The 2020 Conference Center

“Powered by Purpose: Achieving Equity for All”

The 16th annual Massachusetts Conference for Women was held virtually (for the first time ever) on December 10, 2020.

Keynote Session Recaps

Alicia Keys, 15-time Grammy Award-winning artist, invited us to stop subscribing to stereotypes about women and embrace a time of awakening in a conversation with Ellen McGirt, Fortune Magazine senior editor and Leadership Now podcast host.

Awkwafina, Golden Globe award winning actress, spoke about facing insecurity, anti-Asian racism—and her hopes for 2021 in a conversation with Lisa Ling, executive producer and host of This Is Life with Lisa Ling on CNN

Doris Kearns Goodwin, presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize winning author, shared her lessons on leadership in times of crisis.

Justice, Equity, and Inclusion Session Recaps

Rachel Cargle, writer and advocate for women and intersectionality, explored what it means to truly confront racism by being actively anti-racist and moving from acknowledgment to accountability; from ally to accomplice; from silence to speaking up; and from individual complacency to collective action.

Debby Irving, racial justice educator and author of Waking Up White, joined by Ritu Bhasin, authenticity advocate, author and diversity expert, offered a fresh perspective on how white people can move from bystander to true allyship.

Caroline A. Wanga, interim chief executive officer of Essence Communications Inc., explored the undue burden of code switching on underrepresented groups, its advantages and disadvantages, actionable tips to better navigate authentically in the workplace, and ways we can all be more supportive and accepting of one another.

Leadership Session Recaps

Lisa Nichols, transformation and life coach, Motivating the Masses CEO and bestselling author, inspired and armed us to reinvent, recommit, reenergize and re-engage ourselves as leaders.

Dan Heath, innovative business thought leader and New York Times best-selling author, explored the psychological forces that can push us downstream and make us oblivious to serious problems in our midst. Drawing on hundreds of interviews with unconventional problem solvers, Heath offered practical solutions to proactively prevent problems before they happen by adopting an upstream mindset.

Admiral Michelle J. Howard, the first African-American woman to command a U.S. Naval ship—and no stranger to breaking barriers, offered invaluable lessons and concrete tools and strategies on leading through uncertainty, navigating change with flexibility, fostering creative problem solving and empowering others to be their best!

Career Advancement Session Recaps

Mel Robbins, award-winning life coach and bestselling author, shared tactical tools and advice for managing our mindsets and maximizing success in all aspects of our lives.

Laura Huang, workplace and relationship expert, showed us how to confront the factors that seem like adversities, challenges or shortcomings, use them unapologetically and strategically, and ultimately turn them into assets that make others take notice.

Tania Katan, creativity expert and author and CEO of Creative Trespassing, showed us how to use creativity to flourish in uncertain times.

Personal Development Session Recaps

Mariana Atencio, Peabody award–winning journalist, author of Perfectly You, co-founder of GoLike and one of the top 10 most popular TED speakers of all-time, inspired us to embrace the power of being real as she offered tips on moving beyond others’ expectations, squashing self-doubt, and finding our voice and purpose.

Dr. Lisa Damour, psychologist, bestselling author and New York Times monthly columnist, shared actionable —and groundbreaking— tips for successfully taking control of our mental health, embracing healthy doses of stress, and making it in turbulent times.

Stephanie Land, economic justice advocate and bestselling author of Maid, offered lessons on dignity, perseverance and empathy as she amplified the voice of the often invisible “servant” worker and slashed deep-rooted stigmas of the working poor.

Special Appearances

Joanne Chang, James Beard Award-winning chef and restaurateur, performed a baking demo of her famous Melted Snowman Cookies during the Conference Day afternoon cookie break.