Over 240 attendees – including educators across Orange County – tackle unconscious and gender bias in the workplace and pave the way for girls and women to succeed.
IRVINE, Calif. – A record 240 Orange County business leaders, influencers, and representatives from the Orange County Department of Education joined local Girl Scouts at the Newport Beach Country Club on Friday, May 10 to discuss ways we can advance diversity and gender equality to attract the best and brightest to the organizations and companies we lead. Sponsors for the 8th Annual Voice for Girls forum included Presenting Sponsor: BNY Mellon Wealth Management, Breakfast Underwriters: Beacon Pointe Advisors, Jeff and Caron Winston, and the Orange County Department of Education, and Invest in Girls Education Sponsors: Angels Baseball, Blizzard Entertainment, Cibola Systems, Cox, O’Melveny & Myers LLP, Orange County Fair and Event Center, and Western Digital.
Dynamic keynote L. Song Richardson, Dean and Chancellor’s Professor of Law at the UCI School of Law explored unconscious mental processes we all carry, which can lead us to view the world through a biased lens. She also provided attendees with tools to safeguard against the influence of unconscious bias to foster equitable environments that welcome varied perspectives. And she advised girls looking to overcome self-imposed limitations to “tell yourself that you are amazing and that you can do it - the brain will follow.”
Following the keynote, guests had a special opportunity to listen in as Girl Scout Alum and Vice President of Operations for Continuum Advisory, LLC Alina Lee Santiago interviewed four local Girl Scouts – Marysol Cázarez (16, from Santa Ana), Isabella Madrigal (16, from Temecula), Khira Mistry (18, from Placentia), and Natalie Salvatierra (15, from Tustin). The Girl Scouts provided unique insights into their own experiences with unconscious bias, how Girl Scouts has prepared them to deal with bias, and the corporate culture they will be looking for when they enter the workforce.
Girl Scout Ambassador Khira Mistry closed the morning with a powerful testimonial of how Girl Scouts helped her grow from a girl who struggled to speak in front of her class, into a strong, confident, young woman who recently spoke on a radio interview to all of Southern California.
Reflecting on the importance of this advocacy forum, Girl Scouts of Orange County CEO Vikki Shepp shared, “It is vital that we leverage the talents of our entire workforce if we are to solve the challenges our nation and world face. Working together, we can break down barriers that prevent women from achieving their full potential.”
Carla Furuno, Regional President of presenting sponsor BNY Mellon Wealth Management added, “It is so important for companies to look for opportunities to champion diversity and gender equality at every level and partner with organizations like Girl Scouts that are providing girls with opportunities to try new things, build confidence, and become strong leaders.”
Voice for Girls 2019 attendees left empowered with new tools to foster equitable environments that value diversity and inclusion and create a future where there are no limits to what girls and women can achieve.
About Girl Scouts
We are Girl Scouts of Orange County. We are 33,000 strong—nearly 20,000 girls and 13,000 adults who believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to change the world. With programs in every zip code in Orange County, Girl Scouts offers every girl opportunities to practice a lifetime of leadership, adventure, and success. To volunteer, reconnect, donate, or join, visit girlscoutsoc.org .