Women and Leadership Alliance

Women and Leadership

Our Mission

The Women and Leadership Alliance is a joint endeavor to support and promote student programs at the Claremont Colleges that will highlight issues faced by women in leadership in business, government and the professions.

How We Began

In 2010, students at CMC approached Sarah Smith Orr (then Executive Director of the Kravis Leadership Institute at CMC) about the need and desire for female leadership mentors on campus. Support quickly came together for the first Women & Leadership Workshop, designed to support all 7-C students during their time of preparation for post-graduation opportunities and employment, as well as connecting students with successful women leaders representing fields such as law, non-profit, entrepreneurship, finance, consulting, entertainment, education, government service, marketing, and health services. We decided to capitalize on the momentum generated by the workshop’s success, and thus, the Women & Leadership Alliance was born.

Who We Are

We welcome and encourage involvement from all of the educational institutions in Claremont. Currently, we have representatives from the Kravis Leadership Institute, the Berger Institute for Work, Family, and Children, the Robert Day Scholars Program, the Mgrublian Center for Human Rights, the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum, the Center for Writing and Public Discourse, the Dean of Students Office, the Dean of Faculty Office, the Office of Development, the Center for Global Education, CMS Athletics, Intercollegiate Feminist Center for Teaching, Research and Engagement of the Claremont Colleges, and the CGU School of Educational Studies.

Women and Gender Leadership Fund

The Women and Gender Leadership Fund invites students of all genders and identities to propose projects focused on building awareness and empowering women and other gender identities.

To apply, submit an application by the deadline, November 30, 2021

Questions? Contact us at WLA@cmc.edu

More details about the initiative.



April 2, 2022 (12pm-2pm): COVID-19 and the Great Reset: Effects on Work and Life -- Panel discussion, Bauer Center, Founders Room.   Join the Women and Leadership Alliance for a panel discussion and networking luncheon on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the workplace and beyond. Open to all students, faculty, and alumni.  RSVP to join, lunch will be provided!



March 1, 2022 (3:30pm): Student reception with Stacey Vanek Smith, NPR commentator and author of Machiavelli for Women: Defend Your Worth, Grow Your Ambition, and Win the Workplace.  (5:30-8:00pm):  Dinner and Presentation, CMC Athenaeum.  RSVP


Past Events

March 24, 2021 (2:00pm):  CMC Conversations: Women and Leadership.  Director of Internships and Research at KLI and Visiting Professor Sherylle Tan and Emma David’21 will discuss the importance of women in leadership, the challenges they face, and talk about the origins of the Women and Leadership Workshop.  View recorded event here.

March 23, 2021 (4:00-6:00pm): 2021 Women and Leadership Workshop (Virtual event)
4:00pm Student Reception
5:00pm Representation and Responsible Leadership: A Conversation with Candace Valenzuela ’06 (CMC Virtual Athenaeum Event)

Candace Valenzuela ’06 began her political career when she ran for office in 2017 and was elected to the Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District board in Texas as an at-large representative, defeating an eighteen-year incumbent. She worked to ensure that the district was inclusive and welcoming to students of all backgrounds.

In 2020, Valenzuela ran for Congress in Texas’s 24th District, focusing her campaign on building a diverse grassroots movement to uplift all hardworking families. Her public service aspirations are rooted in her deep-seated belief that access to the political process and representation matter critically, and that government leaders should always strive to work directly for the people in their communities.

February 7, 2020 (1:00-4:00pm), McKenna Auditorium:  Women and Leadership Workshop 20/20: Envision Your Future.  The 11th Annual Workshop will feature keynote speaker, Dr. Cindy Pace.  Dr. Pace is a global talent and diversity expert on multicultural identities, purpose and inclusiveness in organizational leadership.   In her talk, she will discuss the importance of purpose, meaning, and building connections.  Following her presentation, there will be a related activity, as well as networking opportunities with CMC alumnae.  The workshop is open to students from all 5 Claremont Colleges.  The Workshop is co-sponsored by the Berger Institute, Kravis Leadership Institute, Mgrublian Center for Human Rights, and the Susan and Thomas Handley ’77 family.​  

September 26, 2019 (4:30-5:30pm):  Women and Leadership Alliance Open House, Honnold Library Conference Room (2nd floor of the Library).  Light refreshments will be served.

Friday, February 22, 2019 - 10th Annual Women and Leadership Workshop, 2pm - 4:30pm, McKenna Auditorium.  The workshop featured keynote speaker Pamela B. Gann, J.D., President Emerita of Claremont McKenna College, Trustee Professor of Legal Studies and George R. Roberts Fellow, and Senior Fellow at the Kravis Leadership Institute.  As well, there was a closing panel with CMC alumnae San San Lee ’85, Harmony Palmer ‘13, and Charlie Stoddard Fitzpatrick ’94. The workshop was sponsored by the Susan and Thomas Handley ’77, the Berger Institute, the Kravis Leadership Institute, and the Mgrublian Center for Human Rights at Claremont McKenna College.

Thursday, March 1, 2018 - B. Cole, Masculine of Center: "They" and the Emotional Weight of Words, 11:45am (lunch), CMC Athenaeum.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018 - Dishonour, film screening and class discussion, Bauer South Forum, CMC.

Monday, February 26, 2018 - Act and Punishment, documentary film screening about Pussy Riot.  7pm, Humanities Auditorium, Scripps College.

Friday, February 23, 2018 - 9th Annual Women & Leadership Workshop, 11:45am - 4:30pm.

Monday, February 19, 2018 -  Ellen Barry, Intersectional Justice:  Women Prisoners and Mass Incarceration. 4:15-5:30pm, Hampton Room, Malott Commons, Scripps College.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018 - Miry Whitehill, Survive to Thrive: Welcoming our Newest Neighbors and the Story of Miry's List, 11:45am (lunch), CMC Athenaeum.  

Tuesday, January 30, 2018 - Jo Scott-Coe, First Responders: Women as Witnesses to Mass Violence, 6:45pmCMC Athenaeum.

Saturday, November 4, 2017 - Flirting with Fascism? TRUMP and THE CHALLENGE TO DEMOCRACY. 8:00am - 3:00pm, Rose Hills Theatre at Pomona.

Friday, November 3, 2017 - Claremont students are invited to attend the UCR conference, Women’s Political Engagement: Persist 2017. Speakers include California Senator Connie Leyva and Assembly members Eloise Gomez Reyes and Sabrina Cervantes.  There will be multiple panels and workshops on women’s political leadership, including workshops with IGNITE. IFC will pay for lunch and is organizing transportation.  Workshop is from 10am - 5:30pm. Website:  http://go.ucr.edu/persist/.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017 - Gayle Greene (Emerita Professor of English, Scripps) reading/discussion on her new memoir, Missing Persons. 4:15 - 5:30 p.m., Founders Room, Honnold Mudd Library.

Thursday, October 28, 2017 - Scripps in Residence, Hannah-Beth Jackson ’71, California State Senator and Poppy MacDonald ’97, President, POLITICO USA, Conversation and Refreshments from 4-5pm in the Hampton Living Room.

Thursday, October 26, 2017 - Scripps Presents: Nasty Women Series, Hampton Room. The series concludes with a noon-time ConverAction on female identity, feminism, and politics. (For more info, contact: clesser@scrippscollege.edu).