Leadership Symposium: Women and the Redesign of Business

Wednesday, October 22, 2:00–6:00 p.m.
Marriott Marquis, New York City

AIGA’s first-ever Leadership Symposium, organized by the Women’s Leadership Initiative, will take place at “Gain: AIGA Design and Business Conference” this fall in New York City.

Women’s ascendancy in all sectors of business has revitalized public discourse on subjects such as leadership skills, professional gender relations, compensation, work-life balance and organizational change. Persistent inequities and inadequacies are not only being observed more acutely than ever, they are being addressed through the problem-solving process of design.

This burgeoning movement, prompted by so-called women’s issues, is being led by and for both women and men. Innovative leaders at the individual and organizational levels are thinking creatively to recast our notions of professional development, leadership, the workplace and the very nature of work. Moderator Geri Stengel, president of Ventureneer, contributor to Forbes and author of Forget the Glass Ceiling: Building Your Business Without One, will host insightful interviews with a mix of speakers from academia, technology, design and business.

Online registration is closed. Onsite registration will open at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, October 22.


Member rate
Nonmember rate
Leadership Symposium ticket only
$ 150
$ 200
Gain conference + Leadership Symposium
Rates vary
Rates vary


Ely_150Accelerate Advancement through Organizational Change
Robin Ely, Diane Doerge Wilson professor of business administration and senior associate dean for culture and community, Harvard Business School

An earlier generation’s desire to achieve gender parity has simply not materialized. As a result, progress in women’s professional advancement has slowed considerably in recent years. What can companies and individuals do to accelerate the advancement of women into leadership roles? Using insights gained from her work at Harvard Business School, Ely will examine current systems supporting women’s leadership development and organizational change. We’ll explore opportunities for improvement and sharing best practices for attracting and developing the diverse cadre of leaders needed to meet the challenges facing business and society today.


Code the Future
Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO, Girls Who Code     

Every year, 57 percent of bachelors degrees are awarded to women. But in the field of computer science, the number of female graduates has decreased by 25 percent in the last 30 years, despite the fact that the technology industry continues to grow year after year.

Saujani will explain why she believes that a lack of women in technology and engineering is the most important domestic issue of our time. Hear how she’s inspiring the next generation of female leaders to redesign business through technology and the positive lessons she’s learned about failure along the way.


Changing Business from the Inside-Out
Debbie Madden, CEO, Stride

Innovation is disruptive, and disruption is good for business—especially when it happens from within. Increasingly, companies from 3M to Google are encouraging their employees to innovate, and are crediting intrapreneurship with new business ideas, growth and competitive advantage. And when women lead the charge, something else happens. Not only does the change positively shift traditional business goals, it shifts the culture of the company.
Madden will explore the common threads to success in creating intrapreneurial environments, how to navigate bumps along the way and why fostering work-life balance is integral to creating impactful and lasting change.


Mind the Gap: Women and Power
Tiffany Dufu, chief leadership officer, Levo League

Women hold only 18 percent of top leadership positions, despite making up over half of the American workforce. How can we possibly explain—and close—this gap? Reflecting on her experience coaching thousands of women, Dufu will explore the current barriers to elevating women, offer words of advice for those embarking on their journey to leadership and share innovative best practices for shifting culture and consciousness. Learn how to cultivate skills, harness leadership capability and empower the next generation of women leaders within your company.

Registration policies

Your registration constitutes permission to use photos, audio and video recording taken of you at the event for promotional and educational purposes in connection with AIGA, in corresponding publications and in AIGA’s archives.

All stand-alone ticket sales are final, no refunds will be granted.

Cancellation policy

The workshops and symposium are subject to cancellation or change. Liability is limited to funds remitted for workshop registration and sponsorship fees. Speakers are subject to change without prior notice.

Lead Partner, Women’s Leadership Initiative


Leadership Symposium Supporting Sponsor

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