Women Move LA empowers female students

Valery Barrera

Walking in with confidence in the pocket of her blazer, senior Mia Garcia greeted successful business women with a bright smile.  

“My favorite speaker was a Nike brand ambassador (Angela Davis). I really liked her energy,” Garcia said. “She made us all get up and clap. She talked about our dreams and how we can achieve anything we want.”

Many senior and junior girls attended the Third Annual State of Women and Girls Address and Expo held at the JW Marriot Hotel on Oct. 2. Hundreds of young women from across the county attended the #WomenMoveLA Expo, organized by Mayor Eric Garcetti and his team. 

There were a variety of booths where students had the chance to ask questions and learn about local women-owned businesses, job opportunities and hear from inspiring speakers.

Shortly after, everyone was led up to the ballroom where the event provided breakfast and lunch. The students awaited keynote speaker and Nike athlete Angela Davis. The girls then had the option of attending six workshops where they heard from many speakers including drywall finisher coordinator Janet Pineda, Los Angeles Police Department helicopter pilot Janet Kim and co-founders of EVERYBODY.WORLD Iris Alonso and Carolina Crespo.

Each inspiring woman introduced themselves and their position,

then went on to explain to the younger generation how they got to where they are today. They finished off answering any questions the audience had and gave a motivating message for the girls to ponder for their own futures. 

“It was hard and it was challenging, especially working with a bunch of men. I kept going and I moved forward and I ended up finding a career that I love,” Pineda told the audience of female teenagers.

As the teens continued on with the day, they absorbed more motivational details about being independent and learned about various career paths. Some of the information gained inspired many to feel like they too are able to pursue their passions without having to worry about the stereotype that women can’t as successful as men in the work field.

“I like that it was only girls. I feel like a lot of the people we saw at the beginning, they were all women-run businesses,” Garcia said. “Women aren’t really in the career I’m looking for. I want to be a forensic psychologist and I feel like that work would kind of be seen as a man’s work.”