Act like you’re on the front of a magazine cover and sell it, sell it sell it, says worldwide supermodel Tyra Banks. She taught women how to "smize," or smile with their eyes, at the Bakersfield Women's Business Conference on Thursday.
Banks gave the keynote address to about 1,000 women at the Rabobank Convention Center.
"I tell women to look in the mirror and find one thing that they feel good about,” Banks says. “Is it your eyes or your eyebrows or your lips? Every month or so, find something else and try to highlight that."
Banks encouraged today's women to excel in the office and at home. “There can be a balance. You can be a mom and be out of the office at 5:30 to make time for your family."
TV's Judge Hatchett opened the program, along Mayor Harvey Hall who was dressed in pink. Organizers say the sold out conference isn't just about helping women in business, it's also about making them more well-rounded in life.
“We couple business education with inspiration for women of all ages,” says Gina Hayden, board member for the Bakersfield Women's Business Conference. “There’s always something you can learn to have a successful career. We hope women walk away from this feeling empowered and ready to take on the world.”
Some female business owners don't get outside the office much or meet other owners.
"You put in a lot of hours so you don't get to meet many people,” said Robin Marshall, who owns Automated Mechanical Process systems with her husband. “This helps me connect with others who may be in a similar situation, and it helps to not feel alone out there."
Dozens of high school students, who are part of a special mentoring program, were lucky enough to get one-on-one advice from Tyra Banks.
"She told me to never give up on your dreams and it's okay to change your dreams if you want,” said Haley Blodgett.
They are words that will ring in many women's heads.
"As business women, it is ok to be feminine. It's ok to rock your finest and your fiercest,” Banks says. “Studies show when women wear makeup, it actually gets us more respect in the workplace and promotions.”
Organizers say this was the largest turnout in the conference’s 23-year history.