder and owner of Content Solutions Group, was a speaker and an organizer of the symposium.
The symposium’s purpose was to “empower [female students] with more confidence, more clarity about some of the different paths they can take and a stronger sense of how they can build a successful career in the world of business, while balancing it with other life and family goals,” Hendrickson said.
The goal of the first Women in Business Symposium is to raise interest and enrollment in the business classes at TPHS, one of which has about a one to four ratio of female to male students.
According to Anthony, the idea was formulated when there was a consistent pattern of “low numbers of females in the business class” and he wanted to see if there was something he and the speakers could do to “address the students’ needs in the business world.”
The students from the symposium have a similar opinion.
“The symposium was [held] to persuade young women of our high school to take a chance and join the business world,” Pritchett said. “It is scary because [the business world] is male-dominated, but we cannot diversify the business world without adding more girls to it.”
The future of the Women in Business Symposium depends on the reception of the students.
“We have to ask the students who attended the symposium if they felt it was successful, as it is their feedback and input that matters most,” Hendrickson said. “We also hope we can conduct more events like this in the future to help the students at Torrey Pines as they make important decisions about their future.”
According to Anthony, about 100 students attended the Women in Business symposium during their second and fourth periods that day.