first_imgThe seventh annual USC Women’s Conference covered topics of female empowerment and the road to female success in the workforce on Thursday around the University Park campus.  The Women Thrive panel was one of many events at the conference and hosted women in the professional world, including many alumnae, who spoke about their journey to success.The conference aimed to empower and connect women by inviting successful women in the workforce to share their stories. The theme this year was “Be Bold and Thrive!” The conference consisted of a series of events running from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. There were two workshop sessions early in the day, and then the panel took place in the afternoon.Among the speakers was Lynda Resnick, owner of Fiji Water and POM Wonderful among other companies, who said she and her husband Stewart made a promise to use their success to give back to the world.“About 30 years ago, Stewart had the opportunity to buy what they call a ‘carbon black’ company,” Resnick said. “Yeah, we could have made a lot of money making tires or whatever the company was going to do, but we really made a decision that day … [to give] back to the Earth, not [take] away from it.”After helping improve the infrastructure of the Central Valley town of Lost Hills, Resnick said she realized how much her work helps her give back.“We’re all the same in this planet,” Resnick said. “Isn’t it just luck and privilege that puts us here? I never forgot one day how lucky I am, and I feel that [my] occupation is inherent in what I do to give back.”Elizabeth Rosenbaum, film director and USC alumna, said she’s had to adapt to the climate of the business world in order to find success.“The way I’ve felt like I’ve navigated through the landscape is to go against my own nature. I was raised to be very polite and to, you know, not be too pushy … [But] that’s not how you have to behave in the film industry,” Rosenbaum said.In addition, Rosenbaum explained how being rejected from jobs and projects has helped push her to where she is today.“I’m not deterred by rejection, and I think that’s something that’s very against my nature and a lot of my girlfriends’ as well,” Rosenbaum said. “For me, I’ve had to turn my whole attitude from getting rejected as kind of like a dare or a fun challenge, because otherwise you would be under your covers every day in this industry. Whatever is on my bio, there’s 10 times more things I’ve gone up for that I didn’t get, and that’s hard sometimes, but I’ve started to kind of enjoy it.”USC alumna Sara Happ, founder and CEO of Sara Happ Inc., a cosmetics line known for popularizing the lip scrub, said the toughest thing about having a business is preparing for failure.“I think what’s toughest about it is forcing problems before they happen and being calm and having a plan in place for when they do,” Happ said. “You want the best outcome … but it’s being prepared for the failures that will inevitably happen and being really, really optimistic and taking big risks that are calculated right and then planning for when it all goes wrong.”Compton Mayor Aja Brown, a USC alumna, said she wanted to be the city’s mayor because every city deserves a good leader.“I was discontent about the way my city looked, and I just think that every person deserves to live in a community that has everything that it needs and it deserves to have great leadership,” Brown said. “After trying to convince some decent people that I know to run, they all pointed the fingers back at me, so I decided to take the challenge and I stepped out there, and about a year later I won.”Brown said she believes she won the election by being genuine to voters.“In my experience as an urban planner, I have been able to get some great projects done and give [back to] the communities I served,” Brown said. “I had a track record … I was truly just a person that had done the work and was really able to see what the issues were and provided a plan.”According to Brown, women shouldn’t wait for opportunity. Instead, she encouraged leaders to step up and take positions.“Don’t wait for someone to invite you to run for office, because they never will,” Brown said. “If you think that you have the leadership skills and you’re passionate about it … you need to step in and fill that role, because people need great leaders, and I think women naturally are just amazing leaders and you really have the tools enabling to bring people together.”last_img