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Friday, March 22 , 2019, 12:51 pm | A Few Clouds 59º

 
 
 
 

Local Women Professionals Discuss Challenges, Triumphs on International Women’s Day

ONTRAPORT, a Santa Barbara-based company the creates software for small businesses, hosted a panel discussion last week. Particpants, from left, included Lena Requist, president of ONTRAPORT; Marsha Bailey, founder and CEO of Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV); » Jenny Schatzle, founder of the Jenny Schatzle Program; » Kerri Murray, president of ShelterBox USA;
and Kim Clark, VP of business development and partner at Noozhawk. Click to view larger
ONTRAPORT, a Santa Barbara-based company the creates software for small businesses, hosted a panel discussion last week. Particpants, from left, included Lena Requist, president of ONTRAPORT; Marsha Bailey, founder and CEO of Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV); » Jenny Schatzle, founder of the Jenny Schatzle Program; » Kerri Murray, president of ShelterBox USA; and Kim Clark, VP of business development and partner at Noozhawk. (ONTRAPORT photo)

Over 75 local women professionals gathered on Thursday to recognize International Women’s Day with a panel discussion about the current challenges and triumphs of women in the workplace.

The event was hosted by ONTRAPORT, a Santa Barbara-based company that creates software for small businesses, at its Riviera campus. 

“ONTRAPORT’s software supports entrepreneurs all over the world, including in our own community, with building their businesses,” said the company’s president, Lena Requist. “We’re all about empowering our team members and our entrepreneurial clients to reach their goals, and we’re so glad to also foster an environment for our community that allows for these conversations to take place.”

Panelists were:

» Lena Requist - president of ONTRAPORT

» Marsha Bailey - founder and CEO of Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV)

» Kim Clark - VP of business development and partner at Noozhawk

» Kerri Murray - president of ShelterBox USA

» Jenny Schatzle - founder of the Jenny Schatzle Program

When prompted about the current trending movement for gender parity, Requist responded, “it’s about time,” as scattered cheers and applause arose from the crowd. 

Murray of ShelterBox USA said, “In collective voice, there’s strength. Previously, [women’s] silence has been interpreted as acceptance … we must collectively have a voice and share that voice.” 

A recurring theme among the panelists was the advice for women to preserve and overcome self-inflicted insecurities that years of institutional oppression have created. "Stop apologizing for having an opinion," Bailey said.

Although addressing some heavier topics, the overall sentiment was one of optimism. 

When asked what accomplishment she was particularly proud of, Schatzle responded that she was “proud of it all,” encouraging the audience to recognize their value and not shy away from being proud of it. “Accept yourself, respect yourself, and love yourself.” 

Clark of Noozhawk reminded the attendees that despite anyone’s past, women today have the ability to create and re-create themselves, reassuring them that “it’s okay to reinvent yourself now.” 

The panelists suggested that even a problem as prominent such as gender discrimination in the workplace can and will be solved, and women today are making significant strides for future generations every day. 

“Every problem,” Requist concluded, “is solvable.”

Stephanie Cuevas  is PR manager for ONTRAPORT.

ONTRAPORT, a Santa Barbara-based company the creates software for small businesses, hosted a panel discussion last week. Particpants, from left, included Lena Requist, president of ONTRAPORT; Marsha Bailey, founder and CEO of Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV); » Jenny Schatzle, founder of the Jenny Schatzle Program; » Kerri Murray, president of ShelterBox USA;
and Kim Clark, VP of business development and partner at Noozhawk. Click to view larger
ONTRAPORT, a Santa Barbara-based company the creates software for small businesses, hosted a panel discussion last week. Particpants, from left, included Lena Requist, president of ONTRAPORT; Marsha Bailey, founder and CEO of Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV); » Jenny Schatzle, founder of the Jenny Schatzle Program; » Kerri Murray, president of ShelterBox USA; and Kim Clark, VP of business development and partner at Noozhawk. (ONTRAPORT photo)
 

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