BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A big event for, and about, women is returning to Buffalo this week. The WomanUP conference will be held at 500 Pearl, on Thursday.

The event was founded in 2016 by Tonawanda native, Joan Graci.

“Why do we have imposter theory? Why is it that we aren’t competing and growing at the same rate as men?” Graci said during an interview with News 4 on Monday.

Graci leads a neuroscience-driven human capital consulting firm, APA Solutions, and was disappointed to find many of her clients weren’t women. Four years ago, she founded WomanUP to help educate women on professional development and wellness, and provide important networking.

The first conference featured Kim Pegula. Mary Wilson and Mary Owen have also led conferences in the past. This year, Dr. Wendy Suzuki will be the keynote speaker. Dr. Suzuki is a neurologist at NYU. Her 2018 Ted Talk about the brain-changing benefits of exercise was the second most viewed that year. She’ll focus on that topic when she’s here in Buffalo.

“When we use our brain, we keep our brain, it operates very similar to a muscle,” Graci said. “When we don’t use it, we lose it. So, can we fend off dementia? Can we keep our good cognitive skills? Those are some of the topics Dr. Suzuki is going to be chatting about when we see her on Thursday.”

Women of all ages are invited, men are too.

“Our population is anywhere from 16 to 71.”

And Joan said she doesn’t like to focus on the words, ’empowerment’ and ‘inspiration’ when she’s referencing the conference, instead she said she started WomanUP to educate and transform.

“With this insight, we’re able to make conscious choices that literally change the trajectory of our futures.”

For more information on WomanUP, and for tickets, click here.

Joan said APA Solutions doesn’t get any money for the event. The ticket price will solely pay for the cost of bringing Dr. Suzuki to Buffalo as a speaker.