There Are Too Few Women Leaders

Engage with the West Michigan Woman Community!

When it comes to women in the workforce, we have it much better than our mothers. There's been progress in career fields regarding gender equity, but is it enough?

Even though 50 percent of women are college graduates, women comprise only four percent of the CEOs of S&P 500 corporations, constitute less than 15 percent of all people in government, and account for only 20 percent of nonprofit heads.

On Saturday, October 22, 2016, from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., Lean In Michigan Leadership Conference invites women of any age and background to empower themselves and grow in their career. The conference will offer two dynamic speakers and eight breakout sessions for an information-packed afternoon.

The concept of Lean In, based on Sheryl Sandberg's best selling book, is to encourage women to "sit at the table," seek challenges, take risks and pursue their goals with passion. In 2013, a nonprofit launched to support women by providing these benefits: an active and supportive community to exchange ideas and information; education through a growing library of free online lectures; and Lean In Circles—small groups of eight to 12 women who meet regularly to improve their professional soft skills.

"We share successes, we share failures, we talk about opportunities, we discuss problems," said Nancy Terrell, leader of the Lean In Grand Rapids Inspiration Circle. "Do you have too much self-doubt? Let's talk about how to change that and grow confidence. Do you try to be a perfectionist? Same thing."

Register for the Lean In Michigan Leadership Conference online at leaningrandrapids.blogspot.com by Friday, October 7. Cost is $20 per person, and the conference will be held at the Seidman Center at Grand Valley State University.


Jacqueline Taylor, Ph.D., has been a provost, vice president and president of universities and community colleges. She has truly forged the path we each walk on today. She was president of a community college at a time when only three percent of community college presidents were women. Dr. Taylor sits on numerous boards in Michigan and was a recent recipient of the Trillium Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Michigan Women's Foundation.

Mary Brown's early fascination and interests in how things work, along with her innate desire to address disparities, has informed her current work at Spectrum Health's Inclusion and Diversity Center, where she uses her frameworks from Design Thinking and Futuring in the areas of organizational learning, development and change. Ms. Brown was recently selected by the Grand Rapids Business Journal as one of the 50 Most Influential Women of West Michigan 2016.


How to Manage Your Inner Critic, Dr. Nancy Jonker (held twice)
Changing Careers Mid-Career, Bonnie Nawara
How to Take Control of Meetings, But Not Be Pushy (or a Bitch), Lisa Baber
How to Reduce Your Fear of Networking, Monica Sparks
Resolving the "Do It All" Mentality, Steff Condon (held twice)
How to Have an Empowering Impact on Young Women and Teen Girls, LaRissa Paras


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