MINOT, N.D. (KXNET) — Looking to help connect women in the community, Women Connect along with Minot Chamber EDC, hosted the Women’s Public Leadership Symposium; fostering the future leaders of our cities and state.

Networking, mentors, and learning that’s what’s needed to build a leader and right now, the state is looking towards women to step up and lead.

According to the state, about 19% of North Dakota House members and 18% of State Senators are women.

To help bring women into the fold, Minot Women Connect stepped up to bring women together.

“The biggest thing I was looking to take away from this event was definitely a sense of fellowship with some of the other women and professionals that are here. I was also looking for a lot of advice on how to further my career and find a support system of other women who I can lean on to be successful,” said Abigail Kinder, a DOD employee.

Women face challenges in leadership and learn to have confidence in their abilities.

“Some of it is networking but it is also being able to put yourself out there and trusting that you can do the job and that you are a great fit. A lot of the times women necessarily don’t have the opportunity to know things are happening and we are here today to figure out ways to get involved,” said Rianne Kuhn, a Minot Women Connect Chair.

Eventgoers were intent on listening to the speakers, which included Lieutenant Governor Tammy Miller.

Kuhn says some challenges women face a lot of times are not knowing where to start and how to get involved.

“One thing that I really took away from today’s fireside chat was when Lieutenant Governor Tammy Miller said ‘say yes, figure it out later.’ That one really resonates with me because when I first came into my career field I actually wasn’t even sure that I was qualified for it. I was so nervous maybe I wasn’t going to get the job. Maybe I wasn’t going to be good enough. But I said yes, I took the leap and it has turned into something absolutely amazing and that is definitely advice that I am going to continue using throughout the rest of my life,” said Kinder.

Kinder also says being a young professional woman in her mid-twenties in the corporate world is no easy task, but building that core network of other business owners, especially women, helped her succeed in and outside her work.

North Dakota has several programs for community leaders both in politics and not.