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Welcome to the

2017 Women of Color Leadership Forum: Changing the Game

November 7th, San Mateo

Last year, we ignited your potential.

This year, it's time to change the game.

Join us for the second annual Women of Color Leadership Forum with 250 of your peers.

We want to hear how you took last year's inspiration and turned it into action. And we want to help you activate change inside your organizations to embrace more diversity and inclusion. 

We're bringing together incredible women of color leaders, thought-provoking workshop facilitators and committed ally advocates in support of a one day program designed to help all of us play a bigger game. Engage in deep dialogue, find your future champions and get equipped with practical strategies to not just talk about change but to make change real. 


 Interested in sponsoring the Women of Color in Leadership Forum? Send us an email to learn more!



8:00am  Breakfast & Registration

8:45am  Welcome

9:00am  Keynote

Why Changing the Game is so Important, with Heather Hiles, Deputy Director at the Gates Foundation.

9:30am - 10:30am Concurrent Sessions 

A) Corporate Panel - Leveraging our Power to Lead ChangeAn intimate chat with four distinguished women of color leaders who will talk about their career journeys.

B) Startup Panel - Pushing Past Fear and Disrupting the Status Quo: This panel of startup founders will share how they each pushed past their fears and self-limiting beliefs to decide to start their own ventures.

10:30am - 11:00am Mentoring Circles

An opportunity to meet forum speakers in small group mentoring discussions.

11:00am - 12:00pm Breakthrough Beliefs: Claiming our Power as Women of Color

Explore our relationship to power and control as women of color.  What is your default when it comes to taking a position vs. stance?  Where do you want to be?  Dig deeper into our identities as women of color, interrogate our own experiences and engage in new perspectives. 

12:00pm  - 1:00pm Lunch

1:00pm - 2:15pm  Concurrent Workshops: Changing Your Self 

A) Conversations in the Fast Lane, with Renessa Boley Layne: In the mad dash to succeed, many of us find ourselves in the fast lane going in the wrong direction. Whether finding your “right direction” requires a complete personal or professional u-turn or a mere shift in direction, this session will offer insights to equip you to strategically design your route.

B) Turning Ambition into Action, with Shalini Sardana: This interactive workshop will focus on using leadership power tools to embrace entrepreneurial leadership within a design thinking framework.


2:15pm - 3:30pm  Concurrent Workshops: Changing Your Context

A) Become a Masterful Influencer, with Marvell Allen: Discuss the barriers women of color face in their organizations that can impact influencing opportunities, learn influence strategies and when, how, and with whom to use them most effectively.

B) Building True Equity for Women through Community, with Diana Ruiz: In this workshop, we’ll look at the beliefs and inherent behaviors that interfere with building healthy relationships with other women, and explore the why, how and what changes need to take place within ourselves to create trust, equity and power.


3:45pm - 4:45pm  Chief Diversity Officer Panel

Driving Intersectional Inclusion. This panel will candidly discuss the reasons why there's been little focus on women of color as a community, how we can be more intentional about moving forward, and what we could be doing to close the gap as a community.


4:45pm - 5:15pm Keynote

How to Play a Bigger Game, with Elizabeth Xu, CTO at BMC Software

5:30pm - 7:00pm  Reception

Throughout the day, you'll have a unique opportunity to support women craftspeople around the world. Rising International will have a range of handmade items available for purchase. Learn more about the women who created these goods and support their financial independence.

More about the organization: At Rising International we spread hope and dignity by selling crafts made by women living in the poorest and most dangerous places in the world; Places where hope is a radical act, and creating beauty is an act of courage and inspiration. Crafts are sold at intimate gatherings in the U.S., often referred to as home parties. Craft sales enable the artisans to find a way out of poverty by running sustainable micro-enterprises. Each craft comes with the story of the artisan, giving her a voice in our world. In the United States, we train women, many economically vulnerable, to run their own Rising Home Party businesses. They earn an income selling crafts for their global sisters. It's a total win-win: The more our local entrepreneurs prosper, the more they change the world.



97% would highly recommend to others

92% will immediately apply something they learned

"Change is not something we should fear, and we have the tools in us to face it and embrace it."

"We need these conferences to affirm and keep empowering each other and learn from each other to build stronger ties and opportunities for WOC."

Featured Speakers

Heather Hiles

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Deputy Director at the Gates Foundation and former CEO of Pathbrite

Shannon Spanhake

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CEO & Founder of LUCY

Stephanie Lampkin

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CEO & Founder of Blendoor 

LaFawn Davis

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Global Head of Culture & Inclusion, Twilio

Marvell C. Allen

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Owner & Principal,

Millennium Career Advantage

Shalini Sardana

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Certified Leadership Ambassador,

Take The Lead Women

Diana Ruiz

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Women’s Global Leadership Initiative 

Patty Dingle

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Senior Director, Diversity & Inclusion, Visa

Renessa Boley Layne

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Founder, Perfect Work Academy

Natasha Kehimkar

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Principal, ZEST People & Talent Advisors

Christine Tao

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Co-Founder, Sounding Board

Cynthia Owyoung

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Breaking Glass Forums

More speakers announced soon!

Shadiah Sigala

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Co-Founder, HoneyBook

Anita Darden Gardyne

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CEO & CO-founder, Oneva, Inc

Lori Cornmesser

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Board President,

Women's Global Leadership Initiative

Vandana Hariharan

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VP of Investor Relations, Medallia

Elizabeth Xu

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Chairman, Be the Change Foundation

Lauren Jackman

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Inclusion Lead, Medallia

2017 Sponsors

2017 Partners

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