The 2020 Conference Center

“Leading the Way Forward”

The 21st Texas Conference for Women was held virtually (for the first time ever) on October 1, 2020.

Keynote Session Recaps

Melinda Gates, global philanthropist, co-founder of the Gates Foundation and CEO of Pivotal Ventures, shared her thoughts on the future of gender equality with Pat Mitchell, media executive and TEDWomen co-founder.

Issa Rae, producer, actress and writer, shared insights on what has helped her succeed as a leader and entrepreneur in a conversation with Laysha Ward, Target’s EVP and Chief External Engagement Officer.

Elizabeth Acevedo, New York Times bestselling author of The Poet X, With the Fire on High, and Clap When You Land, shared a moving and thought provoking poem.

Leadership Session Recaps

M. Tamra Chandler, nationally recognized thought leader, EY Americas People Advisory Services Principal, and author of Feedback (and Other Dirty Words): Why We Fear It, How to Fix It, taught us how to take the sting out of providing feedback and reclaim it as a motivating and empowering experience. Chandler also provided insights on how to give and receive effective, focused, and fair feedback so that the feedback can actually be put into action.

Nataly Kogan, nationally recognized emotional health expert and author of Happier Now, used her science-backed Happier Method™ to teach strategies for managing stress, developing a culture of gratitude, and building trust so that leaders and their teams feel more uplifted, resilient, motivated, and connected; even when working remotely. Kogan also shared mindset shifts and skills for boosting emotional health and overall well-being.

Michelle Kim, diversity, equity, and inclusion thought leader and founder and CEO of Awaken, taught us how to lead inclusively in times of volatility and what it really takes to advance DEI in the workplace.

Career Advancement Session Recaps

James Clear, one of the world’s leading experts on habits and New York Times bestselling author, Atomic Habits, offered practical strategies for forming good habits, breaking bad ones, and mastering tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results and career growth.

Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code and international bestselling author, Brave, Not Perfect, shared inspiring insights on how to end women’s love affair with perfectionism and rewire ourselves for bravery. Saujani also shared why perfectionism sets us on a path that may feel safe in the moment, but bravery is what will ultimately lead us to the path we’re authentically meant to follow to live our biggest, boldest and most joyful lives.

Wade Davis, feminist, educator, and former NFL player, drew on his firsthand experiences defusing and redirecting hate to offer real-world solutions for combating systemic racism, sexism, bias and sexual orientation in order to create workplaces that work for everyone.

Personal Development Session Recaps

Priya Parker, expert facilitator, New York Times podcast host, Together Apart, and author, The Art of Gathering, shared her human-centered approach on gathering to help us create meaningful and memorable experiences; large and small, in person or remotely, for work and for play.

Valorie Burton, life strategist and author, It’s About Time, offered practical tools to help us re-allocate our time, reflect the values and experiences that matter to us most, and ultimately find balance in this new world.

Amber Rae, global voice for personal growth and author, Choose Wonder Over Worry, urged us to “choose wonder” in times of discomfort, and shared her unique approach for understanding the hidden meaning in our emotions by dialoguing with them.

Special Appearances

Ellen Bennett, chef, founder and CEO of Hedley & Bennett, performed a quick and tasty cooking demo during the Conference Day lunch break.

Gina Chavez, award-winning Latinx Pop Artist performed a high energy musical performance during the afternoon keynote session.