It may have been eight years since Beyoncé first declared, "Who run the world? Girls!" but global statistics firmly demonstrate the opposite. In 2018, only 24 CEOs on Fortune's annual 500 list were female. Though there are more female senators than ever before, 76% of Congress is still male. Earlier this year, the first all-female spacewalk was canceled because the International Space Station didn't have enough space suits for women.
The fourth annual WorldWideWomen Girls' Festival aims to address these kinds of imbalances early with over 100 workshops, mentoring sessions and performances specifically designed to prep girls for the road to reach their goals, no matter what challenges might arise. Held on Nov. 9 at the Palace of Fine Arts, the festival includes STEM training, advice from female professionals and athletes, an interactive expo, a wide range of workshops, and even a "gentle" Shark Tank-style "Girlpreneur" competition with a first place prize of $1,000.
The day-long event isn't all business, though—there will also be a fashion show, a range of music and dance performances, a slam poetry contest, self-defense classes and an obstacle course set up by the United Fire Service Women. You can also get your retail fix with 35 pop-up shops, plus a marketplace of services and products from female-owned businesses.
Speaking at last year’s festival, Maureen Broderick, founder and CEO of WorldWide Women, summed up what she hoped attendees would get from the event. “I want them to take away connections,” she said. “I want them to take away possibilities and excitement and ‘Oh my gosh, I like technology,’ ‘I like science,’ ‘I want to be a filmmaker,’ ‘I want to be an entrepreneur.’ I want them to take away all the possibilities.”
You can see more of what went on at last year's festival in the video below.