Women's Summit graphic
'Moving forward together': 26th Women’s Summit celebrates, uplifts professional women
Feb 28, 2023, by Karen Greco and Emma Bartlett
Learn About Bryant Apply to Bryant

Engaging and empowering are two of the many words used to describe the annual Bryant University Women’s Summit®, a sold-out event that will assemble more than 1,000 women from across New England on Thursday, March 16. Located at the Smithfield campus, this event includes a lineup of inspiring keynotes, dynamic breakout sessions, and collaborative networking opportunities. 

“It has been our pleasure to plan an exciting and engaging event for this year’s Summit participants,” said Director of Women’s Summit and Bryant University Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs & Title IX Coordinator Mailee Kue, Ph.D., who is running the event with Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Inge-Lise Ameer, Ph.D. “We have worked hard to ensure that there are many opportunities for participants to connect and empower one another.” 

"We are particularly proud that our women graduates have exceptional professional outcomes, including narrowing the wealth gap between their male counterparts."

Gearing up for its 26th year — the first fully in-person event since the start of the pandemic — the 2023 Bryant Women’s Summit theme is "Moving Forward Together: Me, We, Us" and highlights the interconnectedness of the business landscape while paying tribute to the Summit’s mission: to provide attendees with an opportunity for professional and personal development and financial empowerment. 

"Bryant is honored to host the exceptional keynote thinkers, leaders, and game-changers who make the Women's Summit® a premier event for professional women. Alongside the keynote speakers, we are excited to once again give a warm welcome to the Bryant alum who return to campus as robust speakers to share their deep knowledge and expertise with our community," said Bryant University President Ross Gittell, Ph.D. "We are particularly proud that our women graduates have exceptional professional outcomes, including narrowing the wealth gap between their male counterparts."

Established by Kati Machtley in 1997, the Summit is the largest and longest-running event of its kind in the region. This annual event which has been selling out since its inception – addresses the systemic issues facing women today while upskilling and encouraging female leaders at all levels of work. 

This year, three dynamic women will offer keynote addresses: Beverly Johnson, groundbreaking supermodel, author, activist, and founder, chairwoman, and CEO of Beverly Johnson Enterprises, LLC; women’s leadership expert Sally Helgesen, author of Rising Together: How We Can Bridge Divides and Create a More Inclusive Workplace; and Darria Long Gillespie, MD, MBA, a former emergency department physician whose holistic advice empowers women to take charge of their wellness.

Attendees are invited to participate in morning and afternoon breakout sessions that are crafted to turn inspiration into action. These offerings are led by industry leaders and tackle topics such as leadership and communication, financial empowerment, mental wellness, sustainability, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

The 17 impactful sessions include:

  • Gender Equity: Act on the Facts: TIAA Institute’s Managing Director Anne Ollen will explore retirement inequality between men and women and discuss what drives this, the implications, and what would make a difference.
  • Six Keys to Building Lasting Team and Client Relationships: In this session, Lisa Shorr, image and brand coach of Shorr Success, will focus on six key strategies that go beyond being perceived as a vendor, to creating lasting relationships as your client’s trusted advisor.
  • Creating a Culture of Empowering Feedback: Presenter Donna Rustigian Mac, president of iVoice Communication, will help individuals master the art of feedback that creates 360-degree wins, empowering your employees, the company, and you. 
  • Shifting from Diversity and Inclusion to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Executives from Bank of America will discuss the unique and diverse experiences of women at the company and focus on how to support and drive an inclusive work environment.

The Bryant Women's Summitt® is supported by sponsors including Amica Insurance (Platinum sponsor); Bank of America and Fidelity Investments (Diamond sponsors); PwC (Gold sponsor); Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, Brown Medicine, FM Global, Hasbro, IGT, Navigant Credit Union, Providence Journal, TIAA, The TJX Companies, Inc., and Washington Trust (Silver sponsors); AAA Northeast, BankNewport, BD, Centreville Bank, Dassault Systèmes, Diego’s Newport, EY, Gilbane, Hope Global, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Marcum LLP, Ocean State Job Lot, Target, The Women’s Advisory Group (Bronze sponsors). The media sponsors are Providence Business News, Providence Media, Rhode Island Monthly, and WBSE RI PBS.

Over the past 26 years, the Women's Summit® has featured prominent speakers including Mika Brzezinski, Geena Davis, Viola Davis, Angela Duckworth, Ph.D., Amy Edmonson, Ph.D., Geraldine Ferraro, Jody Hoffer Gittell, Ph.D., Carla Harris, Arianna Huffington, Soledad O'Brien, Suze Orman, and Jane Pauley. To learn more about this year's programming, visit wsummit.bryant.edu.

Read More

Related Stories