Kendra Scott x UT Austin: Future of Female Leadership

Mackenzie Dyer

Empowering women to lead and encouraging the world to follow is the theme for a free event hosted by The University of Texas and Kendra Scott. Focusing on the future of female leadership, the event promises celebrity appearances and upcoming news for entrepreneurial students at UT.

Scott, designer and CEO of her eponymous jewelry company, will open the Bass Concert Hall doors at 3 p.m. on Sept. 24 for opening remarks from a surprise guest. According to the event’s Facebook page, a word from President Fenves will follow. Then a “Female Power Panel” that features Scott, more surprise guests and a country music performance will conclude the evening. Allotted time for socializing, free drinks and snacks will wrap up around
6:30 p.m.

Available information on the event is limited, which has many students questioning if it is just for fun or something more.

“I’m assuming ‘special guest (everyone’s favorite longhorn)’ means Matthew McConaughey,” public relations senior Evie Morris said. “All the Facebook page says is it’s an exciting event celebrating women leaders. I guess I’m getting girl
boss vibes.”

Even Chottie Hamilton, a marketing senior and a former Kendra Scott intern, is unsure. She said the company usually discusses plans openly, but this development has been
kept quiet.

Regardless of the details, Hamilton said working for Scott in 2018 was inspirational for her, and she is excited to go support the team.

“They do such great things in the community and nationwide,” Hamilton said. “To do something for UT, I think,
is special.”

Holding private information from the event’s communication team, Sara Kopenec, marketing senior and student ambassador for Kendra Scott’s event said there are rules regarding what she can and cannot say before the event officially kicks off at 4  p.m.

“Basically, Kendra Scott is sponsoring this massive new initiative at UT to promote female leadership and entrepreneurship,” Kopenec said. “She wants a place where women can connect, host female panels and networking events.” 

Kopenec recommends that any current UT students or faculty members wanting to get involved in entrepreneurship or connect with business-oriented women should attend.

With her experience in the business school at UT, Kopenec said while there are already networking opportunities, they can sometimes feel intimidating. 

“I believe there are barriers women overcome in entrepreneurship because there are tendencies we have not to speak our ideas, not (to) raise our hand in a boardroom or not to have a seat in the room,” Kopenec said. “Creating a program where we have that seat could give women a more comfortable space to share their ideas without being shut down.”

With the promise of this new initiative, both Hamilton and Kopenec agree that Scott uses her now billion-dollar company for good and she has a keen perspective on what it means to be a female leader.

Hamilton said she thinks Scott’s initiative will give back by “helping younger generations develop into strong, successful women and men alike and be the best versions
of (themselves).” 

Attendance is open to current UT students and faculty with ID for verification. Stadium Rules rules apply, meaning attendees should bring clear bags or arrive in time for a backpack check.