Conference examines women's quality of life

The Women’s Roundtable will be hosting the 3rd Erie Conference on the Status of Women Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012.

The conference will run from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and will be held at the Hirt Academic Center at Mercyhurst University. The cost to attend the conference is $30.

Mercyhurst students with a meal plan, however, may attend the conference free of charge though it is recommended that they register with The Women’s Roundtable since they are not paying to attend.

Previous conferences, the last having taken place about 14 years ago, prompted the need for another conference to meet to talk about topics of interest to Erie women. Thirty presenters, women’s agencies and groups will gather to go over the concerns women face in these changing times.

The official goal of this conference, and others like them, is a call to action to improve the quality of life of women.

The 3rd Erie Conference aims to improve the quality of life of women in northwestern Pennsylvania in particular.

Some of the topics that will be covered include improving quality of life for women in Erie, financial security, leadership, education and healthcare.

Several Mercyhurst faculty presenters will be presenting at the conference, such as Public Health Administrative Assistant Eileen Zinchiak, Assistant Professor of Communications Meghan Corbin, Executive Director of Wellness Judy Smith, Professor of Psychology Marilyn Livosky and Professor of World Cultures Alice Edwards.

Zinchiak notes that these conferences are especially important because they give women an opportunity and a platform to speak up about their concerns rather than listen and be lectured to, which many women may not ordinarily get a chance to do so.

“(The conference) creates a day where women executives, those involved in higher education, leading agencies, etc. (can come together to] serve women’s most urgent needs,” said Zinchiak. “[As well as] learn and share information.”

Smith, selected by The Women’s Roundtable as woman of the year in 2007, became familiar with the organization from this nomination and will be teaching a workshop on assertiveness this time around.

“It’s a great idea to have an opportunity for women from different professional backgrounds to get together for a day of networking and learning,” Smith said.

Women’s Round Table President-Elect 2012-2013 Marsha Mac Kinnon agrees with Smith.

“We need to find ways to improve economic opportunities, especially for those who need job training or retaining, and available child and day care, so they can improve their skills,” Mac Kinnon said.

“Women represent half of the work-force and deserve the same economic opportunities as the other half,” she said.

It’s preferred that those wishing to attend register and pay online through Paypal at

The Women’s Round Table also accepts checks to this address: The Women’s Roundtable, P.O. Box 3922, Erie PA 16508.

For any registration concerns or questions, contact Hospitality Co-Director Barbara Brown at (814)-397-3916.