MERRILLVILLE | In a black dress, cream blazer and beige high heels, Diana Jordan crouched on stage and attached a foam red clown nose to her face, as she steered an imaginary vehicle.
It's how she deals with tailgaters, she said.
The comedian and motivational speaker keeps the prop in her car and when a tailgater passes, she puts it on and makes an angry face.
Humor is a great way to defuse a situation, she said.
It goes hand-in-hand with being fearless.
"You've gotta be fearless all the time in your life," Jordan said. "We're too serious. We don't want to be judged."
Jordan was the keynote speaker at the second annual Lakeshore Professional Women's Conference, presented by Lakeshore Public Media.
More than 200 women gathered Friday at the Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza for the event.
After Jordan broke the ice with jokes about automatic sinks and menopause, women were divided into two tracks to hear speakers discuss how to improve their professional and personal lives.
Lindsey Gargas, special events and community relations manager for Lakeshore Public Media, said her goal for the event was to empower women to break through the glass ceiling.
"It's about getting women to realize they can go above and beyond, to give them new insights and network with other women," Gargas said.
It was a chance for professional women to support other professional women, she said.
The audience included women from area businesses and higher education.
Christine Fisher, vice president for brand and image at Robert Morris University in Chicago, said Indiana residents attend the school, and she hoped to develop more relationships with local businesswomen.
Attending the conference could establish connections leading to more student internships with Indiana companies for example, she said.
Fisher attended a similar event at the YWCA earlier in the week, with the goal of empowering young women. It is an important message, she said.