26th annual Women in Leadership conference to focus on entrepreneurship, allyship

Group of women talking on outdoor patio
WIL Conference guests gather outside Chou Hall’s Spieker Forum. Photo taken March 16, 2019. (All guests provided proof of vaccination to attend conference.)

Increased family responsibilities and burnout are just a couple of outcomes brought on by the pandemic, pushing many women to reevaluate everything from relationships to family planning to work. 

The 26th annual Women in Leadership Conference intends to carry that conversation forward and inspire attendees to redefine their professional and personal lives under this year’s theme “Re:set, Re:imagine, and Re:build.” The conference will be held March 5 in Chou Hall’s Spieker Forum, with optional programming on Friday, March 4.

“Coming to Haas was my way of reimagining what my life would be like,” said conference co-chair Clara Pomi who left her job as a project manager at fitness company ClassPass due to pandemic-related layoffs. “I could have found a new job, but the pandemic forced me to reevaluate everything, especially my career.”

Organized by the Women in Leadership club, the conference is one of the longest-running and most well-attended events at Berkeley Haas. It is expected to draw more than 300 students, alumni, faculty, scholars, and other professionals to campus. 

Conference organizers include Pomi, Emily Shapiro, Danielle Dhillon, Camila Rico, Pooja Bag, Charlotte Harris, Neha Dutta, Katherine Willcox, Bailey Daum, Julie Warshaw, Tess Krasne and Lily Sahn, all MBA 22. 

The one-and-a-half day event will begin with a Story Saloon, a homage to Story Salon, a Haas tradition in which students share their lived experiences through storytelling, on Friday evening.

Saturday’s events include a welcome address by Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer Élida Bautista followed by a discussion with Kim Malek, co-founder and CEO of Salt & Straw, led by Dean Harrison. Breakout sessions focused on negotiating salaries, entrepreneurship, and allyship are also planned. Vicky Tsai, founder of skincare line Tatcha will give closing remarks.

Other notable guests include Dr. Sahar Yousef, a Haas lecturer and cognitive neuroscientist; Michelle Kim, BS 11, political activist and founder of Awaken; Jordan Sale, MBA 19, founder of 81cents; Amy Fan, MBA/MPH 19, founder of Twentyeight Health; and Kellie McElhaney, executive director of the Center for Equity, Gender, and Leadership (EGAL).

Conference tickets are now available.