Know your why. Be your authentic self. Be inclusive. Be intentional.

What’s Brewing | Women in Business Moving Forward // Recap

Linda Orcelletto



Resources for Women in Business

Last year around this time, the Chamber welcomed a power panel of extraordinary women to kick off The Chamber’s Year of the Woman. As a follow up, earlier this month, four remarkable women shared their own journeys in business, offered advice, and addressed barriers to success in the workplace.


The interactive event, led by president and CEO of the Bend Chamber, Katy Brooks, included Teri Hockett, Erika McCalpine, Talena Barker, and Carrie Douglass. Each were candid and honest in sharing her journey to where she landed professionally.


Extraordinary women, they all agreed ‘we aren’t done yet’ since equity for women will, in turn, translate in to equity for everyone. But we must first start by encouraging women. Here is a recap of their words of wisdom.


Teri Hockett is an entrepreneur who was raised by entrepreneurs and is married to one. In addition to developing a website to encourage others who are re-entering the work force, her long list of careers and accomplishments would fill pages. Fiercely independent, Hockett, says the keys to navigating the business world are to know your why.


“You need to know when to strike back or side step to give yourself time to react,” says Hockett, currently vice president of Technology Association of Oregon (TAO), and head of the C.O. chapter. “Convey your message the way you want to tell your story when negotiating what you want and deserve.”


Erika McCalpine, instructor of Business Administration at OSU Cascades, opened her comments with “We aren’t where we need to be yet. Women need to be everywhere, but to do so, we have to play the game with the same equipment.”


McCalpine, a single mother who grew up in a small town in the south, said she was tired of hearing ‘no’. At age 40, she headed back to college and earned her bachelor’s and then master’s degree at the University of Alabama. McCalpine was told she wouldn’t be taken seriously in the academic world because she was older, female, and African American. But she didn’t allow anyone to take away her worth to fulfill her purpose.


“Believe in yourself and be authentic,” says McCalpine, named by The Source as Woman of the Year. “Don’t lose who you are.”


Talena Barker, VP of Leadership Development for the Chamber, agrees, “We shouldn’t have to be like men [to be successful]. We need to make or break the rules, collaborate, and give back to broaden the narrative for women.”


Barker took a different route to her professional career. At the time, she navigated her way through the tangled web of raising a child on her own, finding a job that was fulfilling, and paying for child care; all without a college degree. Barker used her network of supporters to help her on her journey, which leads to her staunch belief that having a diverse mix of age, viewpoints, genders and political views, and education on board is essential to a successful business and life in general.


“When the table is inclusive, and all voices are present, better decisions are made,” says Barker, also founder of Mission Limelight.


Carrie Douglass, a native Bendite, is a serial entrepreneur, on the Bend-La Pine School Board, and founder of The Haven co-working space. Douglass offered four clear ways that can enable women to attain equity:  women must lead; women require focused networking spaces; male advocates are necessary; and more women must be involved in politics as elected officials.


“We all need to be intentional about supporting women by clearing the way and changing policy,” says Douglass, event manager and board member for TedXBend. “Women rise up from close connections and are more likely to have leadership positions and higher income.”


Douglass mentioned that male advocates are important to clear a path since men still have greater influence and are seen as decision makers. But just as crucial is having a network of female peers who support each another. Women are making strides in politics, but more are needed to make policy changes. Douglass shared the startling statistic that women need to be asked seven times before they run for office, versus asking a man only once.


Resounding applause from the audience came when all panelists enthusiastically agreed that soon there will be a time when there are no ‘women-exclusive’ events, with everyone feeling welcome and included.


Brooks summed up the thoughts and feelings echoed by many in standing room only event at 10 Barrel, “Thanks to the dudes for coming today and going on this journey with us, but we aren’t done yet. We will be back again next year to give you an update. Let’s go do it!”





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