Lead On! 2019: Women in Communication Leadership Forum

Thursday, September 26, 2019 (All day)Friday, September 27, 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 breakfasts, catered lunches and Thursday evening networking dinner 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

Confirmed speakers and workshop leaders include:

  • Good Girls Aren’t CEOs a discussion and workshop about confidence and untapped potential, led by Groundlings alums Holly Mandel and Brian Palermo
  • How Female Leaders Can Effectively Harness Emotions at Work, presented by No Hard Feelings author Liz Fosslien, content director of Humu.
  • Know Your Value, led by Cathy Calhoun, chief client officer, Weber Shandwick.
  • Mind the Gap: Women in Leadership, discussion about a new study led by Tina McCorkindale, PhD, APR, of the Institute for Public Relations.
  • Negotiate What You Deserve, led by Lisa Gates, founder, Story Happens Here, and co-founder of She Negotiates.
  • The Business Behind the Business, a financial overview led by Cynthia Kalk, regional CFO, Weber Shandwick, and Jonathan Adelman, global director of client finance, Edelman.
  • What’s Your Legacy?, panelists TBD
  • What Women Have Learned About What It Takes to Lead, led by Kristin Gilger, author, and Reynolds Professor in Business Journalism, ASU Walter Cronkite School. Based on her new book, There’s No Crying in Newsrooms, co-authored with Julia Wallace.
  • Women on Boards, led by Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire, CEO, 2020 Women on Boards, and author, The Board Game - How Smart Women Become Corporate Directors.

Also scheduled to participate:

  • Fred Cook, chairman, Golin, and director, USC Annenberg Center for Public Relations: “Improvisational Leadership”
  • Cheryl Cook, client relationship manager, Edelman and Weber Shandwick
  • Melissa Robinson, vice president marketing and communications, Boingo Wireless
  • Heather Wilson, managing director, SKDK
  • Judy Brown, senior vice president, corporate affairs, Amgen

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