2020 UCLA Anderson Women’s Leadership Summit


Friday, January 31, 2020

Skirball Cultural Center
2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90049

Now more than ever, female leaders must come together and raise our voices to elevate one another, our communities, organizations and the world around us. Velocity 2020, UCLA Anderson’s annual women’s leadership summit, is a celebration of the power and impact of women, bringing together a passionate and forward-thinking community to explore ideas for a more equitable future in business and society. A joint effort of the school’s students, faculty, administration and alumni, this year’s summit will feature a diverse group of forward-thinking women in business, technology, entertainment, media and more.

We convene under the theme “Elevate” to explore what the future holds for women, not only personally and professionally, but also as global citizens. Together, we can empower women across industries and at all stages of their careers to realize their potential.


Velocity 2020: The Highlights, Elevated


January 31, 2020
UCLA Anderson’s 2019 Velocity Women’s Leadership Summit, presented by the Women’s Business Connection and Anderson Women.

velocity 2020 - event photos

velocity 2020 - SPEAKERS


Keynote Speakers


Katie McGrath

Co-CEO, Bad Robot

Kara Helander

Managing Director and Chief Diversity Officer, The Carlyle Group

Christine Simmons (B.S. ’98)

COO of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences



8:15 – 9:00 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast
9:00 – 10:00 a.m. Morning Workshops
Conflict Resolution and Management
  • This interactive workshop will introduce participants to tools for managing conflicts. Participants will learn about different types of conflicts and their effects on team processes and outcomes, as well as how to address them most effectively through de-escalatory communication.
  • Led by Corinne Bendersky, Professor of Management and Organizations, UCLA Anderson School of Management
Women in Governance: Preparing for Board Service
  • This session will provide an overview of the roles and responsibilities of corporate and nonprofit boards, and review the preparation, positioning and personal/professional development that can be leveraged to become a viable candidate for board membership.
  • Led by Donna Sharp, Associate Dean, UCLA Anderson School of Management Executive Education
Goals and Motivation
  • This workshop will cover choice architecture, ways to produce behavioral changes, and motivational tools to aid in goal pursuit. Participants will gain psychological insights that can be capitalized as tools and techniques, and learn about potential pitfalls and how to avoid them.
  • Led by Hengchen Dai, Assistant Professor of Management and Organizations, UCLA Anderson School of Management
10:15 – 10:25 a.m. Welcome Remarks Dean Tony Bernardo
10:25 – 11:00 a.m. Keynote
  • Katie McGrath, Co-CEO, Bad Robot
  • in conversation with Eva Lu (’20), President, Women’s Business Connection
11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Breakout Sessions
Women in Artificial Intelligence
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) continues to be top of mind for both consumers and businesses. Moderated by Dyan Decker, U.S. forensics leader at PwC, this panel will showcase innovative women in the AI space as they discuss the trends, challenges and future of AI across various industries. The conversation will focus on the impact AI will have on our daily lives and the workplace from the perspectives of technology firms, startups and the legal field.
  • Dyan Decker (’02), U.S. Forensics Leader, PwC
  • Nitya Chandrasekharan (’13), Machine Learning & AI Partnerships, Google Cloud
  • Tracey L. Freed, Founder, Freed Law
  • Jo Riley, CEO and Co-Founder, Censia
Women Making an Impact
  • Diversity and inclusion aren’t measured solely by headcounts. What defines a diverse workforce, and how can a company measure progress? Women leaders in the tech, education and nonprofit sectors will share best practices for sustaining diverse talent and improving business. The panel will be moderated by Dr. Melanie Wasserman, assistant professor of economics at UCLA Anderson, whose research investigates the mechanisms underlying gender differences in labor market and educational outcomes.
  • Emily Slade, Co-Founder and COO, Valence
  • Miriam Warren, SVP of Engagement, Diversity and Belonging, Yelp
  • Melanie Wasserman, Assistant Professor of Economics, UCLA Anderson
  • Deena Williams Mangrum (’02), Director of Talent Strategy and Human Resources, Para Los Niños
Women in the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Presented by Fritz Demopoulos (’97)

  • In 2019, less than 3% of venture capital funding went to founding teams that were women. Even though that's a small number, that’s the highest it's ever been. Only 12% of decision makers in venture capital firms are women, yet more than 70% of the top-performing funds have them. Now is the time to become a founder or investor. Our panelists, who have experience ranging from entrepreneurship to investing, will discuss how to navigate the founding and funding of new ventures. UCLA Anderson alumna Kristen Dickey (’96) will lead an insightful, honest conversation with seasoned members of the startup ecosystem that will be followed by a Q&A session.
  • Kristen Dickey (’96), Private Investor and Former Managing Director, BlackRock
  • Olga Chernova, Managing Partner, Sancus Capital Management
  • Julie McClure, CEO & Founder, Hello.Me
  • Jordan Sale, Founder & CEO, 81cents
  • Saujin Yi (’07), Founder/CEO, Liquid
12:15 – 1:20 p.m. Lunch
1:35 – 2:10 p.m. Keynote
  • Kara Helander, Managing Director and Chief Diversity Officer, The Carlyle Group
  • in conversation with Heather Caruso, Assistant Dean of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion; Adjunct Assistant Professor of Management and Organizations and Behavioral Decision Making, UCLA Anderson
2:10 – 2:45 p.m. Keynote
  • Christine Simmons (B.S. ’98), COO, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
  • in conversation with Regina Regazzi (’97), Assistant Dean and Director, Parker Career Management Center
2:45 p.m. Mindfulness Closing Session
  • Diana Winston, Director of Mindfulness Education, UCLA's Mindful Awareness Research Center
3:05 – 3:15 p.m. Closing Remarks
  • Suma Bojedla (’20), EVP, Women’s Business Connection

Presented by:


Made possible by

Beth Friedman ('87)

Founder, inher circle LLC

Gold Sponsor: 


Relive the Highlights of Velocity 2019


February 1, 2019, was a day of inspiration, empowerment, warmth, laughter, cheers and sharing for the enthusiastic crowd that gathered for UCLA Anderson’s 2019 Velocity Women’s Leadership Summit, presented by the Women’s Business Connection and Anderson Women.

Bold Women Sat Here

Speakers implored the predominantly female audience to “Be Bold,” the theme of the seventh annual conference, with more than 500 in attendance.

Read More About Velocity