Panels - Session 1
Transforming Society: Women in Emerging Technology
From deep learning to digital health, buzzwords surrounding emerging technologies often command the top of our newsfeeds. Yet, what do these words actually mean for the future of work? This panel explores what it’s like for women working at the forefront of how technology will shape the future of our society by bringing together extraordinary women leading breakthrough ventures in biotechnology, 3D printing, fitness tech, and tech for government services.
Minnie Ingersoll - COO, Code for America
Andrea Coravos - CEO/Co-Founder, Elektra Labs
Dara Treseder - CMO, Carbon
Stephanie Hannon - Chief Product Officer, Strava
Julia B. Austin - Senior Lecturer, Entrepreneurial Management at the Harvard Business School
Nina Sodhi - Founder and CEO, Bookshelf Builder
Journey of Women Leaders
Despite years of progress in the workforce, women hold less than a quarter (24%) of senior roles across the world in 2018. Even in USA, women hold barely a third of managerial positions as the gender pay gap continues to stand at 0.8 per dollar earned by men. For women who aspire to top leadership, routes do exist but are labyrinths full of twists and turns, both expected and unexpected. This panel features perspectives from experienced senior leaders on not only the barriers that make up this labyrinth, but most importantly what we can do to better navigate through this situation - be it addressing the subtle gender biases or negotiating better. Our hope, is to spark a discussion that enables a deeper understanding of the situation and helps both women and men make more informed choices towards their vision of success.
Dagmar Bryant - Transformational Coach
Milan Prilepok - Co-Founder and Global Leader, McKinsey Negotiations Service Line
Wei Moline - Vice President, 3M’s New Economy Forum Initiative,
Laura Tulchin - Director, Exiger
Diversity in Investing
Women make up for less than 20% of the venture capital or private equity industries. Women run only two of the top 50 hedge funds. Why is that? And how is it changing? This panel will feature a variety of investors across the venture capital, private equity and hedge fund industries to discuss their keys to success, as well as their thoughts and actions regarding diversity in investing.
Kristin Mugford, Senior Lecturer of Business Administration [moderator]
Edith Dorsen - Managing Partner, WomensVCFund ll
Suzanne Norris - General Partner, Victress Capital
Caroline Sherman - Managing Director and Head of Enterprise, Quantopian
Payal Agrawal Divakaran - Principal, .406 Ventures
Pavithra Mahesh - Vice President, Apax Partners
The Rise of FemTech: Finally a Focus on Women’s Health
For decades, healthcare offerings were created without consideration for the differing needs of men and women. It is no surprise that there are physiological differences, so why has the system historically developed and delivered products and solutions that are the same for both genders? Fortunately, a new wave of companies has emerged to serve the unique needs of women. Femtech refers to software, products, and services that harness technology to improve women’s health. The purpose of this panel is to explore the femtech industry through leaders and companies that are carving out their own space within this emergent market.
Gina Nebesar - Chief Product Officer/Co-Founder, Ovia Health
Kat Stillman - Vice President, Prelude Fertility
Kate Torgersen - Founder/CEO, Milk Stork
Monica Belsito - VP of Product Development, Lola
Terry Stone - Managing Partner, Oliver Wyman Global Health & Life Sciences
Diversity in the Public Sector
Today’s turbulent political climate has struck chords with diversity movements worldwide--from the Women’s March to immigration policy protests, now is a pressing time for those serving in the public sector. This panel takes a deep dive into these issues, exploring questions around the role of diversity and gender in such a visible sector, along with discussions around the current administration’s impact on diversity and inclusion.
Cynthia Orellana - Director, Office of Community Partnerships at the University of Massachusetts, Boston
Jenifer Pinkham - Founding Partner, Phifer Pinkham, LLC
De’Ara Balenger - Co-Founder, Maestra
Paola Ramos - Host, Latin-X and Weekly Contributor, Telemundo News
Monique Dorsainvil - Public Policy, Facebook
The Gender Experience
This panel explores the abundance of academic research demonstrating that many of the norms and expectations associated with masculinity limit men’s ability to express connection, vulnerability, and other traits considered traditionally feminine. So long as we live in a world where men are discouraged from acknowledging important emotions and sources of meaning seen as “weak” or “unmanly,” gender hierarchies will persist in both personal and professional environments. In a guided discussion, our expert panel will address:
When do gender stereotypes start? How do children, specifically boys, process and respond to gender constructs?
Men have their own gender experience – how does this impact their personal and professional lives?
I don’t question my gender identity, so why does this conversation matter? For society? For business?
Lacey J. Hilliard, Ph.D. - Research Assistant Professor at the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development, Tufts University
J.G. Boccella - Co-Founder, FierceWomen, and author of Bring Your Strength
Dr. Christin L. Munsch - Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Connecticut
Marc Grau-Grau - WAPPP Research Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School
Judy Y. Chu, Ed.D. - affiliated faculty member, Stanford University
Colleen Ammerman - Director, The Gender Initiative
Building an Executive Team
Women currently hold 10.6% -- or 643-- of the total 6,081 board seats on Fortune 500 companies and 84% of Fortune 500 companies have women board directors. While it’s not exactly gender parity, we’ve seen an upward trend in female board representation over the last few years. Women accounted for 38.3% of all newly-named directors at Fortune 500 companies in 2017, according to executive-search firm Heidrick & Struggles, and in 2018, California became the first state to require women on corporate boards. This panel will feature perspectives of several female board members who will share how they amplify each other in the boardroom, how their professional experiences supported their effectiveness on a male-dominated board, and how these recent changes will impact corporate board composition in the future.
Martha Goldberg Aronson - Corporate Board Director, Cardiovascular Systems, Inc., Methode Electronics and CONMED Corporation
Christine Spadafor - CEO, SpadaforClay Group, Inc.
Rudina Seseri - Founder and Managing Partner, Glasswing Ventures
Laila Partridge - Serial Entrepreneur and Fortune 100 trained executive
Mei-Mei Tuan - Managing Director, Trewstar Corporate Board Services & Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Notch Partners LLC
Beyond Financial Returns: Impact Investing in the 21st Century
The relationship between business and social or environmental considerations has become increasingly blurred in the 21st century. Accordingly, there is a growing and diverse market of investors adopting strategies that consider non-traditional factors - such as social or environmental outcomes - alongside financial risk and return. And along multiple dimensions, women are a leading force behind this phenomenon. This panel will explore the diverse career paths of leading female practitioners in impact investing, while facilitating discussions of how values have shaped their personal, business and investment decisions.
Fran Seegull - Executive Director, U.S. Impact Investing Alliance
Kavita Gupta - Consensys Ventures
Anna-Marie Wascher - Founder and CEO, Flat World Partners
Kate Ahern - Director, ESG and Communications, Bain Capital
Cait Reimers Brumme - Director of the Impact Collaboratory at the Harvard Business School
Panels - Session 2
Technology for Social Impact
There is no doubt that technology is transforming society around us, shaping our decisions from who we choose to meet to how we choose to move from point A to B. How can we ensure that the new products and services we develop have a role in driving social change? From education to the future of work, there is no shortage of use cases for technology to empower communities and provide greater access to opportunity. This panel explores this topic and showcases women leaders at the intersection of technology and social impact.
Lucy Caldwell - Chief Strategy Officer & Executive Vice President, Crowdskout
Nicole Isaac - Director of North American Policy, LinkedIn
Carolina Huaranca - Principal, Kapor Capital
Mina Hsiang - VP of Product, Devoted Health
Patricia Carrolo - Vice President, Travel and Transportation Industry, IBM Global Markets
Building Businesses from the Ground Up
What happens after you’ve moved from ideation to incorporation and started your own business? What are the challenges facing small business owners as they continue to build their companies? This panel explores the experiences of several successful female founders from several diverse industries, all currently running their own small businesses. We will learn more about the unique issues and difficulties they face as business owners/operators.
Annie Scranton - President & Founder, Pace PR
Felice Friedson - Author, The Media Line
Jody Greenstone Miller - Co-Founder and CEO, Business Talent Group
Trudie German - Trainer, Author, & Health & Fitness Expert
Jodi Gernon - Director of the Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship Harvard Business School [Moderator]
Thriving in a Dual-Career Relationship
Dual-career couples are now the norm with about 80% of millennials reporting being in a dual-career relationship. Most of us want to support our partners on their career journey, but thinking about two careers individually and then trying to marry them together is often a design challenge. In this panel, we will explore what it takes to balance a relationship with two careers and what it takes to make the workplace work for dual-career couples.
Demeatria Boccella - Independent Global Arts and Philanthropy Professional
J.G. Boccella - Co-Founder, FierceWomen, and author of Bring Your Strength
Lauren Coyle - Division Vice President, DaVita
Meghan Fennell - Founder, The Spark Collective & Senior Manager, Global Sponsorships
Marketing at Deloitte
Marilou McFarlane - President, North America, STATSports Ltd.
Pooja Kumar - Partner, McKinsey & Company
Who owns Diversity and Inclusion?
Diversity and inclusion are integral to high performing workplaces. But who owns the responsibility for them? How is this responsibility allocated within an organization? Is it better to have a dedicated individual (I.e. Chief Diversity Officer), or does ownership lie with each member of the organization? This panel will explore the various ways organizations are approaching diversity and inclusion to recruit and retain diverse talent. The goal of this panel is for attendees to walk away with a better understanding of how to best align ownership and incentives within their organizations to best achieve their diversity and inclusion goals.
Yai Vargas - Diversity & Inclusion Strategist
Dominica Groom Williams - Vice President, Office of Inclusive Engagement at Freddie Mac
Josette Robinson - Managing Director, Prosek Partners
Kathryn Sayko - Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer, PGIM
Lorie Valle-Yanez - Head of Diversity and Inclusion, MassMutual
Beauty In Diversity
What is beauty? Traditionally, to answer the question, some observe who they see on TV and magazine covers; others are told they need to change their hair or sculpt a certain body shape. For decades, the beauty industry has championed a narrow definition of “beautiful”, leaving those who don’t fit in to feel less than. When Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty launched in 2017, its inclusive marketing and 40 foundation shades set a new standard for redefining beauty by embracing diversity. This panel explores how the beauty industry is tackling the representation of beauty in its products, stories, and leadership. This conference celebrates the beauty in diversity, now let’s talk about diversity in beauty and hear directly from those pioneering this change.
Natalie Neilson Edwards - Global Director, Inclusion & Diversity at The Estee Lauder Companies
Amanda E. Johnson - Co-Founder & COO, Mented
KJ Miller - Co-Founder & CEO, Mented
Meghan Maupin - Co-Founder & CEO, Atolla
Rooshy Roy - Co-Founder & CEO, aavrani
Felicia Walker - Founder, ThisThatBeauty
Forging a Career in the Energy Industry: A Fireside Chat
The rapidly-evolving energy industry faces pressure on many fronts; from the demands of climate change to the shapeshifting regulatory environment and international nature of the industry, sweeping change looms. Overcoming such widespread challenges requires complex, diverse, and innovative points of view. This fireside chat features three women in the energy industry, each forging their careers in this traditionally male-dominated, technology-focused industry. We’ll discuss how these women chose their roles, the key challenges they face, and how inclusion and diversity has shaped the industry now and in the future.
Laila Beavogui - Lead Engineer, National Grid
Carine Tamasang - Diversity Specialist, National Grid
Barbara Scalia - Senior Principal Nuclear Engineer, Framatome EDF [Moderator]
Panels - Session 3
Woman Entrepreneurs: Why? When? How?
Several studies point to the gender disparity in both the corporate and entrepreneurship world. According to recent studies, women founders receive less funding than male counterparts, while arguably performing better. Our panel has thrived in both worlds, and will discuss why they chose entrepreneurship, how they overcame gender bias, and when their entrepreneurship journey started.
Dolores Hirschmann - Strategist and Coach
Helen Lo - Founder and CEO, Lo & Sons
Addie Swartz - Founder and CEO, reacHIRE
Edith Dorsen - Managing Partner, WomensVCFund II
This panel will explore the challenges women face with balancing a successful career and a fulfilling personal life which becomes harder as women decide to start families. The panelists will share their experiences on how they managed to maintain a good work-life balance in their demanding careers as well as some of the best practices companies are applying today to help women achieve a better work-life balance.
Ashley Whillans - Assistant Professor, Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit, Harvard Business School
Lee Harper - Principal at Southeastern Asset Management
Frances Brooks Taplett - Leader, Global People Team and Women@BCG, Boston Consulting Group
Dr. Kathryn Smerling - clinical instructor, Mount Sinai OBGYN
Autumn Manning - Co-Founder, YouEarnedIt
Diversity in the Great Outdoors
Whether it’s backpacking the Appalachian Trail, skiing the slopes of the White Mountains, or taking a brief afternoon bike ride through a park, spending time in nature is shown to have incredible mental and physical health benefits, from reduced stress and depression to improved memory, focus, and creativity. However, the outdoor recreation world struggles deeply with under-representation from a number of populations, such as people of color, women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities. Much has changed in recent years, from more welcoming marketing to dedicated inclusive outings, but substantial work remains to be done. This panel will explore ways in which individuals have worked hard to make the outdoors world more inviting and accessible, key challenges that lie ahead, and lessons from inclusion and diversity efforts across the globe.
Dr. Carol-Ann Nelson, PT, DPT - Founder, Destination Rehab
Courtney Holub - Member, Board of Directors and Adaptive Coach, New England Disabled Sports
Gale Straub, Founder, SheExplores.com
Shiona B DeCarvalho - Director of Impact and YES Academy at Youth Enrichment Services in Boston
Danielle Williams - Founder, DiversifyOutdoors.com
Design: Creativity, Production, Impact
What is the role of design in our increasingly connected world? What impact does design have on shaping our relationships, communities, and society at large? This multidisciplinary panel explores the challenges of balancing expression and output in the world of design, and questions the costs and emotional labor inherent to a creative career. Design leaders from the worlds of technology, architecture, urban planning, and research converge to discuss the power of women to influence the narrative of the design industry.
Jha D Williams - Senior Associate, MASS Design Group
Sabrina Dorsainvil - Civic Designer, City of Boston, Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics
Rosa Ji Yoon Hyun - Product Designer/ User Experience Designer, PillPack Pharmacy
Sarah Kettles - Director of Research, The Zebra
Emily Rawtisch - Product Design Lead, Spotify’s Personalization Team
Katie Swenson - Vice President of Design & Sustainability, Enterprise Community Partners
Communicating with Purpose: Tips for Handling Media Interviews and Delivering Presentations that Make an Impression
Want to learn how to ace a media interview or give a killer presentation? Do you have your story down, but want to get better at delivering it? Every successful interaction, whether it is with a reporter, investor, or employee, depends on delivering your key messages clearly, concisely and consistently. This interactive workshop will provide best practices for ensuring you are not only heard but that you are memorable.
Kirsti McCabe - Managing Director, Finsbury
Amy Gross - Managing Director, Finsbury
Join the Admissions Panel to learn more about Harvard Business School’s MBA program and participate in a Q&A discussion with current students who will reflect on their experiences at HBS.