KEYNOTE: “From the Playground to the Boardroom—How to Help Girls Avoid the Leadership Gap”
A talk about the career-based achievement gap negatively impacting women. Although focusing on the gap is important, the surprising discovery is not the gap itself, as it were. Research suggests that there is a resounding yet little-discussed confidence deficit that lies at the heart of the lack of women in leadership roles at the highest ranks in American society. Even more surprising is that white girls are the least likely to have the desire or feel they have the ability to lead vs girls of color. Laura addresses this seemingly counter-intuitive dynamic, unpacks its educational equity implications, and challenges parents and educators to think differently about how we approach leadership practices for young women especially during the critical K-12 years when such social and psychological characteristics are formed.
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Laura Clydesdale had an epiphany one day when she noticed her then 10-year-old daughter exhibiting some of the same career-derailing traits as many of her corporate female clients and peers. Did it really start this early, she wondered?
Laura decided to leverage her 15 years of experience in leadership development to delve deep into the world of girls’ leadership. Laura started her blog Lead Up (http://www.lauraclydesdale.com/) to chronicle the journey she was taking with her daughter. Laura’s early history in finance and auditing for both General Electric and the Gap, Inc. compels her to conduct extensive research and seek fact-based solutions for the topics she tackles. However, Laura is unique in that her persuasive points are always woven together with an irresistible human element to create her unique stories. She is a featured writer for the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and Toronto Star. She has been a guest on several podcasts including Junior Achievement, and is a long-time partner with Girls Leadership, Inc.
Laura lives in Berkeley, CA with her husband and two children where she also enjoys sinking her teeth into big philanthropic projects that make a commensurately big impact like Notes & Words (http://www.notesandwords.org/) and TEDxYouth@EB (https://tedxyoutheb.com/).