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Hundreds attend UWM’s Women Leaders Conference

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The sky's the limit regardless of your gender.  That's the message a group of women were trying to spread at Milwaukee’s Pfister Hotel Friday.

Hundreds took part in the annual Women Leaders Conference hosted by the UWM School of Continuing Education.  The goal is to empower women to strive for success.

“It's an opportunity to get re-enthused with your career and about things going on in your life, and there is sort of a sisterhood here to support you in doing that,” said Jan Allen, Director of Business and Management at the UWM School of Continuing Education.

Attorney and professor Anita Hill was the guest speaker.  She became a national figure 22 years ago when her testimony against then U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas pushed the issue of workplace sexual harassment into the spotlight.

“I did it because I knew how important it is to have people on the court who believe in the rights of women.  I knew that in my heart,” said Hill.

There were also breakout sessions featuring women leaders in other fields – medical, education and business.

“I believe in my heart that everyone in this room is just powerful beyond measure,” said McDonald’s franchise owner Debbie Allen.

She and Fox 6's Mary Stoker Smith were among those to provide comment.

“I hope her words will inspire you today to do something out of the box,” said Stoker Smith.

From discussions to workshops and networking, it was a one stop shop for the working woman.  Proving that with a little push and ambition, they too, can help shatter the glass ceiling.

“Put that many women together, who knows?  Anything is possible,” said attendee Denisha Tate.

This is the 4th year of the Women Leaders Conference.  Next year's event is scheduled for April 14, 2014.