Legendary athlete and gender equality advocate Mia Hamm will lead the Soirée Women's Leadership Symposium lineup as the 2023 keynote speaker.
Arguably the best women’s soccer player in history and praised by ESPN as the greatest female athlete of the past 40 years, Hamm was the youngest woman to appear in a match for the U.S. Senior Squad at 15 years old. She has two World Championships and two Olympic gold medals to her name, as well as countless other accolades and shattered records.
Since retiring from professional soccer in 2004, Hamm has been an outspoken advocate for Title IX and gender equality, is a part owner of the MLS’ Los Angeles Football Club and the expansion franchise Angel FC of the NWSL and, through the Mia Hamm Foundation, supports families in need of bone marrow or cord blood transplants and builds opportunities for young women in sports.
Mandy Richardson, symposium founder and publisher of Little Rock Soirée magazine, had this to say about the keynote announcement:
For months, I've been dwelling on the notion that it's increasingly more important for current leaders to continue paving the road for future leaders. We cannot simply sit back and enjoy the strides we have made to get where we are in 2023. We have to continue nurturing relationships, paving new paths, finding innovative ways to support working women and continue pulling up chairs to the table for our future leaders.
So when I sat down to think about who I wanted as our keynote speaker this year, Mia Hamm immediately came to mind. She has been one of my heroes for years, she is largely considered the best female soccer player in history and who doesn't want to be in the presence of one of the greats?
But what impresses me most about Mia Hamm is how she has paved the way for other female soccer players over the past 20 years. It's an interesting concept in competitive sports to mentor and encourage players who are actively competing for your very position on the field.
The way she mentored other women on her teams, and how they in turn did the same — especially in regard to the historic collective bargaining agreements securing equal pay for men's and women's U.S. national soccer teams — speaks perfectly to the kind of empowerment we want to inspire in our SWLS attendees.
Now in its fifth year, the half-day symposium provides professional development for women in the workplace through tailored sessions led by industry experts, entrepreneurs, C-suite executives and community leaders.
The 2023 SWLS will take place on Thursday, April 27, at the DoubleTree Hotel and Robinson Center in downtown Little Rock. Registration is open now. Click here to reserve your spot.
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