SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) --Monday was a momentous day for Congresswoman Jackie Speier, who marked the 25th anniversary of an event she created to empower women -- the Professional BusinessWomen of California conference.
This year's theme was "standing together, rising above," acknowledging how far women have come and the challenges still ahead.
A sellout crowd of 5,000 women celebrated the silver anniversary of the Professional BusinessWomen of California conference. There were seminars, workshops and an expo. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif. says she followed her instincts 25 years ago in creating an event that is now a special day of empowerment.
"I think developing confidence, security, doing the networking opportunities, learning how to better position yourself in a cooperation, taking risks, fundamental things we sometimes forget," Speier said.
Many attendees call the conference inspirational and say it showcases the growing camaraderie among women in the workplace.
"I'm in tech in a man's world and when you start working with women you realize you have to support each other," Elizabeth Donnelly said.
"I definitely find it easier now than when I started," Sumaira Nabeel said.
But despite the dramatic changes, the glass ceiling remains a reality.
"We see a lot more women engineers and doctors, but the numbers could be better," Priscilla Kimbo said.
While women are still struggling with some of the same old issues, keynote speaker Arianna Huffington suggested ways to rise above. Thousands jammed the auditorium to hear the president and editor in chief of the Huffington Post, and hundreds stood in line for an autographed copy of her bestselling book "Thrive."
"Women should no longer just aspire to be at the top of the world, but we need to change the world because the way the world is designed at the moment is not working," Huffington said.