BAKERSFIELD - National television personality Star Jones, was in town Wednesday, inspiring the Bakersfield chapter of the National Association of Professional Women. They met for a luncheon at The Padre Hotel.
As the national spokesperson of the association, Jones shared her personal success story. She also gave advice for women to rise above, in what many view, as a good ol' boys business world.
Jones focused her message on a sold out crowd of local women. And, focus is what Jones believes members of the Bakersfield chapter of Professional Women need to win.
"I would say my best piece of advice is identify what you want and be laser focused on how to get it. That's the way women will succeed," said Jones.
The Bakersfield chapter re-launched last year. Now 40 members strong, joining nearly 400 other chapters nationally, they are networking to make their mark in the business world. Janelle Capra is the local chapter president.
"Well, I think Kern County has had a good ol' boys club for quite sometime. So we are, we are working on that. You know, I think women need to be smart about networking and we need to realize that's part of doing business," said Capra.
"It's kind of like a Rolodex within a community," said Kelly Brown, C.E.O. of the Pat Brown System. "Hey, I know who can do this for me. So we pull that person up."
And, a boost is what working women need. As the national spokeswoman of the association, Jones has met with President Obama about raising women's wages. It's still only 77 percent of what men make. And, it's still hard for women trying to balance it all.
New research out of Cornell University shows a key reason women stay at home is due to a lack of family-friendly labor laws.
"Those kinds of issues do prevent a lot of women from stepping out into the workforce, and once you are not in the workforce it's even more difficult to get back in," said Jones.
So, Jones encouraged the local women to dig in with their stilettos and lean on each other while making the climb.
"It's much better to create a place where you feel comfortable, where you can network, where you can accomplish your goals, then to be moaning and groaning about what the guys are doing. And, the fact that this chapter is so active and is such a part of your community really and truly makes my day," said Jones.
Jones encouraged the group to continue its philanthropy, saying people know you on how you give back.