"The program gave me a close-up view of political, business and social issues and trends, information that is invaluable to me as an entrepreneur and active participant in the success of our great state. The speakers were incredible� they inspired us and stretched our minds. The opportunity to connect with successful and dynamic California women leaders was a main highlight. Being part of Leadership California is like being part of a powerful sisterhood."

—Ursula C. Mentjes, M.S., ACC
President and Certified Business Coach
Potential Quest, Inc.
"I have enjoyed my involvement with Leadership California. Our trip to the state capitol was most enlightening. As a result I have gotten involved with the Los Angeles African American Women's Political Action Committee. Thank you, Leadership California, for sparking a genuine interest in the political process."

—Shawn Farrar
Director Corporate Diversity
Sempra Energy
"The CIT program brings together successful women from all over California, and gives them the opportunity to build a network with other successful women. It's a way to learn about the important issues in our state, and to get ready to take the next step in your professional life."

—Isela Vilchis Hoenigmann
"Leadership California has provided me a panoramic view of issues, challenges and opportunities for this lovely state that I live in. The program was my introduction to women of unbelievable talent, experience and passion who are set to make a difference. The feeling to want to be more, to accomplish more, is simply contagious. I hope to know these women for the rest of my life."

—Rosario Montes-Arena
Manager, IBM Software Executive Briefing Program
Silicon Valley & Worldwide Briefing Program
"As a young immigrant woman working in the nonprofit sector, it was inspiring to see women leaders in action, to be able to network with them, and talk about the issues that are relevant to our communities and our state. I feel honored and privileged for the opportunity to participate in such an awesome program that weaves women leaders from different sectors and geographies of California to engage in a conversation about the social, political, and economic fabric of California."

—Winnie Hui-Min Yu
Development Associate
Asian Law Caucus
San Francisco
"I've spent half of my work life in the corporate world, and the past ten years in the nonprofit world, but neither taught me how to be who I am at work�the whole pastiche of talent and spirit. I found role models who excited me, the true state of our state of California (which frustrated me), work partners continually learning like me, and friends."

—Peta G. Penson, Ed. D.
Oakland Unified School District
"Leadership California sessions feature influential speakers and lively discussion on timely issues shaping the economy and workforce. The session on work-life balance struck a chord with me, where key leaders advised us to map out a personal career plan. Networking with other women was invaluable. Leadership California is an engaging and downright fun experience."

—Roberta Tinajero-Frankel
Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit Dept.
Healthy Eating, Active Living Project Manager
"Simply put, Leadership California is time well spent that will benefit me personally and professionally for years to come. I've not only kept in contact with my fellow classmates on a social level, but have had opportunities to work with some of them on business projects as our professional paths crossed. The sessions gave in-depth looks at the critical social issues that many Californians face, inspiring me to get more involved in my community�s outreach programs."

—Teena Massingill
Manager of Corporate Public Affairs
Safeway Inc.

Leadership California is a network of accomplished women, dedicated to advancing the leadership role women play in impacting business, social issues and public policy.

Leadership California is also a unique program, designed to develop and mobilize female leaders. From corporate, academic, state and community organizations across the state, Leadership California draws a diverse group of executive women into its California Issues and Trends Program. Alumnae gain new insights on complex global, national and regional issues facing California.

Message from the President
2014 Program Overview
2015 Program Overview


We're looking for successful women to join us for the journey of a lifetime, the California Issues and Trends Program. 
Grow your leadership insights, build your power network, make a positive difference in your professional life and envision your role in California's future.


WELLS FARGO TEAM: Women leaders from Wells Fargo helped plan the daylong Central Valley Forum. Sandy Cha Mumper ('10), second from right, is an alum and board member of Leadership California who was instrumental in bringing the program to the Central Valley.

Critical Issues, Top Trends Draw Central Valley Women Leaders to Forum

February 17, 2015
by Carol Caley

A HEAVY FRESNO FOG did little to deter a group of fifty-two women leaders who gathered to attend the first-ever Central Valley Women’s Forum from Leadership California. The enthusiastic group helped themselves to coffee and breakfast as they met women from across the state’s big valley, from many backgrounds, and from every business sector.


Held in Fresno on February 11, the daylong session featured a slate of speakers that brought California’s urgent issues and leading-edge trends squarely front and center for women leaders from across the region. Attendees were there to gain new insights on complex issues facing California, and better understanding of regional, national and global impacts for Californians.

CRITICAL ISSUES FOR THE GREAT VALLEY: Women leaders studied the issues and trends of the region, including jobs, financial security, agricultural concerns, diversity and inclusion, tech business and the smart-growth future of Fresno.

Regional Issues & Trends, California’s Forward-Looking Businesses

The Leadership California organization is well known for its statewide California Issues & Trends program and its powerful network of accomplished women who are dedicated to advancing women’s leadership in the state and beyond. The new program featured segments on women and California’s global economy, workforce issues, demographics with diversity and inclusion, and innovation as part of the distinct California identity. READ MORE


This event was made possible by a generous grant from Wells Fargo


Come with Us
to Washington D.C. in September!

Register NOW for
The Ultimate Leadership California Experience

The 2015 Leadership California LC to DC delegation will visit the
Martin Luther King monument on a nighttime tour.

Registration Now Open:
CLICK HERE to Register

Leadership California Goes to Washington D.C. (LC to DC) is now open to registration, with convenient options to register and pay online.

Our Washington DC 2015 Optional Session is a special opportunity for California women leaders to study how national and international issues influence Californians and California business, and how California’s issues and trends influence the nation and the world. LC to DC is available as an add-on to CIT 2015 or may be purchased separately as an individual session.

Program dates are September 27-30, 2015

LC to DC offers the scope and depth of the California Issues & Trends Program, highlighting the capital's most inspiring sights and featuring highly engaging and thought-provoking content.

Leaders will study issues and trends of national importance, learning how these national and international issues and trends affect California's leaders, California's businesses—and all Californians.

LC to DC is open to all executive women: You don't need to be a CIT Alumna or CIT applicant to register.


CLICK HERE to email Leadership California with my pre-registration. I understand that I will be invoiced for tuition at the early-bird rate of $1,395 with payment due before July 31, 2015.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON LC TO DC 2015, a tentative program agenda, program prices and hotel details.

Questions about registration or tuition payment? Please call Yvette at (626) 793-7834







Meet our 2015 Honorees

April 27, 2015
Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza
6:15 pm -

8:45 pm

Sponsorships  Available


Monday, April 27, 2015


Leader Award


AMY WHITLEY, at center, is the chief diversity and inclusion officer and vice president of Strategic Human Resources programs at UPS. She will accept the Corporate Leader Award on behalf of UPS at Leadership California’s Legacy of Leadership celebration on April 27, 2015 in Los Angeles. The photo shows Amy at a meeting with Lean In Circle moderators at UPS World Technology Headquarters in Mahwah, New Jersey in November 2014.


We connect millions of customers from around the globe every day, making it a business imperative for our workforce to be like and think like the vast communities we serve.

"We strive to create an inclusive work environment, which embraces employees by encouraging, valuing and leveraging diversity of thought and perspective.

"Diversity exists everywhere around us, but it is our approach to inclusion which helps UPS to recognize, develop and maximize the skills of our global workforce.”

Amy Whitley

UPS (NYSE: UPS) is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions including transporting packages and freight; facilitating international trade, and deploying advanced technology to more efficiently manage the world of business. Headquartered in Atlanta, UPS serves more than 220 countries and territories worldwide.

UPS will be honored with a Corporate Leader Award at Leadership California's Legacy of Leadership celebration on April 27, 2015 in Los Angeles.


Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer and Vice President of Strategic Human Resources Programs, UPS

Amy Whitley: Uniting a Workforce for Commerce Around the Globe

by Carol Caley
February 19, 2015

Q: Diversity and inclusion are key values for us here at Leadership CA, as they are for UPS. You have a global workforce of over 400,000 employees, and annually, around 300,000 people apply to work at UPS. The company is one of the top three employers in the U.S., right behind McDonald’s and Walmart. Can you give us some insight on your role of ensuring a diverse, inclusive workforce? Can you tell us about a particular challenge?

A: DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION IS AN IMPERATIVE at UPS. We have the opportunity to positively impact people all around the globe. We interact with millions of customers on a daily basis. With more than 400,000 employees serving 220 countries, we have to be like, think like, and understand those customers. The more that we have people who understand those perspectives, the better off we’re going to be as a company. Our challenge is to focus on the employee experience, by ensuring they are included and engaged, and leverage their wide backgrounds and perspectives.

MY ROLE IN DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION is fairly new. I’m the first person to hold this role at the organization, so I feel truly honored and humbled. UPS has long been committed to diversity, and I’ve been working on diversity for 10-plus years as VP of human resources. Inclusion at UPS is something that’s been around for a long time. Really since the days of our founder, Jim Casey, we’ve focused on our people and we’ve focused on leadership abilities. We’ve had a diversity council since 1997, so having discussions around diversity is not new, but the role is new, and the focus is more on inclusion. The timing’s right.

Q: You’ve seen a lot of changes in your 31 years with the company.

A: UPS HAS EVOLVED throughout its history. It’s had to change many times. And I think the changes will come quicker as we look forward because the world is changing faster than it ever has before. Commerce has changed, with e-commerce expanding, and as consumers’ habits change, their shopping patterns change, from brick-and-mortar to online shopping. Customer expectations are shifting as well. So the role that we play is significant. For example, think about your holiday shopping experience this past season. What is different about how you used to shop five years ago and how you shop now. More and more consumers are having their purchases delivered right to their doorstep. The convenience factor is huge.

WITH THESE CHANGING CUSTOMER BEHAVIORS comes shifting trends in our business model. We’re using more technology than ever before, we have to be more innovative, there’s more competition than ever before, the speed to market has changed, and expectations of the consumer have changed.

Q: Amy, just this morning I sent my husband a link, and said honey, pick out your Valentine’s Day present.

A: IT'S TRUE, AND THERE ARE ALSO DIFFERENCES among generations. For example, my mother-in-law shops with catalogs because she doesn’t use the Internet. She likes to go shopping at the mall too. I tell her to come over to my house, we’ll have a glass of wine, sit in front of the computer, and we’ll shop and have UPS deliver everything. It’s win-win.

  If you think about the nature of the transportation industry, it tends to be very male dominated, so we do have a lot of efforts to ensure that we have a diverse workforce.

Q: Stores don’t have as much on the shelves as they used to. And women especially don’t have as much time as they used to.

A: WOMEN DON'T HAVE TIME TO GO TO FIVE DIFFERENT STORES. They can simply Google what they are looking for, and in five minutes order exactly what they want. Some retailers don’t even have a phone number to call any longer—it’s all online. Even that has changed. So for UPS, rather than just serving business-to-business customers, we’re doing much more to focus on business-to-consumer. Some of our recent enhancements, UPS My ChoiceTM and UPS Access PointsTM, allow customers have more visibility to their packages, and provide more flexibility and opportunities to have them delivered when and where it’s convenient for them.

Q: So what are some of the challenges UPS faces from a workforce perspective?

A: IF YOU THINK ABOUT THE NATURE of the transportation industry, it tends to be very male dominated, so we do have a lot of efforts to ensure that we have a diverse workforce that is representative of the communities that we live in and serve.

ONE OF OUR GREATEST CHALLENGES IS GENDER DIVERSITY, making sure that women have opportunities at UPS and that women think about UPS as a potential employer, a place to build a career. We want potential employees, including young people and women, thinking about UPS as an employer, not just as a package delivery or logistics company. They should have more visibility to our values around hard work, integrity, and customer service.

ANOTHER CHALLENGE IS TO ENSURE THAT WE'RE RELEVANT and are able to attract the best and the brightest talent. We’ve integrated technology into how we sort our packages and how we deliver them, using tech solutions for our drivers to become more efficient, saving gas and time. People can come to UPS and see that they’ve got vast opportunities, whether it’s in operations, engineering, finance, logistics or human resources. We’re not just about package operations. We’re not just an airline. We are much bigger than that.

Q: IF YOU CAN SEE THE RUNGS ON YOUR LADDER, that’s valuable. You may be willing to start at the bottom if you can clearly see your way up.

A: ABSOLUTELY. UPS IS A WELL-KNOWN, HOUSEHOLD NAME. We have a strong brand. If you say you work for UPS, you get a positive reaction. We’ve got this very rich history of promotion from within. Many of our senior leaders, including myself, started in operations. We started in the hub, or as drivers, and worked our way up. We’ve worked very hard over the years to market the value of the UPS employment brand, so that future generations can see us as a company that is a place where they want to grow their career.

SO CREATING THIS ROLE WAS IMPORTANT. The changes we’ve made around diversity and inclusion are significant. With our senior leadership, we’re focusing on educating them to be more inclusive leaders, and creating an awareness around the biases that they have—that we all have—and how to minimize their biases, so that when we’re selecting talent, we’re not letting those interfere with the selections we’re making.

... a group of senior women were looking at the numbers. They said, what’s the experience like for our young women in operations today? Surely, it must be better than when we were in those positions? But the numbers showed there were significant levels of turnover.  

Q: I’ve been reading more about unintentional biases and what leaders can do about it.

A: YOU CAN'T CHANGE SOMETHING IF YOU'RE NOT AWARE OF IT. We’re trying to create that awareness. It really helps that we have three women on our board of directors, and we just named our third woman to our management committee.

THESE ARE VISIBLE SIGNS OF DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION that our customers can see, potential employees can see, and existing employees can see opportunities around. They see role models, people who look like them, and that the company is changing.

Q: YOU'VE PAID YOUR DUES, YOU'VE WORN THE BROWN. You’ve enjoyed a long and successful career at UPS, from your start as a delivery driver. From there, you moved to operations, then to positions in H.R., with roles in succession planning, training and development, organizational development, employee relations, workforce planning, and responsibility for UPS global H.R. systems and technology solutions, all prior to your current role. What originally inspired you to work for UPS, and what has kept you in the package delivery and logistics business for 31 years?

A: I WAS FRESH OUT OF COLLEGE, with my degree in business with a focus on human resources. I wanted to get a job in H.R., and thought I could get hired right into an H.R. leadership position. Being very green, I didn’t think much about what kinds of jobs I might take on. It was at the urging of my dad, who said, you should go check out UPS—they’re a great employer. So I did. When I was interviewed, they talked to me about starting as a management trainee. I said, what does that mean? They said, we believe in promotion from within. We’d like you to start as a delivery driver.

Q: Did that surprise you?

A: YES! HERE I WAS IN THIS MALE-DOMINATED COMPANY. I didn’t know how to drive a stick shift. I had to go learn how to drive. The job was very physically demanding. That whole environment was foreign to me. But I was struck by the challenge of not knowing how to do any of those things. What inspired me to take the job was this thought: “Why not? What’s the worst that can happen? I want to see if I can do it. If I don’t like it, I can always leave.” Read More>








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