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

Event Photography

Scott Buschman Photography - Women's Leadership Conference Keynote, afternoon & Hall of Fame

Scott Buschman Photography Shutterfly album of WLC & WHoF photos. To request photo files, please contact Scott Buschman at [email protected] or call at (650) 872-3207

Aaron Alvarado Photography - Women's Leadership Conference morning & Keynote

Aaron Alvarado Photography of the Women's Leadership Conference

Featured Speakers!

Speakers have included their presentation materials or their contact information.

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud, President of Skyline College, Keynote Speaker

Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud, President of Skyline College, has been an educator in the California Community Colleges for more than twenty five years. She began as a professor of nursing at then named, Rancho Santiago College of Santa Ana. She went on to become the Dean of Workforce and Economic Development at Mission College in Santa Clara and the Vice President of Instruction at Skyline College in San Bruno, California. She was recently appointed to be the President of Skyline College by the Board of Trustees of the San Mateo County Community College District. Her experience in state policy includes a 5 year tenure as a representative, Vice President, President and Past President of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges.



Leading to Transgress – Through the Lens of Equity
(click video below for full keynote talk)


  • Program Speakers
  • Hall of Fame Honorees & WLC Special Guests:

Naomi Patridge, Half Moon Bay

Naomi Patridge of Half Moon Bay became the first Asian-American elected to public office in San Mateo County, serving a record seven times as Mayor for Half Moon Bay as well as serving in City Council for 25 years. As a child, she and her family lost their family farm when they were interned during WWII; first in San Bruno and then in Topaz, Utah. They came back to the Coastside to rebuild their life and Naomi grew up and had her first experience in government serving on the Parks and Recreation Board in 1973. She established a Girls Softball Program that has endured for 47 years, coached a Championship High School Team and mentored a vast number of young women. She has a trail named after her on the Coastside and has established preservation of land for future generations.


Erin Tormey, Half Moon Bay

Erin Tormey of Half Moon Bay founded the Coastside Farmers’ Market in Half Moon Bay in 2002. Healthy and sustainable and socially equitable food systems are Erin’s passion, so her vision went beyond providing locally produced food for the community and economic opportunity for the many small family farms in the county, to seeking out programs that support lower income residents such as the Senior and WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program and CalFresh and bringing them to her markets. She was a pilot partner in MarketMatch, now a state-wide program that doubles participants produce purchasing power, and created LocalMatch, a unique program offered to residents who do not qualify for any form of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs. She’s a founder of the HEAL Project, a Coastside-grown curriculum rooted in agriculture that is delivered to all students in the 2nd and 3rd grades on the Coastside.  Designed teach students where their food comes from and why that matters, The HEAL Project  also provides access to more than 2,500 students throughout San Mateo County to  the 2.5 acre School Farm they established in Moss Beach.   She is a founding member of the San Mateo County Food System Alliance,   was appointed to CDFA’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Review Committee for a 5 year term, and was named San Mateo County Farmer of the Year in 2017.



Kalimah Salahuddin, Daly City

Kalimah Salahuddin of Daly City currently serves as a Trustee for the Jefferson Union High School District Board of Education and is in the second year of her second term. In April 2014 Kalimah was elected as a member of the California School Boards Association’s (CSBA) Delegate Assembly to represent her board and region.  She also was recently appointed to the Board of Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco where she has been a regular volunteer for the past ten years.

Kalimah was the Campaign Manager for Yes on L, the successful renewal of the local funding measure for the Pacifica School District, and Yes on Y and Yes on E, two successful local funding measures for the Jefferson Union High School District.  She also served on the Board of Educate Our State and as President of Saving Pacifica Schools in advocacy of public school systems at the local and state levels. Kalimah is employed as an Executive Assistant at Exelixis and is a mother to three wonderful young adults.



Dr. Jamillah Moore currently serves as the President of Cañada College, an award-winning institution located in the heart of the Silicon Valley. Dr. Moore has become known for her passion on educational excellence, equity, tackling difficult issues, and leveraging collaborative partnerships to ensure student success. Prior to her position at Cañada College, she was Vice-Chancellor for Educational Services and Planning of the San Mateo County Community College District, Chancellor of the Ventura County Community College District (VCCCD), President of Los Angeles City College, Senior Vice Chancellor for Governmental and External Relations for the California Community College Chancellor’s Office, and Interim Superintendent/President of Compton Community College. As an experienced educational leader, Dr. Moore combines innovation, research, and effective management with a commitment to transparency, respect for faculty and staff, and deep and compassionate dedication to students.


Michelle Droz, Woodruff Sawyer & Company, Event Emcee

Michelle Droz is on a mission. She is an engaging, accomplished national speaker and presenter. She is an activist on the legislative front fighting for healthcare, human and female rights. Life started as an orphan found on a doorstep in rural Korea. Eventually adopted, she was raised in a small town outside of Chicagoland area. In the orphanage, she was exposed to many contagious diseases. Michelle has traveled multiple times in Washington DC to lobby for funding for preventable diseases. She has advocated for extreme poverty issues as a Congressional District Leader through the ONE Campaign. Michelle has been a host, emcee and speaker for many events specific to advocacy, special education rights and for non-profit causes.


Michelle is a Senior Vice President and Partner of one of the largest privately held risk management firms in the country and a mother to twin sons. She is the President of the philanthropic arm within her company called CARE which is comprised of employees who volunteer onsite and plan financial support to local organizations. She believes that a woman’s vision is unstoppable with determination, hard work, tenacity and a strong network of successful partners who share the same values.


9:00 amRegistration and Breakfast/Continental
9:30Welcome and Opening Remarks
10:00Capitalizing on Women’s Leadership (50 min) –
two sessions to choose from

Government Panel with Question & Answer (50 min)

11:50amResource Tabling / Free Coaching
12:30pmSit-Down Lunch/Keynote
1:50Mentoring & Networking (50 min) –
two sessions to choose from
2:45 pmProgram Ends – Closing Remarks
3:00 pmNetworking Cocktail Reception / Resource Tabling / Free Coaching (Conference and Hall of Fame participants invited)



County of San Mateo Women’s Hall of Fame Induction (no dinner)



Our Sponsors:

Carole Groom, County of San Mateo Board of Supervisors

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

For those interested in sponsoring our next event, please contact the Commission on the Status of Women at [email protected]

Have questions about the Women’s Leadership Conference? Please email [email protected]