Reese Witherspoon, Amal Clooney speaking at Watermark Conference for Women in SJ

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There are 6,500 attendees and more than 100 speakers filling up the Convention Center in Downtown San Jose for the annual Watermark Conference for Women. (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/)

There are 6,500 attendees and more than 100 speakers filling up the Convention Center in Downtown San Jose for the annual Watermark Conference for Women.

The stated mission: to promote, communicate and amplify the influence of women in the workplace and beyond.

Keynote speakers include international human rights attorney Amal Clooney and actor, producer and activist Reese Witherspoon.

"You're surrounded by powerful women. You get to hear women speak about issues that are relevant to today's topics," said Oakley resident Laverne Bryant.

Organizers point to a Harvard Business Review survey that says conferences like this one have measurable financial and intellectual benefits, such as promotions and raises.



Statistics also show women are dramatically underrepresented in the board room and in executive positions in California-based companies.

"I think women need to be in leadership positions. You see a big change by having them and having a seat at the table," said Fremont resident Smitha Nambiar.

Many companies are taking action in the career pavilion, including Samsung.

"When we are developing products for a such a diverse population, it's important to have everyone's point of view in making our products. So I think this is the right place for us to be as a company," said Samsung employee Vidya Mallik.

Click here for more information on the Watermark Conference for Women.
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