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Women in Leadership Conference to Tackle Design Thinking at UC Berkeley’s Haas School


Students at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business are gearing up to host the 18th annual Women in Leadership Conference next week, focused around the theme of “Design Your Future,” the school announced.

Tech leaders from Synopsus, Lending Club and Kaiser Permanente will take part in the March 15th event, which is the longest-running, student-organized conference in the school’s history. This year’s co-chairs are Stephanie Curran, MBA 14, and Lauren Fernandez, also MBA 14.

“Having successfully used design-thinking tools in multiple projects since starting Haas, Lauren and I wanted to introduce women professionals in the Bay Area to these out-of-the-box tools to advance both their personal and professional lives,” Curran said in a statement.

The day’s lineup begins with a breakfast discussion with Debra Martucci, chief information officer and VP of information technology at Synopsys, which provides tools and services for semiconductor design. Two Haas alumna – Carrie Dolan, BS 87, MBA 97, who is now CFO at online financial website Lending Club, and Christine Paige, PhD 86 (Poli. Sci.), Kaiser Permanente senior VP of marketing and digital services – will deliver keynote addresses.

The afternoon will be devoted to a series of interactive workshops emphasizing [re]Framing, [re]Telling, [re]Evaluating and [re]Imagining. Each of the workshops will invite participants to formulate different perspectives and approaches in their lives and careers. For instance, social entrepreneur, professional surfer and motivational speaker Farhana Huq will lead a [re]imagine workshop in which participants will explore “authenticity in career and in life.”

Unlike previous years’ conferences, the panels this year will focus on function rather than industry. The thinking behind this shift is that it will bring together women from a range of industries to learn from others working in their given function or field – presenting them with a broader variety of career opportunities for that function than they may have previously considered.

Haas expects the event to sell out, drawing 400 attendees who will include current students, alumni and professionals from throughout the Bay Area.

Tickets are available until March 14th, and students, alumni, faculty and staff qualify for discounts.

Learn more about the Haas Women in Leadership Conference.