2021 Advancing Women in Leadership Symposium

You are cordially invited to participate in the Commission on the Status of Women’s Advancing Women in Leadership Virtual Symposium on Thursday, April 22, 2021. Sessions are designed as a 45-minute virtual presentation or panel discussion. Topics include equity, leadership, mindfulness and well-being, mentoring, career planning and advancement. We hope you can join us for this exciting event!

Register here. A link will be sent in the confirmation email.


8:30-9:00 a.m.: Welcome & Commission on the Status of Women History

9:00-9:45 a.m.: Morning Keynote: Ivy Banks, Associate Vice Provost, Diversity & Inclusion

Women's Foundation of Southern Arizona's WERC Project: Women Emerging from the Recession to Capacity
Amalia Luxardo, Katharine Len Yee Mitchell, Desiree Maultsby, Madeleine deBlois, Annie Kicklick
The Women's Foundation of Southern Arizona (WFSA) highlights their approach to increasing income and assets for women in our community with research, innovative pilot programs like Pathways for Single Moms, advocacy and policy change with legislation, leadership development community programs and responsive grant making. The panel speaks to our vision and steps taken to equip minority women to reenter the workforce at equitable rates despite pandemic setbacks, embolden employers to value women’s skillsets, and advocate for childcare support and family leave.

Leading with EVIL (Empathic, Vulnerable, Impish Leadership)
Christaina Kalel & Elizabeth Nguyen
Learn how to take an EVIL approach to leading. Challenging your inner tyrant, you will learn how to use the EVIL framework to humanize your team dynamic. We'll share tips that can support you in encouraging team well-being, flexible ways to accommodate life events, and have fun doing it! You'll leave with concrete ways to develop and grow your team’s EVIL personality.

Women in Science and Engineering's Launching Your Career Symposium: Preparing Women to be Changemakers
Samantha Mata Robles
Learn about Launching Your Career, an annual professional development symposium that aims to support the success of women through their academic journey as they move into the STEM workforce. Organizers of this event will share their experiences and the importance of student roles in high impact events.

Authentic Women: Show Them Who You Are
Cheree Meeks
Research has shown that a large number of African American women feel pressure to compromise their true selves as they navigate racial and gender biases. This workshop will encourage all in attendance to consider who they are and how they show up as their authentic self in the workplace.

Paths to Leadership: IT Stories
Lanita Collette, Maysoon Eshelman, Susan Richards, Darcy Van Patten. Inara Lysne as facilitator.
Representatives of University Information Technology Services (UITS) Executive Leadership Team will share their stories about their leadership journey during this interactive panel. These leaders will talk about their successes and challenges, career paths and critical skills. Join this session to be inspired and to determine your next steps in your professional development.

Who is Rizzoli Without Isles? Women Partnering to Rule the World
Christina Kalel & Celeste Atkins
Symbiosis is defined as any mutually beneficial relationship between two persons (dictionary.com). We argue that instead of women trying independently to break the glass ceiling, women should instead form peer collaborations across disciplines to expand their network and opportunities and partner to forge career paths. This session will create a space to explore options for collaborative career building that forms a network of colleagues across an institution who can work together to enact true change.

Nurses United in the Borderlands During COVID: Bringing Nursing Faculty and Students Together in an Innovative Binational Course
Lisa Kiser, Graciela Silva Torres, Bertha Gutierrez, Ana Lidia Barron Raygoza, Maria Olga Quintana Zavala, Carolina Soto

This panel session will be an opportunity to hear from women who are nursing leaders at the University of Arizona and in Mexico on how we created a collective vision to support ourselves and our students during the COVID pandemic. We will discuss the process of how we created a binational nursing student exchange course via Zoom for the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters, as well as our findings from these pilot courses, and how we envision ourselves as a collective group with shared leadership and teaching responsibilities.

The Bio/Diversity Project Leadership: Cultivating Women in Leadership Committed to Inclusivity and Diversity
Elena Greenberg, margarita Henslee, Siria Camacho, Nelly Jimenez Perez, Lizbeth Perez
The Leadership Program works to support the development of intersectional leaders within STEM fields committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Participation in the program enables female students to gain additional career readiness skills and experience in project development/implementation, collaboration, and leadership. Our participants use the knowledge and skills gained through program involvement to be peer educators and UArizona campus leaders committed to fostering DEI at both the institutional level and within the workforce.

The 3 Powers of Leadership Intention
Gloria Feldt, International Women's Leadership Expert
In her work and research for the book, No Excuses, Feldt found that contrary to assumptions, women do not have a lack of ambition. It is the culturally learned intention gap that holds women back from being acknowledged for their true value and worth. But the good news is that the traits that have historically been used as justification to discriminate against women are actually the very characteristics that now enable businesses to grow and countries to thrive under female leadership. That’s why it’s so important for women to practice the three key powers of intention: vision, courage, and action to rise in leadership and life. Feldt will explore the difference between ambition and intention and share actionable tips that women can use to elevate intention and achieve their dreams.

Power Down to Power Up: Mindfulness Towards Sustainable Leadership
Lysette Davi
Is it okay to shut down? Take a break? Or even take a pause? In this session, participants will be exposed to mindfulness. The session is hands-on, meaning participants will have the opportunity to engage in small group discussions, personal-reflections, and practice mindfulness through interactive exercises. Participants should expect to leave this session with an understanding of how slowing down can lead to sustainable leadership.

Courage Along the Path Less Followed: Lessons Learned in My Career Pivot to Tech
Rachele Peterson
In your career, opportunities that call to you may seem risky. Others may say your vision is nonconventional or even impossible. You may make an exponential leap in responsibilities. Each of these situations can be nerve wracking. During this session, we will reflect on lessons learned in forging a career path pivot in spite of traditional wisdom, amidst unprecedented challenges related to COVID, and how to support other women on their journeys.

Advancing Yourself with Mentoring: Curating a Personal Board of Directors
Lacey John & Brandy Brown Perkl
Mentoring is becoming common at work and in alumni programming. As we look to develop and provide resources for women, mentorship has been a proven tool for advancement. Mentors offer support, guidance and role model values and behaviors, but there is a lack of awareness of the ability to own the mentoring process. This presentation will be beneficial for those who seek to be mentors as well as those looking to find mentors.

Ivy Banks, Associate Vice Provost, Diversity and Inclusion: Ivy Banks joined the Wildcat community in 2020 and leads campus diversity and inclusion initiatives with enthusiasm, integrity, and intention. She believes that essential aspects of inclusivity are community mobilization, transparency, aligning active allyships, bridging the gap between conceptualization and realization, assessment and accountability. Before joining the Wildcat community, Ivy Banks served as the Assistant Vice President, Student Affairs – Engagement & Inclusive Excellence & Dean of Students at Northern Arizona University.  In this capacity, she led initiatives to unify academic and student affairs engagements through targeted messaging, using predictive analytics systems and aligning efforts to enhance support around first year, first-gen students of color. Ivy Banks is a proud First-Generation graduate, and has earned a Juris Doctorate from the University of Akron, School of Law, a Master of Education from Northern Arizona University, is completing her second Master of Education in Learning Design and Technologies at Arizona State University and has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Cleveland State University. She is an active Legacy member of one of the Divine Nine historically Black sororities, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and serves as the President of the White Dove Foundation of Arizona.

Gloria Feldt, International Women’s Leadership Expert: Gloria Feldt is an acclaimed expert on women, power, and leadership with frontline leadership experience. She is cofounder and president of Take The Lead, whose mission reflects her life’s passion: to prepare, develop, inspire, and propel women to take their fair and equal share of leadership positions across all sectors by 2025 by providing breakthrough training, mentoring and coaching, role modeling, and thought leadership. She is the bestselling author of four books; the latest is No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power.