Got stress? Women’s conference has answers


It’s important for people to compromise in order to avoid stress at work.

That’s advice from Anita Polite-Wilson, one of the speakers on the program for the MGM Resorts Foundation’s Women’s Leadership Conference on Aug. 8 and 9 at MGM Grand Las Vegas.

The 10th annual event, which aims to help women develop their careers, features keynote speakers, panel discussions, entertainment and networking opportunities.

“MGM has a longstanding history of supporting diversity and inclusion efforts and this is one of the ways we uphold that commitment,” said Dawn Christensen, director of National Diversity Relations for MGM Resorts International. “It’s a really special event for us and something we feel provides valuable information to people in the community.”

Polite-Wilson, one of the nearly 10 workshop speakers, will host a breakout session called “Maintaining Grace Under Fire,” which will identify how people respond under stress, their triggers and strategies to successfully deal with stress.

“We deal with stress on an ongoing basis and we don’t know what it’s like to not have stress,” Polite-Wilson said. “I work with a lot of different corporations that say they have to do more with fewer resources, but people have a breaking point and what we really need to understand is that the work/life balance is real.”

“I tell people that you’ve got to negotiate a ‘no,’” she said. “The best thing to do is compromise so if your boss comes to you and says, ‘I need items 1 through 10 done today,’ you can say, ‘I have time for one through three.’”

Taking a step back can eliminate a stressful situation, Polite-Wilson said.

“Remember to be graceful and give people the benefit of the doubt before you snap back,” she said. “Take time to change your focus so you can see a different pathway moving forward.”

She added, “You’re more likely to make mistakes when you’re stressed.”

Polite-Wilson said the conference gives women tools that aren’t readily available.

“One message I tell people is, ‘I’m not telling you anything you don’t know, I’m just presenting it in a way that gives you time to reflect and evaluate how you can use it,’” she said. “At the end of every class I teach, I ask the audience what they’ll take away and one lady said, ‘That I am enough.’ All I want is for people to see themselves differently and opportunities to talk about these issues can be transformational.”

Christensen conference speakers represent a variety of industries and have different backgrounds and experiences.

“The speakers on the main stage are motivational and will share their inspiring stories with the audience,” she said. “Boston bombing survivor Adrianne Haslet-Davis will share her story of resiliency and courage and overcoming a personal obstacle to fulfill her goals.”

Attendees, Christensen said, might have a personal or professional challenge they are looking to overcome.

“We’ve heard stories from people who leave inspired and go to their supervisor and ask for that promotion, raise or difficult assignment they didn’t feel they were ready to tackle before,” she said. “Our hope is that they leave feeling like they’ve gained some skills and confidence to tackle whatever is in their way of going above and beyond.”

She added, “Whatever reason brings you to the conference, you’ll walk away feeling inspired and feeling ready to tackle whatever’s in front of you.”

The Women’s Leadership Conference is open to women of all professions, job levels and social backgrounds, locally and nationally, and men who support women. Conference registration is available at $450 per person.

For information or to register, visit mgmresortsfoundation.org/womensleadershipconference.