Happy Friday!! I hope everyone has fun weekend plans! I am looking forward to celebrating Miss Mila's 1st Birthday (you can read about her here). Yesterday I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the 4th Annual ICA Women's Business Luncheon at the Julia Morgan Ballroom. The event is special to me because I was the Special Events Coordinator at ICA when we hosted the first luncheon. I cannot take credit for the idea- it was the brainchild of two close friends, Dolores and Carol. 

The event started at The City Club and we had no idea how many guests were going to attend. The first year turned out to be a great success and it was remarkable to walk into the beautiful ballroom yesterday and see over 350 guests listening to Luanne Tierney, speaker, author, and VP of Marketing at Fortinet.

Luanne was a captivating speaker and gave lots of tips, active steps to take, and inspiration for women in business. The key points I took away were: no one is going to spend more time thinking about your career than you, be active, and get out of your comfort zone. She also stated that for the first time we are all working in an economy with three generations- baby boomers, generation x, and millennials. That absolutely blew my mind. It was something I had never thought about but has been true for all of my employment experiences. Take some time to stop and think about the differences in life experiences that each generation has had. It helps provide understanding to some differences in the work place.

On top of being insightful and inspirational, Luanne was personable and authentic- it was lovely to talk with her after the event. I highly recommend you check out her book, Saavy. I can't wait to read it!

All proceeds from the luncheon go to Immaculate Conception Academy, an all-girls high school in the Mission District of San Francisco. All students at the school receive a college preparatory education, as well as have the unique opportunity to work in a corporate job. Students are on teams of four and share one job. The Freshmen go to the site on Mondays, Sophomores on Tuesdays, and so on and so on. The last day of the week rotates. Each graduating Senior has four years of professional experience and an impressive resume and strong hard and soft skills. It is such a remarkable program that helps young women from families of limited financial means attend a private school in San Francisco and gain real-world work experience. The tuition for the school is only $2,900 (I think that is the same amount of the cost to join the exclusive Battery Club in San Francisco-- it really makes you think about how people spend money in the city).

If you would like to learn more about ICA Cristo Rey to make a financial contribution, tutor, or learn more about the work study program, you can go to their website.

It was so lovely to see friends at the luncheon and to meet so many inspirational women. One thing I am extremely grateful for is the professionalism that my mother demonstrated and instilled in all of us Curran women. To me, professionalism is about being aware and intentional. I am always mindful of why and how i am communicating, why and how I am dressing, and how and why I am behaving a certain way.

It is true that for women, how you dress in a work setting can say a lot about you, for better or for worse.. I absolutely loved that Luanne was wearing a bright pink a-line dress. She looked absolutely amazing and it showed that she is creative, bold, and confident. The past year I have constantly been aware of my fashion choices in both my work and academic settings. As a school counselor and student, I don't think it would be appropriate for me to wear a fur vest and leather pants, as much as I want to!

Being more self-aware is always a good thing. It helps us learn about ourselves, discover areas we need to improve in, and celebrate what we are doing well. My true fashion philosophy is that it's not really what you wear, it's how you wear it! Remember to never forget your smile!

Here are some perfect professional pieces that I think every woman should have in their closet, regardless of age! All pieces are under $100!

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