Women’s Emerging Leadership Forum Welcomes a Sold-Out Audience
On October 13, 2022, the Lam Family College of Business (LFCoB) at San Francisco State University hosted its eighth annual Women’s Emerging Leadership Forum (WELF) in collaboration with KPMG, one of the Big Four accounting firms, at their San Francisco office, located at 55 Second Street. Billed as a lively, one-day, interactive event designed for women seeking to advance in their profession, WELF 2022 featured informative and inspiring presentations tied to the ‘Blazing Your Path’ event theme and delivered by prominent community thought leaders and top managers, along with activities to stimulate the minds and bodies of the sold-out audience.
Representing a wide range of industries and professions, the 90 people in attendance had time to network with one another during breaks taken throughout the day. The program began with a talk delivered by Keynote Speaker Carine Schneider, FGE, President of AST, an industry leader in cloud-based capitalization table software for private firms. The audience listened intently as Schneider discussed executive compensation for women and the issues women experience when negotiating compensation—particularly with respect to equity ownership, considered the true source of wealth creation for top managers. A lively question-and-answer session with the audience followed Schneider’s talk, which also included engaging stories of her personal journey to top management.
A panel discussion on how to ‘Create Your Path: Thrive During Change and Uncertainty’ was moderated by the event master of ceremonies, Jingmei Li, a faculty member in the Management academic department at San Francisco State and HR consultant with decades of experience in global HR, education, design and strategy. The panel speakers were Lucy Chen, Vice President of Claris FileMaker Platform Engineering at Apple, and Cathy Peng, CEO at ROCS Global, Inc. They shared interesting stories and insights from their unique journeys to the top of their professions. Among other topics, Chen spoke on issues of how she overcame demanding engineering problems in her role at Apple. Peng discussed personal power and emphasized the importance of self-efficacy and the power of nurturing one’s personal energy.
The Plenary Speaker, Gulnur Tumbat, Professor of Marketing at SF State and Director of the Lam-Larsen Community Engagement Initiative, spoke of her personal journey to the top of Mount Everest, an extraordinary tale of perseverance and sheer determination, as well as skills and experience development. Tumbat’s talk was accompanied by dramatic photos and video clips of her experiences “blazing her path” to the top of Everest. As the only female in her climbing party, Tumbat touched on multiple themes broadly relevant for anyone seeking to advance in their careers, regardless of industry. Interestingly, Tumbat has now climbed the highest mountain peaks on each of six continents, with the seventh continent, Antarctica, awaiting her. When she achieves this next goal, Tumbat will join the ranks of a select group of women who have summited the highest peak on each of the seven geographic continents.
Peng wrapped up the session with an invigorating round of high energy and fun exercises enthusiastically performed by everyone at the event. Peng believes that forums, such as this one, should stimulate the body as well as the mind.
When asked what it took to pull off what appeared to be a seamless event, Lam-Larsen Community Engagement Director Tumbat commented, "The event took months of planning and executing. It would not have been possible without the commitment and hard work of my colleagues on the WELF 2022 planning team, Professors Bruce Heiman, Venoo Kakar, Jingmei Li, and Matt Hu, and Robert David, an external professional development expert."
Event attendee Corrina Dilloughery, Cohesity Academy Onboarding Manager at Cohesity, said, "I absolutely loved Carine's session on negotiations. I have no problem negotiating for an organization, but sometimes hold back negotiating for myself because I don't want to appear greedy or that I am just here for the money." She also noted the diversity of the speakers' backgrounds. Dilloughery added that WELF was a great opportunity, and she would recommend the event to others as she gained insights to help with her future career advancement.
Tumbat considered the sold-out event a major success and stated, “Everyone is looking forward to next year’s WELF with eager anticipation. We are grateful to the speakers who agreed to share their valuable experiences at WELF and to our event partner, KPMG San Francisco, for providing their amazing event space and for elevating the professional advancement of women."