Past Conferences and Events

Boston Conference Collection

Highlights from the rich 45 year history of the
Simmons Leadership Conference.

SLC Exhibit Hall

The Simmons Leadership Conference — a can't-miss experience for all women leaders!

Over the course of the day, inspiring keynote speakers offer candid stories about their experiences on the way to the top, as well as principles for success to help you pursue your own professional path. There is also a choice of lively panel discussions, signature dialogues, and skill-building workshops on topics ranging from business strategy and innovation to career management and personal branding.

Highlights from 2023

More than 5,000 women and their allies from every corner of the globe gathered at the 44th Simmons Leadership Conference and explored the theme of Renewal and Innovation. In the Institute’s first-ever hybrid conference, 1,000+ attendees braved a nor-easter to join us in Boston for the spectacular event that featured world-class speakers, including Gloria Estefan, Quinta Brunson, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Carla Harris, Amy Purdy, who drew on first-hand experience to offer insightful advice on navigating the new norm as women leaders.

See the complete details from the 2023 conference.
To view 2023’s program schedule, click here.

Highlights from 2022

We unpacked the theme of Cultivating Courage and Connection at the 43rd Simmons Leadership Conference. Attendees gained heartfelt inspiration, wisdom, and insights from a world-class lineup of speakers, including Simone Biles, Brené Brown, Molly Fletcher, Amanda Gorman, and Luvvie Ajayi Jones. They shared highly personal stories that highlighted the importance of courage, connection, community, and vulnerability in leadership.

See the complete details from the 2022 conference.
To view/download 2022’s program schedule, click here.

Highlights Video

Highlights from 2021

Our esteemed co-hosts Joyce Kulhawik and Susan MacKenty Brady welcomed over 6,700 participants to the 100% online conference. Virtual attendees were able to gain wisdom from world-class women leaders – including Tiffany Dufu, Dr. Tererai Trent, Jenna Bush Hagar, and Mindy Kaling. They offered personal and professional insights into the theme – Inspiring Resilience and Authenticity – and set the stage for an exceptional day of women’s leadership.

To view/download 2021’s program schedule, click here.

Highlights Video

Highlights from 2020

The 2020 conference epitomized the spirit of women who step into leadership. Facing the uncertainty of a global pandemic, everyone from staff to speakers to attendees adapted quickly and made the fully virtual conference more intimate and powerful. Our theme – Defining Power – focused on the ways in which top women leaders have learned to motivate and shape positive change in their organizations. The day’s keynote speakers Serena Williams, Pat Mitchell, Sonia Manzano, and Yeonmi Park inspired others to be the risk takers and problem solvers that the world needs today.

To view/download 2020’s program schedule, click here.

Highlights Video

2019 Highlights

Celebrating its 40th year, the 2019 program celebrated Designing Success and focused on the need for constant adaptation and reinvention in the increasingly fast-paced world. The 2019 program brought a diverse range of exceptional women leaders to the podium, each with her own fascinating story about defining her own measure of success and, by example, inspiring others to do the same. Among the featured speakers were Julia Gillard, who faced down tremendous hostility as Australia’s first female prime minister.

To view/download 2019’s program schedule, click here.

2018 Highlights

The 2018 conference theme, Disrupt the Ordinary, centered on the need to change how we think, behave, and do business in an era of accelerating innovation.

Just a few of the extraordinary speakers headlining the program were Gretchen Carlson, who challenged a culture of sexual harassment in the workplace and is now leading the charge to help others do the same; Nely Galán, who has followed up her own career successes by sparking a growing movement for women entrepreneurs; and Tan Le, who left a safe career in the law to build a neuroengineering company whose products are transforming lives and expanding the frontiers of brain research.

To view/download 2018’s program schedule click here.

2017 Highlights

The 2017 program took as its theme Leading with Purpose, focusing on the many ways that women are redefining the meaning of power and success.

For some of the exceptional speakers from 2017’s roster, this meant persevering under daunting circumstances to achieve seemingly impossible goals, driven by their commitment to a purpose larger than themselves. In this category were Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, the Ugandan nun who has given new hope of self-sufficiency and self-worth to thousands of women and girls ravaged by war, and Diana Nyad, world-class endurance swimmer who refused to give up on her lifelong dream of making the treacherous Cuba-to-Florida swim. Diane von Furstenberg, who head up this list, is the designer of the iconic wrap dress, who managed to pull off one of the fashion industry’s greatest comebacks.

To view/download 2017’s program schedule click here.

2016 Highlights

The 2016 program took as its theme Leading with Purpose, focusing on the many ways that women are redefining the meaning of power and success.

To view/download 2016’s program schedule click here.

2015 Highlights

To view/download 2015’s program schedule click here.

2014 Highlights

To view/download 2014’s program schedule click here.

2013 Highlights

To view/download 2013’s program schedule click here.

A huge thank you to our sponsors over the years

Need more information on the 2025 conference? Get in touch today.

Contact us today to learn more about our 2025 Simmons Leadership Conference. We’re happy to answer any additional questions you might have, or how to register as a delegate or sponsor.