Women embrace voices at symposium

Women embrace voices at symposium Image
Women embrace voices at symposium April 11, 2018

Enlightened, entertained, informed, inspired and empowered. That’s how 300-plus participants felt following CSU’s fourth-annual Women’s Leadership Symposium, “Embrace Your Voice.”

Co-sponsored by CSU’s Alumni Association and Division of Student Affairs and held at Cleveland’s Global Center for Health Innovation, the day-long event included eight engaging panel discussions and five breakout sessions covering everything from corporate leadership and work-life balance to emotional intelligence. In five “3 in 30” sprint classes, speakers provided three key takeaways in 30 minutes.

Keynote addresses were delivered by Tricia Griffith, president and CEO of Progressive Insurance, and Janet Kavandi, director of the NASA Glenn Research Center.

Griffith joined Progressive in 1988 as a claims representative and steadily advanced to the top spot. She encouraged attendees to “embrace your voice sooner, rather than later” and to “surround yourself with people who allow you to be courageous.” She shared 11 principles of leadership, noting “you are only a true leader if people want to follow you.”

As an astronaut, Dr. Kavandi flew on three space missions. She shared traits that define leaders, including a curious mind, character, integrity, caring for those around you, and caring for family more than for the job. “Be a change agent. Open you mind to new opportunities and never give up,” she said.

The symposium’s 50-plus presenters, as well as the audience, represented a breadth and depth of talent ranging from politicians, scientists and corporate CEOs to bloggers, models and students.

“CSU is proud to host this symposium celebrating women who are making a difference in Cleveland, Northeast Ohio and the world,” said Emily Cole, event coordinator. “It is inspiring to see so many accomplished, educated and engaged women coming together to network, share success stories and mentor the next generation of leaders.”