Breaking Out: Empowering & Encouraging Women Leaders

Rather than asking women to change themselves to “better fit” the current culture, our speakers will talk about how they are driving systemic change in corporate culture, policy, compensation, and government representation to empower women and encourage their leadership style. Since 1988 women make up more than half the US population and outnumber men on college campuses and in degree completion. Yet their rise in the ranks of leadership, both in the political and business worlds, has plateaued. Women’s’ presence in top leadership positions—as law partners, university school deans, and corporate executive officers—remains below twenty percent. Female “share of voice,” the average proportion of representation on op-ed pages and corporate boards, as TV pundits, and in Congress—is just 15%. In fact, it’s now estimated that, at the current rate of change, women won't reach parity with men in leadership roles in our country until 2085.* Living, as we do, at the epicenter of innovation, it is incumbent upon us to break out and bring this timetable to gender parity forward.

*Women’s Leadership by the Numbers, Judith Warren, March 2014

About the Conference

Join the County of San Mateo Commission on the Status of Women for a full-day conference offering a unique perspective on women’s leadership.



• Create change for women in organizational culture, policy, compensation, and government representation. • Break out and bring a timetable for gender equality forward • Empower and explore women’s leadership style and action-planning • Provide an inclusive environment where women and others from all backgrounds can share their challenges and strengths.

Who Should Attend:

The WLC is a day-long event where people share their perspectives on women’s leadership in our county. These people are invested in creating change in the workplace, government, start-ups, community groups and other sectors of society to empower and develop more female leaders in San Mateo County.

Conference Focus

Government/Public Sector, Community, Business, Personal

  • Speakers/Presenters/Attendees, this year's program focuses on three themes:

Session Abstract:  Explore the many benefits of a diverse workplace, how women have transformed the workplace and the impact female leaders have had on Organizational Performance; how to empower the next generation in order to create a pipeline of powerful women leaders.


Key Issues:

  • Improving the rate at which women are considered for leadership roles.
  • Unique elements required of women leaders.
  • Addressing unconscious bias, flexible working conditions, power of technology and the importance of mentors to increase the number of women in leadership roles.
  • Technology & Science gap.
  • Women voluntarily leaving the workforce before reaching the top.
  • Millennials shaping the future.
  • Sports as leadership training for women with in-depth topics such as teamwork & leadership skills; discipline, time management & perseverance, courage to take risks, lessons learned from failure.

Session Abstract:  Possible Panel Discussion with Q & A/Moderator to examine the impact of female legislators & the benefits of having more women in government.  Share stories of perseverance, success and share insights into public service. 


Key Ideas:

Models for successful women in politics/government

What is women’s contribution to government

How do Women Legislators think, image, hope things will change moving forward

Holistic effect on communities represented by women leaders

How can women get involved in government

Why run for office?

Session Abstract The power of mentoring is transformative for individuals and communities.  Both informal and formal mentoring challenge us to do better and be better in our personal lives and in our lives as citizens in our local, national and global communities.  Mentoring is a process for the informal transmission of knowledge, social capital and the psychosocial support perceived by the recipient as relevant to work career or professional development.  Mentoring is essential to the causes of women in all aspects of leadership.


Key Ideas:

  • Why Mentorship
  • When to seek membership
  • What makes a good mentor
  • How to mentor
  • Benefits of providing mentoring
  • How to find mentors
  • How to work effectively in mentorship


8:15 amRegistration and Breakfast/Continental
8:45Welcome and Opening Remarks
9:00General Session (75 min)
10:30General Session (75 min)
12:00Sit-Down Lunch/Keynote
1:30General Session (75 min)
3:00 pmProgram Ends – Closing Remarks
3:30Networking Cocktail Reception / Resource Tabling
4:00County of San Mateo Women’s Hall of Fame Ceremony

Agenda is subject to change

Register - Women's Leadership Conference & Women's Hall of Fame

Tickets will be available on Eventbrite.

Please check back for more details at a later date.

Our Sponsors:

Executive Sponsors:

Carole Groom, County of San Mateo Board of Supervisors

Donna Vaillancourt, Director, County of San Mateo Human Resources Department

Diamond Sponsors:

Ruby Sponsors:

Sapphire Sponsors:

Emerald Sponsors:

Become a Sponsor:

We are seeking sponsors for our event!

You can select one of the levels below or contact the event committee to design a custom sponsorship package for your organization.

Please download our Sponsorship Packet to review which level is right for your organization. You are encouraged to work with the Conference Sponsorship Lead and then submit your order via Eventbrite.


Credit card donations are accepted via Eventbrite. Credit card processing fees apply.

Invitations to attend private VIP “thank you” reception Women’s Hall of Fame201010552
Introduction by Master of Ceremonies and opportunity to welcome guests
Logo prominently displayed on all on-site signage, printed materials, social media, event site, conference advertising email blasts and acknowledgment as the Presenting Sponsor on all marketing materials
Banner display opportunity (vertical retractable banner preferred)
Mention in (2) press releases surrounding the Conference (pre-event and postevent)
Resource table
Logo displayed on all on-site signage, printed materials, social media, event site, conference advertising email blastsListing in program and sponsor signage
Logo/Ad space opportunityFull Page AdFull Page AdFull Page Ad1/2 Page Ad1/2 Page Ad1/4 Page Ad

Have questions about the Women's Leadership Conference? Please fill out the form below. Emails are sent to