Gender Diversity Conference

When women thrive, businesses thrive

Conference Agenda

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17:00Welcome event including private museum access, cocktails, dinner and keynote remarks at the dynamic Newseum

Please join us as we kick off the conference with an exciting evening at the dynamic Newseum, including private access to the exhibits followed by a reception, dinner and keynote address.

Julio PortalatinChief Executive Officer, Mercer

Ann Compton40+ Years Career as Journalist and White House Correspondent with ABC News

Hosted By:

Pat MilliganNorth America Regional President and Global Executive Sponsor for Women@Mercer


07:00–08:00Networking Breakfast

08:00–08:30When women thrive, businesses win

Despite overwhelming evidence that engaged female talent is a key driver of competitive advantage, workplace diversity remains a challenge. It's time for tangible solutions, not just talk. It's time for organizations to think differently and holistically about their female talent. It's time for programs and policies that consider the career, health, and financial well-being of women across every phase of their professional journey. It's time for women to thrive— because when women thrive, businesses win.

Pat MilliganNorth America Regional President and Global Executive Sponsor for Women@Mercer

08:30–09:15All women are not created equal – A discussion of the unique female archetypes

Globally we have witnessed advancements in the social, economic and political empowerment of women at a pace never seen before in history, but now the time has come to redefine and refine our policies and practices if we are to be in a position to further leverage the power of gender diversity. A discussion with this distinguished panel of academic and gender leaders on the unique female archetype and the impact dynamic set of circumstances, determined by her social status, family situation, level of education, state of health, skills and expertise, workforce experience, place of origin and place of residence….all women are not created equal.

Lisa BerkmanDirector, Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies

Laura LiswoodSecretary General Council of Women World Leaders and Senior Advisor to Goldman Sachs

Aniela UnguresanCo-Founder, EDGE Certified Foundation

Maria Sanchez-SmithSenior Associate, Leadership and Diversity Programs, Women's World Banking Organization

Hosted By:

Christopher JohnsonSenior Partner and Talent Consulting Leader, Mercer

09:15–10:00Mercer's global gender research survey results

In 2014, Mercer in collaboration with EDGE Certified Foundation, conducted global employer research to understand how organizations can fully utilize their female talent by supporting women employees to be healthy, productive, and financially secure across the various stages of their professional lifecycle. With responses from 164 organizations in 28 countries, we will reveal findings and insights from the survey and discuss implications for organizations looking to maximize the gender-diversity of their own human capital.

Cindy GentrySenior Partner and Client Manager, Mercer

Brian Levine, PhDPartner and Workforce Sciences Institute, Mercer

10:00–10:30Networking Break

10:30–11:45Employers who are moving the needle, creating organizational vitality and how they are doing it

From Avon's global commitment to pay equity and advancing female talent, to Kimberly Clark's strategy that moved them from under-representation to winning the prestigious Catalyst award in just three years – a conversation where they'll share their strategies for moving the needle, creating organizational vitality and delivering business performance for and with their women.

Leslie MaysChief Diversity Officer, Avon

Liz GottungChief HR Officer, Kimberly Clark

Sue DodsworthChief Diversity Officer, Kimberly Clark

Haig NalbantianCo-Founder and Senior Partner, Workforce Sciences Institute, Mercer

Hosted By:

Jill ZimmermanPartner and Global Chief Talent & Inclusion Officer, Mercer

11:45–13:00Networking Break & Lunch

13:00–14:15Women and money – the dynamic journey to financial well-being

Women display unique financial behaviors and needs across different stages of their career, and this dynamic set of factors has a meaningful and long-lasting impact on how female employees accumulate, save, invest and spend their money. This session will feature an exploration of the story data tells us about financial well-being across the female employee lifecycle and what this means for the employer, recommendations about specific opportunities for employers to have an impact in this space, and interactive roundtable discussions with leaders who are moving the needle on this topic in their organizations today.


Liz DavidsonCEO and Founder, Financial Finesse

Katie NedlGlobal Head of Benefits, BlackRock, Inc.

Anna RappaportPresident of Anna Rappaport Consulting – Strategies for a Secure Retirement

Steve VernonResearch Leader, The Stanford Center on Longevity

Susan KudzmanSenior Vice-President Human Resources, Banque Laurentienne du Canada

Neil LloydPartner and Investment Consulting Leader, Mercer

Hosted by:

Martine FerlandSenior Partner and EuroPacific Retirement Business Leader, Mercer

Jaqui ParchmentPartner and Canadian Investments Business Leader, Mercer

14:15–15:00Women and health - the void in addressing women's health and how disruptors and innovators are filling the gap

Women experience the healthcare system differently, use the healthcare system differently, and are the primary healthcare buyers and decision makers for themselves and their families. This session will explore the dynamic health needs and behaviors of women across their professional lifecycle, discuss how traditional healthcare delivery providers are not actively engaged in addressing this opportunity, and shed light on disruptors and innovators who are now stepping up to close this gap.


Anula JayasuriyaMD, PhD, MBA Life Sciences Venture Capitalist

Leah SparksCo-Founder and CEO, Wildflower Health

Lorna FriedmanPartner – Global Health Management Practice, Mercer

Dr. Marleece BarberChief Medical Officer, Lockheed Martin

Hosted by:

Gillian PrintonSenior Partner and Health & Benefits Consulting Leader, Mercer

15:00–15:45Women and talent – strategies to promote the representation, development, enhancement & retention of women

An engaging and interactive discussion of real solutions and real results organizations can employ to promote representation, development, enhancement and retention of women across their career lifecycle.


Rohini AnandChief Diversity Officer, Sodexo

Angela GuySenior Vice President Diversity and Inclusion, L'Oreal USA

Hosted by:

Marcelo ModicaSenior Partner and Chief People Officer, Mercer

15:45The time is now and closing remarks

Pat MilliganNorth America Regional President and Global Executive Sponsor for Women@Mercer


Keynote Address

Ann Compton

Ann Compton, the first woman assigned to cover the White House on a full-time basis by a network television news organization. A career that spanned 40+ years and 7 presidents.

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Program Highlights

  • Exclusively for executives representing chief talent and diversity officers, senior HR leaders, chief medical officers, and academics, with $0 registration fee.
  • Welcome keynote with Ann Compton, 40+ year journalist and White House Correspondent
  • Release of Mercer's seminal global gender research findings.
  • Presentations and solutions featuring leaders from Sodexo, Avon, Kimberly Clark, Harvard School of Public Health, Financial Finesse, Council of Women World Leaders, and many others.
  • Dynamic facilitation and interaction among featured speakers, panelists, and conference attendees.
  • Premier venue locations in Washington, DC - including private museum access, cocktails, and dinner at the dynamic Newseum, followed by conference proceedings at the stylish Dupont Circle Hotel.

Contact Us

If you have any questions you may reach out to Katie Edkins, Women@Mercer Project Manager

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