2017 Event Agenda

More than 1,200 attendees gathered for Booth Women Connect Conference 2017 to hear from distinguished speakers and network with Booth faculty, colleagues, students, and alumnae.

Registration and Continental Breakfast

8–9 a.m.


9–9:10 a.m.

Join us for welcome remarks from Stacey Kole, Deputy Dean for Alumni, Corporate Relations, and the Full-Time MBA Program and Clinical Professor of Economics, as we kick off the 7th annual Booth Women Connect Conference.

Keynote Speaker - Sian Beilock

9:10–10:05 a.m.

Sian Beilock, PhD, is an expert on the brain science behind “choking under pressure” and the many factors influencing all types of performance: from test-taking, to presentations, to your golf swing. Dr. Beilock will share with us what happens in our brain and body when we experience the dreaded performance anxiety, and what are we doing differently when everything magically “clicks” into place. From the ways body language can improve your memory to how to excel at public speaking, Beilock explains a wealth of fascinating interconnections between mind and body and shows how mastering them can make us more successful.

Speaker: Sian Beilock

Remarks from Zayo/The Caruso Foundation - Booth Women Connect Conference Platinum Sponsor

10:05–10:15 a.m.

Remarks from Zayo/The Caruso Foundation, a Booth Women Connect Conference Platinum Sponsor.

Speaker:  Julia Robin, Vice President of Transport Services, Zayo

Coffee Break - Sponsored by Baird, Booth Women Connect Conference Platinum Sponsor

10:15–10:45 a.m.

Morning Concurrent Sessions

10:45–11:45 a.m.

For business markets, we apply innovation principles, processes, and techniques to create successful new products. One of the key tenets is to create a product that addresses unmet needs. This is a customer-needs-first approach rather than a product-first approach. (“If I build the product, the customers will come.”) It is often the difference between success and failure.

Unfortunately, most people pursue their careers with a “product-first” approach. The product in this case is the person. They think, “If I get this degree and have these work experiences, the career opportunities will come that make me successful.” What results? Many potential career paths fizzle out early, not unlike so many promising new product concepts. For many of us, we need to apply innovation principles to our own personal product. 

This breakout session will introduce you to a personal innovation approach and challenge you with practical steps for how you can apply innovation principles to your Personal Product for career success.

Speaker: Craig Terrill

Improving gender inclusion is top of mind for many companies right now, in light of research illustrating issues around pay equity, culture, and flexibility. This panel features companies who are at the cutting edge with policies and practices related to creating an equitable and positive environment for both women and men and the champions leading the charge.

Speakers: Anna AuerbachNatasha LambJulie McLaughlin, '13 (XP-82), and Matthew Wells

Moderator: Melanie Scarlata

Are you as influential as you think you are? Learn how to see yourself as others see you, as well as how to avoid mistakes that can decrease your influence. This session will dispel the most common influence myths and instruct leaders on how to stop sabotaging themselves in order to leave a positive, lasting impression.

Speaker: Stacey Hanke

If you could do it again, what would you do differently? In this session, you’ll have the opportunity to hear accomplished women—from a range of industries and with diverse experience—reflect on their successes and struggles at critical turning points in their lives, and offer sage advice based on their lessons learned.

Speakers: Suzanne El-Moursi, ’12 (XP-81) , Shaelyn Otikor, ’12, Jessica Tien, ’91

Moderator: Carolyn Ou

While the CEOs and staffs of nonprofits build and run programs and services, boards of directors provide strategic and financial leadership to ensure the organization’s vitality, integrity, and fulfillment of its mission. While this is true of the role of a board director, there are also remarkable ways that a board position can facilitate a change in your career, give voice to a passion, or keep your skills fresh after leaving the workforce.

Join the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation for an exciting conversation about the mutually beneficial relationship between leaders and boards.

Speakers: Maria Constantinides, '83, Scott Humphrey, Susan Kelly, '96

Moderator: Christina Hachikian, '07

While much has been learned in the past 30 years about the value women create for organizations, recent research indicates that women still face significant barriers to gender equality in the workforce and to advancement into leadership. Join Dr. Lynn Schmidt, coauthor of Shift Into Thrive, as she shares her framework for tapping into and building your own resiliency.

Speaker: Lynn Schmidt

Lunch and Keynote Speaker - Sallie Krawcheck

Noon–1:00 p.m.

Join Sallie Krawcheck, cofounder and CEO of Ellevest, for a discussion on the importance of owning both your failures and successes. You'll hear about her personal experiences as a Wall Street analyst, C-suite veteran, and entrepreneur, and the important lessons she learned along the way.

Speaker: Sallie Krawcheck

Introduction: Rachel Chamberlain, '17, Director of Operations, Ellevest

Remarks from Amazon - Booth Women Connect Conference Platinum Sponsor

1–1:10 p.m.

Remarks from Amazon, a Booth Women Connect Conference Platinum Sponsor.

Speaker: Carla Anderson Skogland, Director of Finance, Amazon

Afternoon Concurrent Sessions

1:30–2:30 p.m.

Successful companies rely on a talented and diverse board of directors to remain competitive and relevant. Why not apply this same principle to your life and career? Learn both the value of and how to build a personal board of directors—a group of mentors, guides, and counsel to help you achieve your goals.

Speakers: Kate Bensen, Beth A. BrooksSuzy Davidkhanian, ’06, and Joselle Deocampo, '09

Moderator: Julie Morton

A well-documented disparity in gender earnings and women's representation at the top echelon is at least partially due to women's reluctance to negotiate. Should the answer be as simple as, "Argue for your advancement more?" Turns out, this advice can backfire. In this session, learn how to circumvent the rational self-sabotage women have to do to get ahead—learn the strategies and tactics of increasing your success while making other women (and society) better off.

Speaker: Elena Zinchenko

Would you like to take action to become a more engaged citizen? Join a panel, co-sponsored by the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, on how to get involved and make an impact on the issues about which you care most from some of the leading women in Chicago, representing government, the nonprofit sector, and technology.

Speakers: Bridget Gainer, ’02, Genevieve ThiersSusana Vasquez, and Celina Villanueva

Moderator: Laura Washington

You’ve heard the hype about Strengths-Based Leadership. Now, start your own journey in this session led by strengths experts. Learn how you can leverage your existing strengths, develop a strength-based plan, and drive yourself and your team’s performance to ever higher levels in work and in life.

Speakers: Tomer Yogev, ’10, and Monika Black

Flexible. Solutions-focused. Curious. These are just some of the traits that make up the entrepreneurial mindset—a mindset that can help you innovate, adapt, and perform at your best. In the session, moderated by the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago, you will hear from a diverse panel of leaders about how you can cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset and apply it to any situation—both in your career and in your personal life.

Speakers: Nancy Hayes, '80, Coco Meers, '14, and Donna Zarcone, '87

Moderator: Starr Marcello, '17

You are a successful, highly credentialed woman, and not everyone’s excited about that. Fortunately, there’s a cottage industry of books and articles written just for you. Many have exactly the same takeaway: that you must balance your warmth and competence, softening the blow of your credentials by toning yourself down, and you should fine tune your social volume so it’s perfectly appropriate. The “balance” strategy is often both ineffective and personally frustrating because you’re stuck playing Goldilocks, and it’s next to impossible to get it “just right”. If you play it overly ‘effeminate’, warm, and deferential, you’re seen as lacking leadership presence and you fail to deliver critical messages. And if you’re “coming on too strong,” you aren’t “collegial” enough, whatever that means. Rather than living in a constant state of fear that you might shatter the egos of all who could potentially be threatened by your presence, consider the alternative: owning your competence without apologies. Tanya Menon, the co-author of Stop spending, Start managing, will consider when and how to implement this strategy.

Speaker: Tanya Menon

Afternoon Break - Sponsored by Amazon, Booth Women Connect Conference Platinum Sponsor

2:30–2:45 p.m.

Interactive Session with The Second City

2:45–4 p.m.

This session will give attendees the opportunity not only to consider, but also to develop new personal practices for benefiting from interpersonal tension where disagreement and dissimilarity typically take work off track. Bringing data from behavioral science to life, Heather Caruso of Chicago Booth and Anne Libera of The Second City will integrate improvisational exercises and research insights to help attendees explore how they can constructively assert their own perspectives while simultaneously affirming those of others.

Speakers: Heather Caruso, Anne Libera



4–5 p.m.

Join us for refreshments and stimulating conversation with members of the welcoming and supportive Booth Women Connect community at the conclusion of the conference. Network, share your takeaways from the day, and further the important discussions about issues affecting women in business today.