AUSTIN — It was an inspiring day for women at a conference in downtown Austin this week.

On Nov. 9, the Texas Conference for Women brought together more than 7,000 women at the Austin Convention Center for a series of panels about career development and speeches from inspirational leaders such as Reese Witherspoon.

KVUE investigative reporter opened up the conference.

A panel followed shortly after including female leaders such as Nina Shaw, entertainment attorney and co-founder of Time’s Up; Renata Quintini, venture capitalist; Marjorie Clifton, principal of Clifton Consulting, LLC; and Tyler Haney, founder of Outdoor Voices.


Reese Witherspoon reveals why she started a company at Texas Conference for Women in Austin

KVUE's Terri Gruca, Erica Proffer speak at Texas Conference for Women in Austin

The big topic on the panel was money, and why women are uncomfortable about asking for it.

Shaw said if you’re not pushing back on getting the same pay as a male colleague, “you’re subsidizing someone else’s salary.”

“If someone had their hand in my wallet, I’d be pretty upset,” Shaw said.

Shawn Achor, New York Times best-selling author of The Happiness Advantage and Big Potential and one of TED Talks’ most popular speakers of all time, offered up to the crowd his research on happiness and success.

In an attempt to show that happiness and success is not something you can do alone, he showcased some research.

He said when looking at challenges, the challenge appears smaller with other people at your side. For example, if you look at a mountain you are about to scale, the mountain appears 10 to 20 feet shorter if you look at it with a friend beside you.

KVUE's Terri Gruca then kicked off the conference's luncheon.

She got a little help from the marching band at the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders.

Texas First Lady, Cecilia Abbott, also made an appearance.

Brene Brown, a doctor from Houston, then took the stage to talk about the art of becoming an effective leader.

Then, Academy Award-winning actress Reese Witherspoon arrived to talk about how she transformed into a successful entrepreneur who works to create better representation of women in film.

Witherspoon told the audience, "women will be treated differently if people know what we walk through every day."