Let Her Speak
Every woman has a story to tell and every story is worth telling.
Our Mission: To give women a voice, to facilitate deeper conversations, and to take action within the community to inspire change and build a stronger support system for women in business.
Our Story: Almost two years ago Catherine Porth had an idea for an event that brought together groups of amazing women across the greater Knoxville area to come to the table, to share their stories, and to have a conversation about their vision for the future of supporting women in business within the community. Over the course of 6 months, she interviewed area businesswomen and asked them about frustrations they had and topics they wanted to discuss.
Out of inspiration from these incredible women came the Let Her Speak Women’s Summit. Thanks to the huge support she received from the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center, she has been able to make this idea a reality.
Why Our Program Matters: We are in the midst of an incredibly important point in Women’s History. The conversations are growing louder, and women are continuing to speak up regarding various issues such as sexual harassment, mental health, seeking funding for a new business, and climbing the corporate ladder. In the last year, we have witnessed an 18% increase in women-owned businesses across the US, yet these businesses only account for 26% of all small businesses. Women-owned businesses generate $1.7 trillion in sales each year and employ nearly 9 million people. In Corporate America, the story is a little bleaker. As recently as 1995, there were no female CEOs at a Fortune 500 company. In 2017 we saw the share of female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies at an all-time high of 6.4%. However, this year we saw that share drop to 4.8% with several women leaving these positions.
In East TN, women of all backgrounds are searching for ways to connect with others, find mentors, share their stories, feel empowered, give back to the community, and learn new skills. Let Her Speak is a platform that is greatly needed in our community.