Program Schedule

13 November 2018

12:30 – 13:30

Check-In and Refreshments

13:30 – 14:00

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Joyce Kulhawik, Master of Ceremonies
Helen G. Drinan, President, Simmons University


Opening Keynote

Headshot photo of Dame Stephanie Shirley

At the Forefront of the High-Tech Revolution

Dame Stephanie Shirley CH, Entrepreneur & Philanthropist

Dame Stephanie Shirley CH is the most successful high-tech entrepreneur you've never heard of. In the 1960s, she founded a global software company that ultimately employed over 8,500 workers and was valued at $3 billion. In her candid and often hilarious talk, Dame Shirley describes how she upended the expectations of the time—not least by pioneering flexible working conditions for professional women raising children.

15:00 – 16:00

Business Panel

Headshot photo of Stephen Caulfield

Headshot photo of Matthew Harris

Headshot photo of Thibaut Lefebur

Headshot photo of Elisa van Dam

Men Who Get It

Stephen Caulfield, Vice President of Dell Services
Matthew Harris, UK&I Vice President Hybrid IT
Thibault Lefebure, Director, Paris Service Operations, United Technologies Corporation
Elisa van Dam, Senior Director, Executive Education and Corporate Outreach Simmons School of Business

Our stereotypes and beliefs about gender impact all of us and can contribute to an inequitable work environment. With the majority of organizational leadership positions being held by men, it is vital that men are engaged in creating environments where everyone can flourish. Developing new cultural norms—especially in larger, established companies—is a challenge that requires the commitment and support of men in positions of power. Attend this informative panel discussion to hear from several male leaders "who get it" about their personal perspective on promoting equity, gender balance, and inclusion in the workplace.

16:00 – 16:30

Meet the Speakers

Headshot photo of Dame Stephanie Shirley

Book-Signing Break

Dame Stephanie Shirley, Entrepreneur & Philanthropist

16:30 - 17:30

Afternoon Keynote

Headshot photo of Lenora Billings-Harris

Turning Barriers into Bridges by Disrupting Bias

Lenora Billings-Harris, Diversity Strategist

Diversity, inclusion, and bias have been misunderstood for years. Due to recent bias and neuroscience research, we now know that everyone has a bias, and daily decisions are impacted by them without awareness. The good news is once we become aware of the impact of our biases, we can choose to mitigate those that produce negative outcomes. Internationally recognized author and award-winning researcher, Lenora Billings-Harris, will disrupt myths and reveal the interdependence of diversity, inclusion, and bias. You will explore the evidenced-based case for diversity, and how implicit bias and gender micro-inequities impede inclusion and impacts talent management, innovation and bottom-line business results. Lenora will uncover the missing components needed to create cohesive communities and organizations. Using a results-focused approach, Lenora will provide practical yet cutting-edge insights for leaders to accelerate results.

17:30 - 18:30

Closing Keynote

Headshot photo of Leymah Gbowee

Mobilizing Women to Forge a Better Future

Leymah Gbowee, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Activist and Author

During Liberia's prolonged civil wars, violence and trauma became the new normal. It was under these intolerable conditions that Nobel Peace Prize laureate Leymah Gbowee led a coalition of Christian and Muslim women in a protest movement that ushered in the end of the conflict and paved the way for the election of the country's first female president. Today Gbowee continues to wage peace in Africa and worldwide, working tirelessly for the education and engagement of women and youth—and especially young girls—as leaders and agents of change.

19:30 – 22:00

Irish Pub Themed Networking Dinner

Casual attire

14 November 2018

8:00 — 8:30

Welcome and Coffee

8:30 — 9:30

Opening Keynote

Headshot photo of Halla Tómasdóttir

Be a Change Catalyst: Lessons for Principled Leadership

Halla Tómasdóttir, Business Leader & Entrepreneur

An ardent believer in becoming the change you want to see, Halla Tómasdóttir left a successful career in the corporate world to start the world's first investment firm based on "feminine" values. The payoff from favoring collaboration over ego and emotional capital over financial capital was clear when her firm was one of the few to survive Iceland's financial market meltdown. Tómasdóttir, who also ran a spirited and nearly successful grassroots campaign for Iceland's presidency, has critical lessons to share about challenging the status quo and fighting for a place at the table of power.

9:30 — 10:30

Business Panel

Headshot photo of Anne Marie Collins

Headshot photo of Maria Medrano

Headshot photo of Joy Weiss

Headshot photo of Pilita Clark

Disrupt the Ordinary

Anne Marie Collins, Head of Customer Experience, Liberty Insurance Ireland
Maria Medrano, Director, Cisco Office of Inclusion and Collaboration, Cisco Systems, Inc.
Joy Weiss, Vice President, Data Center Business, Analog Devices
Pilita Clark, Associate Editor and Business Columnist, Financial Times

Innovation has always been a high-stakes game, but what's different now is that the rules are no longer fixed. Instead of companies trying to out-execute the same business models as their competitors, business models themselves are being rapidly displaced, disrupted, and even destroyed. Drawn from a range of companies that continue to thrive in this new environment, the senior executives on this panel share their insights about encouraging and managing disruptive innovation both personally and professionally.

10:30 — 11:00

Meet the Speakers

Headshot photo of Leymah Gwobee

Headshot photo of Lenora Billings-Harris

Book-Signing Break

Leymah Gbowee, Activist & Author
Lenora Billings-Harris, Diversity Strategist

11:00 — 12:00

Morning Keynote

Headshot photo of Eileen McDargh

Radical Resiliency: A Key to Disrupting the Ordinary

Eileen McDargh, Chief Energy Officer, The Resiliency Group

Resiliency is not about bouncing back. It's about growing through times of challenge as well as opportunity. It’s about thinking differently, learning to ask critical questions, and most importantly, discovering how to listen deeply. In her high-energy presentation, Eileen McDargh examines our usual ways of responding to life events and offers four alternative mindsets that can, with practice, become critical life skills. She also explores ways in which we as women can own—or dissipate—our disruptive power. This session is guaranteed to make you think, laugh, learn, and connect. 

12:00 — 13:15


13:15 — 14:15

Afternoon Keynote

Headshot photo of Lara Logan

The View from the Front Lines

Lara Logan, 60 Minutes correspondent, and CBS News chief foreign affairs correspondent

In an era of fake news and broad distrust of the media, CBS News correspondent Lara Logan is known as a truth-teller. Offering a behind-the-scenes look at foreign affairs reporting, she shares some of her experiences as a witness to war—most notably in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. Logan also describes her decision to report on her brutal sexual assault at the hands of a mob in Egypt and to speak up about the violence that women journalists face in the field. With compelling insight and refreshing honesty, Logan argues passionately about the need for journalists to demand truth and justice in an increasingly connected world.

14:15 — 15:30

Signature Dialogue

Headshot photo of Mariane Pearl

Headshot photo of Lara Logan

The Power of Women's Storytelling

Mariane Pearl with Lara Logan

Across cultures and across continents, women and girls are standing up for themselves against centuries of oppression. As Mariane Pearl passionately argues, storytelling is central to the struggle for equal rights because, having always been on the wrong side of power, women have a lot to say about injustice. In this session, Pearl provides fascinating accounts of ordinary women speaking out and acting on their beliefs and, in the process, displaying the leadership qualities—resilience, moral courage, empathy, and emotional intelligence—so necessary to creating peace and fairness to the world.

15:30 — 16:00

Meet the Speakers

Headshot photo of Eileen McDargh

Headshot photo of Mariane Pearl

Book-Signing Break

Eileen McDargh, Chief Energy Officer, The Resiliency Group
Mariane Pearl, Award-winning Journalist and Writer

16:00 — 17:00

Closing Keynote

Headshot photo of Ziauddin Yousafzai

Headshot photo of Malala Yousafzai

Headshot photo of Helen Drinan

Investing in the World, One Girl at a Time

Ziauddin Yousafzai with Malala Yousafzai
Helen Drinan, President, Simmons University

As an educator and activist, Ziauddin Yousafzai encouraged his daughter Malala to excel in school and to speak her mind. In his introductory talk, he describes the unjust, exploitative treatment of girls in their native Pakistan, the conditions that Malala began to protest from the age of 10 and made her the target of the Taliban’s vicious attack. Speaking via satellite from the UK where she now attends university, Malala then joins her father in telling the story of their ongoing fight for the right to education. For 130 million aspiring girls who are still unable to attend school, Malala seeks nothing short of social transformation.

17:00 — 17:30

Connection Reception