Women In Leadership Summit Draws Together Professional Women to Tackle Gender Parity and Diversity Issues

The second annual Women In Leadership Summit in Ft Lauderdale, Fl, drew together women in leadership roles, including entrepreneurs and HR professionals, to listen, learn and plan how to achieve gender parity and greater diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and maintain healthy work-life integration.

“Our research confirmed the need to offer targeted development opportunities for women to improve capabilities, communication, understanding and sensitivity among genders and cultures,” said Rachel Cooke, Brandon Hall Group COO. “A Way Forward: Women In Leadership Summit provided corporations with the opportunity to stand behind high-level executives and join their peers to continue developing opportunities for women in the workplace.”

Attendees also gained strong insights on a variety of approaches for moving forward with strategies and tactics to increase gender parity, diversity and inclusion. Panels included discussions on tying business ROI into inclusion, generational differences, global mobility as a force for diversity — Julie Knight-Ludvigson of Topia suggested using mobility as a career development opportunity — and an extremely revealing discussion of the insights gleaned from Brandon Hall Group’s recent State of Women in Technology Leadership study which looked at the numbers and reasons for low female presence in technology positions. The lack of role models and the surprisingly divergent views of men and women on what the top challenges are for greater inclusivity were discussed and explained. Rachel Ernst of Reflektive offered, “Why do women not have role models? Volunteer to be one. Mentor or sponsor three women.”

One attendee mentioned that they felt empowered by the wealth of information and inspired to take action. As Summit panelist Jasmine Martirossian of The Training Associates declared, “Let’s take responsibility. It’s easy to blame the culture. Inspire others. We are all part of the solution.”

This critical initiative offers current female corporate leaders a diverse community to enhance skills and share ideas to build more inclusive environments that improve personal and organizational performance.

The primary goals of the summit were to:

  • Analyze the current state of women in leadership.
  • Share leading practices for driving more significant opportunities for women leaders.
  • Share leading practices for creating a higher-impact state for women leaders.
  • Create and develop new relationships and strengthen the ability to coach, mentor and serve as a role model and leader inside and outside organizations.

Many Summit speakers were executives at F500 organizations that achieved great personal success and played vital roles in their organizations’ plans to develop women leaders.

Keynote speaker Bonnie St. John, an Olympic medalist, and author spoke about her book, How Great Women Lead tells about the lives of international women leaders. She also led a session on Women in Technology Leadership, based on a recent study conducted in collaboration with Brandon Hall Group and her firm, the Blue Circle Leadership Institute.

We invite women executives and other concerned stakeholders to join the Women In Leadership network with a dedicated focus on advancing women in tech leadership and other areas of leadership development, diversity and inclusion. It’s completely free to join. Email: WIL@brandonhall.com to request your ID and password. You will gain access to research, reports, articles, blogs, tools, workshops, discussion groups and Q&As with subject matter experts and other peers.

Follow the WIL Summit and the conversation at http://www.brandonhall.com/WIL/index.html.

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