4th Annual Women in Leadership Conference Another Success

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“The power of diversity is so great, that diverse teams outperform smarter teams,” Sallie Krawcheck, respected Wall Street executive said to a ballroom filled with more than 600 people at Bowing Green State University’s Women in Leadership conference on September 30. 

Krawcheck, chair of Ellevate Network and Ellevate Asset Management and the Former Bank of America president of Global Wealth & Investment Management, was the keynote speaker at the 4th Annual Women in Leadership conference presented by the BGSU College of Business.

She shared her career journey over the past several decades and had the audience laughing and leaving inspired to make a change in their organization.  “Start to have the courageous conversation, it’s about bringing diversity to the forefront,” Krawcheck stated.

Krawcheck talked about risk taking and encouraged participants to take that chance. “Nobody cares as much as you do if you fail.  I promise.”

“Investing in Women is Smart Business,” the theme of this year’s Women in Leadership conference, focused on the positive outcomes of a gender diverse organization and why institutions need more female leaders.

In addition to Krawcheck’s address titled “How to Build an Insanely Awesome Management Team,” four featured presenters shared their research, implementation strategies and results with the audience.

Julie Nugent, vice president and center leader at Catalyst Research Center for Corporate Practice was the first presenter. “Women face higher standards than men in some cases and gender stereotypes actually block advancement,” Nugent stated. Nugent shared Catalyst’s research with the audience, which provided the intellectual foundation for the remainder of the conference.

“Building an inclusive environment begins with tone, leadership and innovation,” Deb DeHaas, chief inclusion officer and national managing partner of the Center for Corporate Governance for Deloitte told the audience. DeHaas drives Deloitte’s strategy to recruit, develop and promote a diverse workforce fostering an inclusive environment where leaders thrive.  Deloitte’s implementation of gender diversity is a benchmark for many other institutions.

Mark Pizzi, president and chief operating officer of Nationwide Insurance Direct and Member Solutions and alumna Amy Shore ‘86, president of P&C Exclusive Distribution of Nationwide Insurance, P&C Exclusive Distribution presented the final morning session.

“Being focused on inclusion brings the culture of Nationwide to life,” stated Shore.  “When you activate a group of people who are passionate about something and give them a voice in the process, it makes a difference,” Shore continued. “It’s not enough to have good business results if you’re not leaving the community better than you found it,” Pizzi concluded.

Research studies have provided statistically significant numbers, showing that gender diverse businesses have a higher return on equity, a greater return on sales, and an increased return on invested capital compared to organizations without gender diversity in their leadership structure.

The next Women in Leadership conference will be held on October 21, 2016. Previous keynote speakers have included: Sherron Watkins, the former Enron Vice President of Corporate Development who was the whistleblower for Enron’s accounting irregularities in their financial reports; and Amy Dubois Barnett, Executive Editor at ESPN and former Editor-in-Chief at Ebony.