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New La Crosse event focuses on empowering female leaders

Kaitlyn Riley

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In an effort to encourage more women to pursue leadership roles, the La Crosse Area Chamber hosted the first Leadercast Women event.

More than 190 women and a few men gathered in La Crosse on Friday for Leadercast. Vicki Markussen, chamber of commerce CEO, said the event showed progress and forward-thinking in the community.

“We have businesses who have shown support for this event, and there are more businesses who want to come on board for next year,”Markussen said. “I see this really growing for our area, which is a great statement for our businesses who want to grow our women in leadership.”

Not only was Leadercast Women the first event in Wisconsin, but it was the only event of its kind for 100 miles, according to Markussen. She said it was necessary to host because women typically think differently than men.

“Oftentimes, we put ourselves last,” Markussen said. “It is an opportunity to say, ‘Stop doing that. Start being courageous and taking those next steps.’ A lot of times, women will see a job description and say, ‘I don’t qualify.’ Men will say, ‘I don’t qualify, but I’ll figure it out.’

She added the men in the audience were important to help strengthen their cause.

“The men that are here obviously understand that there is a viewpoint that women should be encouraged even as they are leaders, encouraging them to come to the table and to speak up,” Markussen said. “That is what this is all about. It is great to see men here.”

Markussen hoped to make Leadercast Women an annual event.