Women's Leadership Conference in Raleigh draws hundreds

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More than 600 women attended the Women's Leadership Conference at the Raleigh Convention Center (WTVD)

More than 600 women attended the Women's Leadership Conference at the Raleigh Convention Center on Friday.

The morning kicked off with a panel discussion featuring local female leaders. Women also attended breakout sessions about different topics such as finances and confidence.

Attendees said they get a great deal out of the conference.

"[I learned] a lot about courage and confidence and being willing to stand up for yourself in corporate America," explained Tenisha Barnes. "There will be times where you may be passed over for an opportunity because you're a female, but you have to be able to stand strong. Know that you can do it and not second-guess yourself."

"It's interesting to see people that I've known for a long time as leaders admit that they had confidence issues, you know lack of confidence. So its inspiring to know it's not just you," said Judy Fourie.

"Even though you may have that fear, just being confident enough to just trust your gut and know that you can do it," Whitney DeSchamps declared.

Good Morning America contributor Claire Shipman was the keynote speaker. She is a co-author of the New York Times bestselling book "The Confidence Code."

Here is her message for women:

"I would like women to understand that most of the time we probably underestimate our abilities. We tell ourselves I'm not ready for that job, I'm not ready for that promotion. I need a little bit more experience before I take that on. We have to stop because we are ready and we have to learn to take risks and get outside of our comfort zone and do things that make us uncomfortable.

The most important thing for women to understand is you don't try to have it all and play to somebody else's standard. First of all really look at what it is that motivates you and drives you and what's making you happy. I also think to have confidence in the fact that we are doing a wonderful job. We are needed in the workplace. Our talents actually increase the bottom line of every enterprise that were involved in so don't hesitate to say I need to work this way and I can't work that way. It's OK to try to shape your life a little bit."

The annual conference is put on by the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce. ABC11 is proud to be a sponsor.

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