Women in Leadership event offers a variety of interactive presentations 

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Aha! moments; technological advances; accessible to anyone and everyone.

That’s how Melissa Cory defines Game Changers, the theme of the eighth annual Women in Leadership Conference 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. April 13 at Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens.

Cory is director of communications at Meinders School of Business at Oklahoma City University (OCU) and a conference organizer.

“We can all help and affect one another at every level of where you might be in your career, whether you’re a student or a CEO,” she said.

At this year’s event, speakers from an array of professions discuss how women can become game-changers. Keynote speakers are Marianne Cooper and Pamela Meyer.

Cooper, a Stanford University sociologist and the lead researcher for Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, will discuss gender issues women face in the workplace and how to climb the career ladder.

Meyer — Harvard MBA, Calibrate CEO and author of Liespotting: Proven Techniques to Detect Deception will focus on truth and how to get to it.

Executive coach and speaker Charmaine McClarie, YWCA Oklahoma City CEO Janet Peery, mediator and professor Barbara Crandall and pioneering film director Deborah Shames also will present on the power of story, making mindful decisions and exhibiting executive presence.

Cory said the presentations aim to be personally and professionally relevant by providing “actionable takeaways” and utilizing a participatory interactive format.

“Whether it’s our morning or afternoon keynote, we want each presentation to not just be a lecture,” she said. “We want it to be workshop-style; we want Q&A; we want lots of tabletop discussion.”

Cory said conference organizers have also conducted evaluations and focus groups in order to determine what presentations would be most impactful.

“We really want to listen to industry,” she said. “We want to listen to our guests.”

Inclusive conversations

Over the course of its nearly 10-year run, Women in Leadership Conference has grown in size and impact.

“We started the event in 2010 with a small group of women,” Cory said. “There were five of us who were looking at the opportunity to share knowledge with students and get an opportunity to give back to some others in professional groups, nonprofits.”

The inaugural conference had about 100 attendees, Cory said.

After seven years, conference attendance has tripled to 300.

“I’m encouraged by the level of support and sponsorship that we’ve gotten in the past and that we continue to get,” Cory said.

Data from past conferences shows that 60 percent of attendees are managers and directors, 35 percent are CEOs and presidents and 5 percent are students, Cody said.

Attendees also come from a variety of professions, including education, banking, energy, government and law.

“We want to include everybody,” she said.

Cory said the conference offers content helpful for everyone, regardless of gender, industry or level.

“I love to have men involved and at the table as part of the conversation, because it takes everybody,” she said. “Come learn; come grow. It’s important for all of us to work together, to be mindful of growth opportunities.”

Registration is $199.

Visit okcwomeninleadership.com or call 405-208-5540.

Print headline: Growing gains, This year’s Women in Leadership event offers a day of interactive presentations.

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