AUSTIN (KXAN) — Climbing up the corporate ladder is not always easy, especially when you encounter a glass ceiling. On Monday, over 600 women met in downtown Austin to learn what it takes to get to the top.

It’s all part of the inaugural 2019 Texas Women’s Summit (TWS), a one-day event dedicated to women who want to break barriers, build bonds and step into leadership positions. 

Recently, California leaders passed a law that requires publicly traded companies to have at least one woman on their board of directors. Texas Women’s Summit co-founder Teri Thompson believes Texas will soon follow suit and want to ensure women are prepared. 

“We are delighted that California has now passed legislation requiring female representation on boards; and we believe other states, including Texas, will not be far behind,” Thompson said. “These mandates make it more imperative than ever that women

are prepared for board roles. This Summit aims to do just that, by making the process more transparent, building connections, and helping women be more intentional and strategic in managing their careers so they are ready for the boardroom.”

It’s something businesswoman Larissa Davila is looking forward to learning more about. 

“When you bring women and women of color to the table, the conversation is going to be more diverse,” Davila said. 

For the past four years, Davila has been her own boss. She started BCO Consulting and has helped 200 businesses in the Austin-area grow. 

“It ranges from consulting in HR, marketing, administration, also social media,” she said. 

It’s something the Laredo-native said she never imagined as a little girl.

“I wanted to be an executive assistant,” she said laughing, reminiscing.

However, now, she’s created her own corporate ladder and is hiring her own special team. She hopes to one day, to take the next step. 

“Thinking about getting into a board position is something that is just beyond my expectations of what growth is,” she said. 

All while inspiring even bigger dreams along the way.

“This annual gathering will enable women to build powerful networks, increasing their access to opportunities and information,” said Liliya Spinazzola, co-founder of the summit. “Attendees will take away practical resources to incorporate in their career planning right away.” 

This one-day event showcased speakers Laura Chinchilla, former President Costa Rica; Pam El, Chief Marketing Officer of the NBA; Gay Gaddis, founder of T3 and author of Cowgirl Power; board leadership experts Kay Fuhrman, Cindy Burrell, and Kris Manos; and many others.

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