History starts with a story, which means that making history is actually about making sure your story is told. And in today’s world, too often the stories of incredible women fall through the cracks. That’s where MAKERS comes in, the largest collection of women’s stories ever assembled. This week, the organization celebrated its 2016 MAKERS Conference, gathering women from across the country to Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, for three days of networking and learning how to affect change for women the world over. A few members of the Barneys team were lucky enough to attend.
As a leadership-focused platform, MAKERS uses the stories of today’s groundbreaking women to help create and inspire the leaders of tomorrow. Through documentaries, live events, and web videos, the organization has so far created more than 3,000 videos and featured interviews with more than 300 women. Among them are some of the conference’s speakers, including Katie Couric, Halle Berry, Gloria Steinem, Caitlyn Jenner, and Annie Leibovitz, many of whom expounded on the event’s theme, #TheTimeIsNow, a call-to-action around gender equality.
“We can no longer just talk about the issues facing women today—we need to act,” said Dyllan McGee, MAKERS founder, who maybe familiar from her participation in Barneys’ support of International Day of the Girl. She shared that the goal of the conference was to, “profile a diverse group of women who are doing just that—from setting records on the playing fields to coding solutions to changing society, the time is now.”
Members of the Barneys team were nominated by their peers as being innovative and revolutionary within their respective fields, and the standout women selected to attend the conference were senior visual production manager Rita Hosdaghian, senior PR director Ashley Calandra, and web studio director Crystal Fulop.
“This whole experience has been overwhelming in a very positive way,” Hosdaghian said. “When you can look around the room and know every woman by your side has a story to share and has worked so hard to become the person they are today—it’s very humbling. I left the conference with one personal commitment: we were asked how were we all going to leave and change the world. I am going to start by bringing awareness to these amazing women and the conference that brought us together, and by sharing my experience with the women I meet along my own path.”
Fulop agreed. “Motivation, determination, and the need for change—as well as action—radiated through the rooms,” she said. “From film, to finance, to the heart of those success stories of fighting for equal rights, it’s a challenge to find one highlight. It all needs to be heard, and on a much larger scale—that’s why this is so important.”
Scroll of for a sampling of some of the amazing moments from the 3-day conference, and check out MAKERS to learn more stories of amazing women.