According to a December 2015 report issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 57% of all women were in the labor force in 2014; the labor force participation rate of women with children under 18 years of age was 70.8%.

The rewards of having a successful career are many: increased financial security, a greater sense of confidence and personal satisfaction. Many working women are also raising kids, caring for elderly parents (66% of all caregivers are female) and running a household; in fact, they are often so busy taking care of everyone else that they aren’t taking care of themselves.

Dividing attention between work and family can lead to feelings of guilt and added stress. That’s why it is important to take advantage of opportunities to work in “me” time on a regular basis. Taking even a short break from your routine can help you recharge while taking care of personal needs.

On that note, Howard County’s WomenFest offers women of all ages a day to do just that — designed for you to just “be” — be yourself, be relaxed and be inspired.

Coordinated by the Howard County Department of Community Resources and Services and its Office on Aging and Independence, the ninth annual WomenFest will be held on Saturday, April 29, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Gary J. Arthur Community Center, in Glenwood, 2400 Route 97, just 10 minutes from Ellicott City. General admission and parking are free.
Join the attendees to boost your health and wellness, attend engaging workshops, shop for Mother’s Day gifts from more than 100 vendors, get a free chin, lip or eyebrow wax, find home improvement and financial services and enjoy lunch, all under one roof.

There’s something for everyone at WomenFest, including a wide range of free health screenings: body mass index, hearing, lipid panel and glucose, visual acuity and glaucoma, Chinese pulse diagnosis and more. Is fitness lacking in your daily routine? If so, find fun ways to fit more activity in your life with Soul line dancing and Drums Alive exercise demos.

A number of seminars and workshops provide numerous opportunities for personal growth and enrichment. This year’s seminar topics include the following.

• Be Calm, where you can treat your senses while you explore aromatherapy and essential oils. See how easy it is to incorporate them into your life and create your own personal spray mist to take home.

• Be Current and Clutter Free offers the chance to meet with accredited staging and decorating professionals who will walk you through the steps to update your look and de-clutter your surroundings.

• Be Aware reminds you that scams are unfortunately an all-too-common fact of life in today’s world. Learn how to stay safe when shopping, banking and connecting with friends online.

• Be Empowered will empower you to push yourself to the next level in your personal or professional life.

• Be Informed presents the sobering facts about opioid addiction; from painkillers to heroin, learn how addiction is impacting families from someone who has walked that path. Know the signs, get support — and perhaps help save a life.

Cooking demos always add flavor to WomenFest. This year, there are two opportunities to broaden culinary skills with Chef Taueret Thomas from Khepera’s Kitchen. Thomas will present “Spring into Soups” at 12:15 p.m. and “Cooking with Quinoa” at 2 p.m.
The event is possible thanks to the support of our sponsors, including The Business Monthly. Full event details are available online at, on Facebook at, #HoCoWF17 or by calling 410-313-5440 (voice/relay).