Did you know that as a woman, attending a conference could double your likelihood of getting promoted — and triple your probability of getting a 10 percent or higher pay rise within a year?
That’s according to a study on Harvard Business Review about the value offered by women’s networking events. Attending these events not only serves as an investment in yourself but could also benefit the organization you’re working for.
Yet securing your boss’s approval to attend a women’s empowerment conference like Activate You could be a challenge. We’ve rounded up some tips to help you convince your manager and get that coveted yes.
This will most likely be the first question your boss will have, so it’s important to frame the conversation in a way that highlights the advantages for your company. Present the conference as an opportunity to promote your organization and its mission, forge relationships with potential partners or clients, and even connect with possible new hires. You’ll get to do all these and more during the pre-luncheon social, the Inspiring Women Luncheon, and the networking happy hour at the Activate You conference.
It’s also essential to point out how the conference will help you grow as an employee and succeed in your role, which will, in turn, benefit your company. Make a list of the conference workshops or sessions you plan to attend and what you’ll gain out of them, such as mastering a skill, learning about industry-specific trends, or discovering new ways of solving problems.
For instance, leadership workshops can guide you on making your voice heard and equip you with leadership skills. Meanwhile, self-care sessions can teach you techniques to avoid burnout and improve productivity.
You could even offer to conduct a presentation upon returning. That way, you can share what you’ve learned at the conference with other women at your company.
Be ready to answer questions about costs and logistics: What dates will you be away? How much is the conference fee? What about transport and accommodations? Will there be any other expenses? Include measures to reduce costs. The Activate You conference offers discounts for groups of five or more — a great way to get your co-workers together and save on expenses.
To ease your boss’s worries about missed deadlines and missing work, put a plan in place for how your tasks will be managed while you’re away.
Once you’re confident about making your case, send a formal request in the form of an email that outlines all the necessary details to help your boss make an informed decision. We’ve drafted an email template below to make this easier for you.
Subject Line: Attending Activate You Women’s Empowerment Conference
Dear [Insert manager name here],
I’d like to ask for your approval to attend the Activate You Women’s Empowerment Conference in Washington on March 24, 2020. This day-long conference offers workshops, coaching, and networking opportunities to help women feel empowered in all stages of their careers.
It will be an excellent opportunity to not only represent our organization and its mission, but also forge relationships with potential partners, clients, and new hires. I’ll be able to bring back new skills and knowledge from workshops tackling topics such as communication at work, leadership, productivity, and more. These learnings will help me grow as an employee and succeed in my role.
Here are the costs to attend:
To ensure this benefits the larger team, I can give a brief presentation of what I’ve learned from the conference upon my return.
Thank you for considering my request and I look forward to discussing this further.
Remember: To convince your boss to let you attend a conference, be sure to emphasize the advantages for you and your company, come up with a plan to manage your tasks, and lay out costs and logistics. It helps to present all of these in a compelling email, too. Hopefully, your effort will turn into a resounding yes.