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Ninth Women and Leadership Symposium Draws 450


On Friday 450 people gathered for the ninth annual Women and Leadership Symposium hosted by UW-Madison’s Learning and Talent Development department.

The symposium was open to everyone, but was intended to be a “day of networking, professional development, and learning presented by women leaders.”

Conference workshops ranged in topics from stress and mental health management, to confident leadership development, to advocacy work and cultural diversity.

“There wasn’t a particular theme in mind for the symposium,” said organizer Tori Seymour. “But I did try to get speakers and topics around leadership, relationship building, engagement, inclusion and diversity, wellness and workplace skills.”

The entire symposium included over 20 workshops, panels and speeches presented
by local women in leadership including Dean of Students Lori Berquam, UW Health Chief Diversity Officer Shiva Bidar, and Wisconsin’s longest serving labor secretary Roberta Gassman.

“I reached out to women across the Madison community who I thought are leaders in their own way,” Seymour said.  “They can selected their own topics, as I wanted our speakers to be passionate about their topic.”

The passion was clear as workshops ranged in structure from being meditative and self-reflective to sharing spaces to resume building workshops.

“I hope each attendee was able to take something away from the symposium; whether that be new networking contacts, or something they learned during one of the sessions,” Seymour said. “If our attendees are able to apply a new idea to their work or personal lives I feel the symposium was a success.”