AUSTIN — Hundreds of women gathered downtown for the Texas Conference for Women at the Austin Convention Center.
Keynote speakers this year included actress Reese Witherspoon and Brené Brown, a Ted Talk superstar and researcher at the University of Houston.
With the purpose of motivating, skill-building and networking, the Texas Conference for Women brought together women leaders, ranging from tech to entertainment to business.
One of them was Renata Quintini, a venture capitalist who invests in unique start-ups.
"If you think of companies that are changing the quality of our food, the quality of our health, the quality of our education transportation, there are so many things that started from start-ups,” Quintini said.
She said only 14 percent of VC dollars goes to diverse founders and only a small fraction of women are venture capitalists themselves.
"I wouldn't take no for an answer,” Quintini said. “I really went for it. I kept pushing the boundaries. And I had a lot of people championing me along the way."
Nina Shaw also spoke at the conference. She is an entertainment lawyer who is a founding member of the "Time's Up" movement.
She advised women interested in entertainment to "research it tremendously."
“You need to know what it is. What kind of jobs are available? Reach out to people who do those jobs. A lot of them won't respond, but if one or two of them do, that's enough," Shaw said.
She is also a champion for education.
"The more educated we are, the more able we are to be real contributors to our society,” she said.
Reese Witherspoon and Brené Brown led the keynote talks during lunch.
Witherspoon detailed the obstacles she overcame to become one of Hollywood's most sought after actresses, as well as the frustrations with the male-dominated field.
And Brown inspired women before they left the conference to not fear failure, but embrace it.