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The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Leaders from the Brown Administration take the stage

On Friday, Apr. 27, the Disneyland Hotel was transformed into a place for women to connect and network during the bi-annual California Women Lead 2018 Women’s Conference.

CWL panel in ballroom
The Disneyland hotel ballroom was transformed into a pro-women conference on Friday, Apr. 27. Photo credit: Madalyn Amato

During Governor Jerry Brown’s first term, CWL was established by a co-op of Republican and Democratic women who wanted to see more women in appointed positions within state and local governments.

“This year, the organization celebrates an appointment rate of 50 percent of women, the highest of all 50 states, throughout California,” said CWL Executive Director Rachel Michelin.

The day began with a panel of leaders from Governor Jerry Brown’s administration speaking on their experiences throughout their lives and careers as women in politics and government.

Diana Dooley, Karen Ross, Marybel Batjer and Alexis Podesta, all still currently working in the administration, told their personal stories as well as gave advice to the women in attendance.

Karen Ross
Secretary of Food and Agriculture, Karen Ross, speaks to a woman who attended the panel Friday morning. Photo credit: Madalyn Amato

Many spoke fondly about mentor and friend Nancy McFadden who had worked with the organization for many years. They attributed many of their successes to following her example and lead. Unfortunately, McFadden lost her battle with cancer just last month.

Right after, audience members were given the opportunity to ask the female leaders questions. From how to get more involved in politics, to how to make a difference in society, the dialogue had an overall general tone which resonated with CWL’s mission: empowering women.

More breakout sessions followed and the conference concluded around 2 p.m.