Tech company bringing Women in Leadership Conference to Ann Arbor

Local, national speakers to cover topics like pay gap, workplace culture

By Meredith Bruckner - Community News Producer

Photo: Pexels

ANN ARBOR - The Women in Leadership Conference and Prove Them Right campaign is coming to Ann Arbor Oct. 17.

Three speakers from the business field will address topics like pay inequality, gender bias and the "boys club" mentality. The event will take place at Zingerman's Greyline from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Ann Arbor-based DaySmart Software is hosting the event. The company provides software solutions to entrepreneurs around the world. More than 85% of its clients are women, so the success of the company depends on the success of its clients.

"(This) got us to thinking… what more can we do to promote women in leadership?  We started this forum for women to discuss the challenges they face in the hope that we can share strategies to overcome common obstacles." - DaySmart Software

While women make up 50% of the population in the United States, they represent less than 5 percent of CEOs in the Fortune 500.

The program aims to position women in leadership roles to advance their workplace opportunities.

"My involvement with women empowerment in the workplace started with my last role as an executive assistant to a chief marketing officer at a tech company in Silicon Valley," DaySmart's brand manager and search engine optimization (SEO) strategist Brock Wackerle told A4 via email. "I had firsthand experience working with a team of women executive assistants driving a lineup of white male c-suite executives. I experienced first hand how I was given many more leadership opportunities from the executives even though I was half the age of my fellow EAs as well as being fresh out of grad school next to women who were what they thought at the top of their career.

"Which further frustrated me, that these women were basically helping their bosses run this $26b company and yet never saw that they themselves had the qualities to do just what their bosses were doing. So when I was given the opportunity to tap into a social cause that would affect our customers (85% being women entrepreneurs) I jumped on the opportunity to provide a forum for quality strategies to combat the stigma that women aren't business leaders."

Schedule of events:

6:30-7 p.m.
Welcome session: Passed appetizers and drinks.

7-7:15 p.m.
Introduction to the event.

7:15-7:30 p.m.
Cindy Schipani, professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business
"Making Money Moves" - practical approaches on narrowing the pay gap.

7:30-7:45 p.m.
Trey Boynton, Duo Security’s diversity and inclusion manager
"Know Your Audience" - approaches to understanding strategic positioning in workplace cultures.

7:45- 8:10 p.m.
Engelina Jaspers, author, speaker and former marketing executive for HP and Flex 
"How You Show Up" - strategies and tips for becoming a business-first leader.

8:10-8:25 p.m.
Break: open bar

8:25-8:40 p.m.
Fireside chat - your chance to ask questions!
Send a question in advance to womeninleadership@daysmart.com.

8:40-9 p.m.
Meet and greet

Tickets are $17 per person.

Purchase tickets here.

To learn more, visit the campaign's website.

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