Women's Leadership Forum

A day of knowledge sharing with a focus on the unique perspectives of women in business.
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Breakout Sessions

Breakout Sessions are offered concurrently twice throughout the day's program, allowing participants to take part in the two sessions that are most relevant to them.


Your voice matters.

 It is as important a part of the image you project as your wardrobe, your handshake, your professional demeanor--and far more personal than any of these.  Everyone is talking about what really holds women back in the workplace:  vocal patterns like upspeak and vocal fry, an inability to Lean In or crack The Confidence Code.  There’s a lot of “noise” out there about what does and does not work.  In this session, we’ll examine what authentic communication looks like in the workplace, what voice has to do with leadership and authority, and how you can make your voice heard.  We will investigate both how your voice works and how it may be perceived--and give you tools to use voice your voice both powerfully and authentically.   

Session led by Vital Voice Training, a voice coaching company focused on broadening the conversation about what 'works' in public speaking and communication.  Co-founders Julie Fogh and Casey Erin Clark’s extensive backgrounds in speech coaching, voice work, and professional acting give them a unique perspective on what makes people want to listen--and how to help their clients access their own charisma and presence authentically.  Through private coaching, accent modification for ESL speakers, and group workshops, VVT helps women recognize their voice as a powerful and useful instrument and own their fundamental right to be heard.


Negotiation: Several Secrets to Success

Negotiation is fundamental to interactions at work – if you want to get things done, if you want to get ahead, or if you just want to get your lunch, you need to understand how to succeed in negotiation. During my brief time with you, I will talk about the challenges faced by women in negotiation, and present concrete guides for helping you get what you want out of each and every negotiation. This session will be grounded in both the science and art of negotiation, intermixing data, research, and practical guides that you can use immediately to get what you want in life and work.

Penn State Executive Programs Session presented by Professor Stephen Humphrey.

Stephen E. Humphrey is Professor of Management in the Smeal College of Business at Pennsylvania State University. He received his Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and Human Resources Management (with a minor in Industrial/Organizational Psychology) from Michigan State University and his B.S. in Psychology from James Madison University.  Dr. Humphrey's research focuses on the structure of work, with a primary focus on teamwork and the drivers of team success.  His research has been published in the Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Personality, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, and Personnel Psychology. In addition, he has co-authored several book chapters, presented over 50 papers at professional meetings, and is a member of the Academy of Management.

Professor Stephen Humphrey


Financial Myths and Mistakes: A Roadmap to Your Financial Future

How much money do I need for retirement? How much should I be saving? Where should I invest my money? Should I pay attention to the investing strategies touted in the business press? These are questions we all struggle with. A little bit of knowledge can be helpful in thinking through them. There are no easy answers. But there are at least three topics that can help you better understand your financial situation. First, there are some principles that apply to all financial problems. Second, there is some evidence on what works and what doesn’t. And third, there are some avoidable financial mistakes that many people make. We will cover each of these, in the hope of providing you a better map to your financial future.

Presented by Professor Dennis Sheehan.

Dennis Sheehan joined the Smeal College of Business faculty in 1992 as the Louis and Virginia Benzak Professor of Finance. Dr. Sheehan is the Faculty Director for the Smeal EMBA and MBA programs. He previously taught at Purdue University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Rochester. Professor Sheehan is a graduate of Georgetown University and received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. Professor Sheehan's research and teaching interests are in finance and statistics. His current research is in corporate finance with papers on topics such as the extent and function of managerial stock ownership, the role of active shareholders in monitoring the firm, and the pricing of seasoned equity offerings by investment banks. His research has been published in journals such as the Journal of Finance, the Journal of Financial Economics, and the Journal of Econometrics, and has also been written up in the Wall Street Journal and the Journal of Applied Corporate Finance. 

Professor Dennis Sheehan