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COC hosts 5th annual Women’s Conference

Posted: June 11, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: June 11, 2014 2:00 a.m.
 

College of the Canyons Women’s Conference aimed to encourage women to enter non-traditional fields on Tuesday, but according to the keynote speaker women have a ways to go to attain equality.

“Women have come so far in the United States, and there are so many barriers that have been broken,” said Kamala Lopez, a film and television actor, writer and producer and creator of the ERA Education Project.

“But the fact remains that the largest barrier we have is hidden from most of us because 90 percent of women believe that men and women have equal rights under the law — and that’s just not the truth,” Lopez said.

One of the most persistent inequities is economic, Lopez argues through her ERA Education Project, which states that women’s rights are the global civil rights issue of the 21st century.

Titled “Beyond Barriers: Reaching your Full Potential,” the 2014 COC Women’s Conference was sponsored by Boston Scientific and included breakout sessions on careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Those were interspersed with topics such as body image and de-stressing techniques.

“We wanted to focus on bringing women into science, technology, engineering, and math fields as well as having inspirational and motivational speakers — and also have some lectures on balanced and healthy lifestyles,” said COC Assistant Superintendent Dr. Diane Fiero.

“We are also trying to encourage our college students to explore fields that may be male dominated but that they, too, can make a difference in,” Fiero said.

A five-year-old annual tradition, the Women’s Conference drew about 165 attendees this year — “the best we’ve had,” Fiero said Tuesday. “And I would say 20 to 30 percent of our attendees today are college students.”

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