Women are on the MOVE! They are forward-thinking, intelligent and dedicated to making the world a better place. But the odds seem to always be stacked against them. In fact, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) depressive disorders account for close to 41.9% among women compared to 29.3% among men. Pressures created by their multiple roles, gender discrimination as well as associated factors of poverty, hunger, malnutrition, overwork, domestic violence and sexual abuse; combine to account for women’s poor mental health. But women have never been unfamiliar with their unique challenges to finding success. Over time women have found themselves no longer being home bound and have unmasked their true potential to make a name for themselves. They are college educated, professional women in business getting it done! But who are their role models? Most commonly found are our mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and girlfriends, however, why is it that women continue to feel unsupported?
The Women at Werk inaugural event, developed out of Stephanie A. Jones, LCSW passion to support others. In fact, she says that she has a “servants heart” when describing her excitement toward giving back. Although not from Jacksonville, Stephanie matriculated from the small town of Marianna, FL with hopes of expanding her own personal growth through travel and diverse experiences. “Working as a mental health provider I’ve spent countless hours coaching, encouraging, and inspiring people to become the very best version of themselves despite the obstacles before them. I pray that “Women at Werk” serves the city of Jacksonville as equally as it has been good to me,” said Ms. Jones. The WAW mission is to provide a space to create a positive, inspiring, and culturally diverse environment that encourages women to support each other. When asked about the using the word, “werk” instead of “work,” Ms. Jones elaborated, “The significance of using an “e” to replace the “o” in work is to promote empowerment. Women need someone in their corner cheerleading… encouraging them to reach higher heights.” Ms. Jones continued elaborating on her own mentors, “who would I be without someone who supported me? I don’t know, but I’m grateful that my mentors saw something in me to nurture my gifts,” said Jones.
The 1st Annual Women at Werk Empowerment Conference will take place on Saturday, January 13, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Aloft Jacksonville Tapestry Park and will be hosted by Action News Jax own Letisha Bereola. Jones says, “the date of this conference is significant to me as it falls on the day of my sorority’s founding (Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.).” Attendees can expect to be filled with plenary speakers, networking opportunities, jewelry giveaways and a Power Brunch. Each participant will receive a personalized gift that they can fill with information and purchases from the women own merchant marketplace. There will even be a female DJ. “I want women to put themselves FIRST on January 13th. This is an empowerment movement! How can you not feel inspired by the love,” smiled Jones.
If you happen to miss the empowerment conference don’t fret. After 4 p.m. Women at Werk will reintegrate the fellas in partnership with The Talented Tenth men’s group to provide the First Love Yourself (F.L.Y.) Happy Hour from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. at the Aloft Jacksonville Tapestry Park’s WXYZ Bar. Jones says “On January 13th, we’ve got your day covered!” For more on the event and to purchase tickets visit www.womenatwerk.com.