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The Nation's Premier Women's Conference

Simmons Leadership Conference

What is the Simmons Leadership Conference?

The Simmons Leadership Conference has been at the forefront of women’s leadership since its inception in 1978. Today the Simmons Leadership Conference brings together more than 6,000 professional leaders from around the globe – women and men – who want to better themselves, their workplaces, and the world.

Simmons History

The First Women's Conference in U.S.

America's first women's business conference, the Simmons Leadership Conference has paved the way for women's leadership around the world.
Explore Conference History

Michelle Obama 2018 Simmons Leadership Conference

Acclaimed Speakers & Panelists

The conference stage has seen notable keynote speakers such as Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Maya Angelou, Mindy Kaling, Oprah Winfrey, Serena Williams and more.
View 2022 Speakers

Woman Attending Virtual Conference

Virtual World, Virtual Conference

The conference has been held virtually since 2020, and the 2022 conference was the most memorable and impactful.

Why Attend

Over the course of this one day event, 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. The conference also offers thought-provoking panel discussions that will build your knowledge of leadership best practices. Each session allows for candid and open Q & As with top women leaders who provide expert advice and pro tips immediately applicable to enhance your leadership success.

1 Gain wisdom, insights, and inspiration from our world-class lineup of speakers.
2 Acquire practical tips and tools you can apply immediately from skill building sessions and panel discussions.
3 Network with women and allies from around the globe enhancing your professional and personal connections.
4 Arrive and Thrive as a leader in your organization to boost productivity and create a collaborative workplace culture.

Highlights from 2022

We unpacked the theme of Cultivating Courage and Connection Attendees at the 43rd Conference and 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.

kristen palson and joyce kulhawik in studio simmons leadership conference

2022 Simmons Leadership Conference Attendees Said...

These are some of the BEST virtual presentations I’ve had the pleasure of viewing. Thank you #SLCBoston

Emily Marsil

This has been so incredible — I don't want the day to end!

Robin Barde

I can't say thank you enough for being able to attend this amazing event today. As a male there should be more men being allies to support all of you strong women and to understand they may have some of their own vulnerabilities.

Mark Goerke

This experience is invaluable! Thank you Simmons University for putting together these amazing speakers!

Erin Granville

Closing out my day and the great conference with Simone Biles and Brené Brown—doesn’t get much better than that!

Dr. Rebecca Marchand

Another great lineup of inspiring leaders, speakers, and compelling stories.

Vicky M. Bartholo

An inspiring session during an inspiring day at #SLCBoston, thank you ⁦Simone Biles⁩, Brené Brown⁩ and so many others!

Sheila Watson

This was a great and inspiring conference. I am so glad that I was able to attend.

Lynda Carter

No words. Brené Brown and Simone Biles just blew my mind. How to find perspective and listen to yourself during crisis.

Stephanie P. Wladkowski, PhD, LMSW

Am loving my first time attending the Simmons Leadership Conference. What an inspiring day!

Sandy Plarske

Feeling so inspired by the speakers from #SLCBoston after this mornings sessions!

Harper Schmidt

Can't wait to get my hands on Arrive and Thrive to learn about and practice returning to my 'best self.' Love everything Susan MacKenty Brady is saying.

Lindsey Mills

SLC44 Save the Date

Join us for the 44th Annual Simmons Leadership Conference.

See the Full List of 2022 Speakers

2022 Conference Speakers

Simone Biles Headshot

Simone Biles

World’s Most Decorated Gymnast

Simone Biles Headshot

Simone Biles

World’s Most Decorated Gymnast

Simone Biles Headshot

Simone Biles is one of the greatest female athletes of all-time. The first woman to capture five All-Around World Championship titles, Biles is the most decorated gymnast in World Championships history – male or female – with 25 medals overall (19 gold) and is a seven-time Olympic medalist (4 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze). A three-time Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year, she has earned the rare distinction of having four skills named in her honor – The Biles – across beam, floor (two) and vault disciplines.

Biles’ extraordinary accomplishments have received widespread recognition including TIME 100 Most Influential, Forbes 30 Under 30, Ebony Power 100, People Women Changing the World, USA Today 100 Women of the Century, and two-time Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year among others. Her autobiography – Courage to Soar – was a New York Times bestseller and developed into an award-winning TV special on Lifetime. Biles utilizes her platform to help advocate for mental health and support initiatives that provide education and assistance for children and young adults associated with adoption and foster care.

Brene Brown headshot

Brené Brown

Researcher & Bestselling Author

Brene Brown headshot

Brené Brown

Researcher & Bestselling Author

Brene Brown headshot

Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston where she holds the Huffington Foundation Endowed Chair at The Graduate College of Social Work.  Brené is also a visiting professor in management at The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business.

She has spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy, is the author of six #1 New York Times bestsellers, and is the host of the weekly Spotify Original podcasts Unlocking Us and Dare to Lead.

Brené’s books have been translated into more than 30 languages and titles include: Atlas of the Heart, Dare to Lead, Braving the Wilderness, Rising Strong, Daring Greatly, and The Gifts of Imperfection. With Tarana Burke, she co-edited the best-selling anthology You Are Your Best Thing: Vulnerability, Shame Resilience, and the Black Experience.

Her TED talk – The Power of Vulnerability – is one of the top five most viewed TED talks in the world with over 50 million views. She is also the first researcher to have a filmed lecture on Netflix. The Call to Courage special debuted on the streaming service in April 2019.

Brené lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband, Steve. They have two children, Ellen and Charlie.

Amanda Gorman

America's First Youth Poet Laureate

Amanda Gorman

America's First Youth Poet Laureate

Poet Amanda Gorman captured the attention of the world with the recitation of her original poem “The Hill We Climb” at President Joe Biden’s inauguration. Her important poem of national unity and masterful delivery inspired a nation at a pivotal moment and lifted up the ideals of a shared hope and collective purpose.

At 22-years-old, L.A. native Amanda Gorman is called “the next great figure of poetry in the U.S.” In 2017 she made history by becoming the first ever Youth Poet Laureate of the United States of America. In this role she has spoken at the Library of Congress, the United Nations x Mashable Social Good Summit, WE Day, and venues across the country. Prior to her national position she served as the inaugural Youth Poet Laureate of L.A. and later the West.

In these capacities she met Michelle Obama at the White House, conducted a library tour, and published The One for Whom Food Is Not Enough. She is Founder and Executive Director of One Pen One Page, which promotes literacy among youth through free creative writing programming for underserved youth. She has been a HERlead Fellow in Washington, D.C, and London, and a UN Youth Delegate in NYC. She’s performed alongside Jennifer Aniston, Morgan Freeman, and Lin-Manuel Miranda to advocate for youth leadership and arts education, and spoken alongside Al Gore and Secretary Hillary Clinton for environmentalism and women’s rights. Her work has been featured in numerous national and international publications. A model on the side, she’s been a face in two national campaigns for Eileen Fisher and Helmut Lang.

She is a recipient of the Making a Difference Award from Black Girls Rock and BET, recognition from the Scholastic Inc. and YoungArts, a Genius Grant from OZY Media, and a College Women of the Year Award from Glamour Magazine. She was selected from a competitive 20,000+ applicant pool to be one of the newest contributors to the New York Times newsletter The Edit, tailored to college students and recent graduates. She is a graduate of Harvard University.

Molly Fletcher Headshot

Molly Fletcher

Motivational Speaker, Author, Podcast Host, Former Sports Agent

Molly Fletcher Headshot

Molly Fletcher

Motivational Speaker, Author, Podcast Host, Former Sports Agent

Molly Fletcher Headshot

Hailed as the “female Jerry Maguire” by CNN, Molly Fletcher made a name for herself as one of the first female sports agents. During her almost two-decade career and as President of CSE, Molly negotiated over $500 million in contracts and represented over 300 of sports’ biggest names, including Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz, PGA TOUR golfer Matt Kuchar, broadcaster Erin Andrews and basketball championship coaches Tom Izzo and Doc Rivers. As a World’s Top 50 Keynote Speaker, she delivers her inspiring message to audiences around the world. She is the author of five books, including The Energy Clock, Fearless at Work, and A Winner’s Guide to Negotiating.

Molly is the founder and host of the Game Changers with Molly Fletcher podcast, where she interviews experts and celebrities in every field including Arthur Blank, Dabo Swinney, John Mackey, Matthew McConaughey, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, and Simon Sinek.

Her insights have been featured in prestigious media outlets, including CNN, ESPN, Forbes, Fast Company, InStyle, and Sports Illustrated. As the founder of The Molly Fletcher Company, she helps leaders transform workplace complacency with her Game Changer Negotiation Training and The Energized Leader programs.

Luvvie Ajayi Jones

Luvvie Ajayi Jones

New York Times Bestselling Author, Podcast Host & Professional Troublemaker

Luvvie Ajayi Jones

Luvvie Ajayi Jones

New York Times Bestselling Author, Podcast Host & Professional Troublemaker

Luvvie Ajayi Jones

Luvvie Ajayi Jones is what happens when you blindly follow doing what you love without expectation. Born outside the box, her brilliance is the unifying theme for all her endeavors. The New York Times best-selling author, sought-after speaker, and podcast host thrives at the intersection of comedy, media and justice. Her debut book, I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual, hit the New York Times best-sellers list at #5 in its first week. Her latest book Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual, released March 2, 2021, is also a New York Times best-seller.

Selected for Oprah Winfrey’s inaugural Supersoul 100 list for “elevating humanity,” Ajayi Jones is known for her trademark wit, warmth, perpetual truth-telling and trouble making. Putting into words the thoughts few dare to say; the veteran blogger could give a masterclass on disruption. Internationally recognized, she has graced stages around the globe for some of the world’s most innovative companies and conferences, including Google, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, MAKERS, SXSW and the Obama White House. Her wildly popular TED talk “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable” has over 5 million views and climbing.

On a mission to call fear out, she hosts her podcast, “Professional Troublemaker,” where she and her guests with humor and honesty, entertain transparent conversations about living life loudly, with courage and conviction; recognizing that the things we must do are more significant than our fears.

Past Conference Speakers

Oprah Winfrey Headshot

Oprah Winfrey

2001 Conference Speaker

Oprah Winfrey Headshot

Oprah Winfrey

2001 Conference Speaker

Oprah Winfrey Headshot
Hillary Clinton Headshot

Hillary Clinton

2014 Conference Speaker

Hillary Clinton Headshot

Hillary Clinton

2014 Conference Speaker

Hillary Clinton Headshot
Michelle Obama Headshot

Michelle Obama

2018 Conference Speaker

Michelle Obama Headshot

Michelle Obama

2018 Conference Speaker

Michelle Obama Headshot
Serena Williams Headshot

Serena Williams

2020 Conference Speaker

Serena Williams Headshot

Serena Williams

2020 Conference Speaker

Serena Williams Headshot
Mindy Kaling Headshot

Mindy Kaling

2021 Conference Speaker

Mindy Kaling Headshot

Mindy Kaling

2021 Conference Speaker

Mindy Kaling Headshot

Nominate a Speaker

Let us know who might inspire you at a future conference or event.

Become a Conference Sponsor

Join the hundreds of organizations whose sponsorship has helped advance their growth and develop their team members into inclusive leaders. If you’re interested in learning more about the many benefits of becoming a sponsor, please contact Tracie Charland at 617-521-3830 or tracie.charland@simmons.edu

Raise your visibility

Enhance your organization’s commitment to women’s leadership, gender equity, diversity, and inclusion by spotlighting participation of conference delegates at media events.

Enhance your productivity

Improve team morale and return to work more motivated and equipped with innovative leadership tools and strategies.

Recruit top talent

Network with more than 500 accomplished women leaders from all around the world who boast impeccable educations, career paths, and achievements.

 

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