Williamson Inc. partnered with Equitable Advisors LLC. to gather local, women entrepreneurs for networking in anticipation of selling out the upcoming Women’s Leadership Conference in August.

The chamber of commerce for Williamson County regularly organizes social events for businesswomen to network in person six times a year. The flagship event into which these mixers converge is the local Women’s Leadership Conference, an annual summit of female professionals and executives across various and sundry sectors. Last year’s conference turnout was stifled by quarantine requirements, forcing attendees to participate virtually. This year, Williamson Inc. intends to restore the event to full participation.

“Last year’s Women’s Leadership Conference was virtual due to the pandemic and hosted over 175 female professionals,” Senior Director of Chamber Events Abby Bass told Home Page. “This year, we are planning on hosting the event in-person if possible and anticipate a sold-out event.”

The conference will be held on the morning of Aug. 24 organized by the chamber much like Tuesday’s unmasked, outdoor event on May 18. The bi-monthly social generally aims to further educate savvy professionals, connect them with one another and otherwise generate new opportunities for them.

Women in Business is a chamber committee currently chaired by Paige Thompson of Zeitlin Sotheby’s International Realty. The committee is the arm of Williamson Inc. most responsible for organizing networking events. For this month’s event, they brought together a cross-section of several industries including real estate, finance, construction, education, healthcare, publishing, law, cosmetology and human resources.

Cool Springs-based Equitable Advisors, a financial services consulting firm with a notable presence in the finance capital of the state and women at its helm, sponsored the event, which was held on rustic, Franklin wine-country grounds Arrington Vineyards.

Michelle Gattis, a financial consultant with the company since 2016, helped lead networking efforts at the event, pointing out the efficacy of socials like these by saying women are 25 to 30 percent more likely to make a referral than men, an increasingly well known statistic originating from a 2016 Google Consumer Survey conducted by RewardStream with an estimated 4.5 percent margin of error.

Both male and female respondents, divided by gender, answered the question: "Have you ever referred a friend to a product or service that they’ve subsequently purchased?"

“I think that’s a great example of why our Women in Business leaders are passionate about connecting with one another and doing business locally,” Bass said.

While most of the more than 50 attendees were Williamson Inc. members or representatives thereof, many guests unattached to the chamber also participated. They included representatives of Capital One’s 2% Spark Business Card, Code Ninjas, Morgan Stanley’s Nashville Legacy Group, Edmonds Engineering, Shake Shack, Uncle Classic Barbershop, the Williamson County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Zeitlin Sotheby’s International Realty, Waves Creative, Music City Roofers, Rockridge Venture Law and many others.

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