The 2021 Executive Women of Goizueta Virtual Speaker Series will focus on “Carving New Pathways for Leadership and Growth.”
Like countless other enriching events, the annual Advancing Women in Leadership Conference, hosted by Executive Women of Goizueta, was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic. In response, the leadership group launched the Executive Women of Goizueta Virtual Speaker Series—an opportunity for students and alumni to safely gather to learn from and support each other. Despite missing the time for face-to-face connection, the new approach allowed alumni from coast to coast to participate and the event realized an uptick in attendance.
Last year saw a stellar lineup of speakers, including Nicole Jones 04MBA, global innovation leader at Delta Air Lines; JoAnn Lynen 02MBA, executive vice president of global talent management at Bain & Company; and Allison Dukes 06EMBA, senior managing director and CFO at Invesco. The theme of the virtual conference, “Own the Opportunity: The Next Evolution of Success,” focused on the unique challenges and opportunities introduced by the global pandemic. For instance, in closing schools and office spaces, COVID-19 has exacerbated the work/life balance struggles that so many women already face. In the “Adaptability and Resilience” virtual panel in August, panelists Jones, LaShonda Oglesbee 02MBA (global VP, Assurant) and Melinda Sung 06BBA (director, Oppenheimer & Co.) discussed these problems and their own experiences in overcoming them.
“It was impressive to see so many diverse and successful Goizueta alumnae who were also willing to be very real about their personal lives,” said Tara Sconzo 14MBA, director at Jabian Consulting and last year’s conference programming chair. “Some of them had really fascinating personal stories to tell of perseverance, how they’ve grown their careers in the workforce, and how to maintain personal and professional balance.”
Despite all the downsides of the pandemic, one silver lining for Executive Women of Goizueta was the increased attendance the virtual events received. Whereas in previous years, breakfast meetings and other small speaker events garnered around 30 participants, the virtual speaker series attracted over 100 attendees for each session, including many international and West Coast alumni who otherwise would not be able to participate. The board hopes this year’s virtual events will encourage even more Goizueta community members to get involved.
“Our programs promote the advancement of women in leadership and inspire inclusion and diversity in all forms,” said Executive Women of Goizueta board member Andrea Carswell 11EMBA, principal at Insignia Management Consulting. “With this year’s theme, ‘Carving New Pathways for Leadership and Growth,’ you can expect a continued tradition of outstanding programming from another dynamic slate of speakers curated by the EWG Board.”
Although details have yet to be finalized, participants can look forward to more high-quality speaker events, one each in August, September, and October. “We choose speakers from all different industries and backgrounds who will deliver tools and resources to promote women in leadership regardless of role, title or place in their career journey,” said Gracie Liedberg 21EvMBA, director of customer experience for Campus Services at Emory University and this year’s conference programming chair. “The virtual speaker series has created a unique space for me personally to expand my leadership mindset and tap into the powerful network and community that comes from Goizueta.”
Are you interested in becoming a member of Executive Women of Goizueta? Membership is for women who are Goizueta alumnae, current Executive or Evening MBA students, and BBA grads with professional experience. The organization has no dues. To join/be added to our member distribution list you can reach out to us over social media or email. Follow the group on Facebook, or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org . Write to Executive Women of Goizueta, Goizueta Business School, 1300 Clifton Road Atlanta, GA 30322.