Lead On! 2019: Women in Communication Leadership Forum

Thursday, September 19, 2019 (All day)Friday, September 20, 2019 (All day) USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism (ASC)

Public Relations is a $15 billion global industry with a workforce that is approximately 70% female (Holmes Report). Yet, about 70% of C-suite and executive positions in agencies and corporate communications departments are held by men.

Lead On! 2019 is our second annual leadership forum created to equip future women leaders with real-world skills, insight and practical tools to succeed. Lead On! moves beyond the talk. Speakers, panelists and industry executives will roll up their sleeves to train, mentor and guide future female leaders.

Only 40 participant spots are available. The small group environment ensures participants get meaningful networking and training time with industry leaders and trainers.

Continental breakfast, catered lunch and Thursday evening reception will be provided.

Real-World Solutions

  • Hands-on training in negotiation
  • Meet and network with executive speakers and trainers
  • Practical business skills and leadership solutions
  • One-on-one mentoring to fine-tune career goals

Workshop sessions include

  • Mind the Wage Gap: Negotiate the Salary You Deserve
  • Have Her Back: Creating Cultures of Empowerment
  • Grit + Grace: How Female Leaders Realize Their Full Potential
  • The Bottom Line: Understanding CEO and Board Business Priorities
  • Where Have I Heard That Idea Before: Taking Charge in Meetings and Brainstorms
  • Executive Presence
  • Elevator Speech Workshop
  • Improvisational Leadership

Confirmed speakers and workshop leaders include:

  • Holly Mandel and Brian Palermo (The Groundlings): “Good Girls Aren’t CEOs”
  • Julia Wallace, author and Frank Russell Chair, ASU Walter Cronkite School: “There’s No Crying in Newsrooms: What Women Have Learned About What It Takes To Lead”
  • Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire, founder, Berkhemer Clayton: “Women on Boards”
  • Cathy Calhoun, chief client officer, Weber Shandwick: “Know Your Value”
  • Lisa Gates, founder, Story Happens Here: “Negotiate What You Deserve”
  • Seema Kathuria, managing director, Russell Reynolds Associates: “Your Career Path”
  • Fred Cook, director, USC Annenberg Center for PR: “Improvisational Leadership”
  • “The Biggest PR Problem I Ever Solved”
  • “C-Suite Success” 
  • “The Business Behind The Business”

Also scheduled to participate:

  • Cheryl Cook, client relationship manager, Edelman & Weber Shandwick
  • Melissa Robinson, vice president marketing and communications, Boingo Wireless
  • Nita Song, general manager, IW Group
  • Heather Wilson, managing director, SKDK
  • Blythe Yee, vice president, employee communications, Linked In

Only 40 Participant spots will be offered! Interested in attending? Click here to be notified first when registration begins.

For more information, please contact Ron Antonette, Chief Program Officer, USC Center for Public Relations at (213) 740-3864 or