Register today at

The Friends of the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women

in cooperation with the

UC Davis Graduate School of Management

invite you to participate in an engaging conversation
to highlight the current positive trends and identify proactive initiatives for the future

Call To Action: Have Your Say on The Future of Women and Work!

June 6, 2012
5:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Deloitte, 555 Mission Street, San Francisco

Conversations with Exceptional Women is also sponsored by


“The world that you want to live in and that you need to live in needs you to create it; needs you to create it. It needs your input. The world needs to hear what you have to say. The last word has not been spoken...The last word has not been spoken."
– Beah Richards

The landscape for women in corporate leadership is evolving. While the “numbers” according to studies done on a national level by Catalyst and UC Davis for California, have shown that the representation of women in senior leadership positions has stalled in recent years, the national and global conversation is heating up.

With women graduating with advanced degrees in record numbers, there is a drive on the part of the younger generations of women to seek more expansive opportunities. We are also seeing the growing economic contribution and clout of women as both earners and consumers. 

These trends are significant for global and local economies and with both positive and stagnant trends it is important to stay focused on the positive steps that still need to be and can be taken to move the agenda along at a more rapid pace.

Amanda Kimball, Author, UC Davis Study of California Women Business Leaders Christie Smith, Ph.D., Principal, Deloitte LLP Patricia Gillette, Partner, Employment Law, Orrick San Francisco Barbara Morrison, President, TMC Financing Sally Thornton, Founder. Forshay David Assmann, Deputy Director, San Francisco Department of the Environment Steven C. Currall, Dean and Professor of Management, Graduate School of Management, UC Davis

The evening’s panel of both female and male experts will address the following questions:

  • What is really happening in the numbers?
  • What does this mean for our economies and why is it important?
  • What are some companies and agencies currently doing to promote gender equity?
  • How can we, as individual women and men, corporations and leaders, encourage the continued advancement of women and offer support to our current and our future women leaders?

The goal of the event is to inform, inspire and empower people - women and men - across industries and across generations to more purposefully and successfully advance women to increase the voices of women at the leadership tables in the public and private sectors.

The conversation will not stop with the panel as we will ask all event participants to engage and interact in developing solutions. This is an inclusive conversation that invites active collaboration. 

After the panel presents, each table will engage in a facilitated conversation about concrete next steps that can be taken and visionary ideas for the future. The results of these conversations will be compiled into a “Call To Action” paper that will be available to all the participants via the Friends website to be used as the foundation for further conversations, events and research.

Amanda Kimball
UC Davis Study of California Women Business Leaders

Amanda Kimball is a Research Specialist at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management. She authors the School’s annual “UC Davis Study of California Women Business Leaders,” and serves as a collaborator on other faculty research projects. Kimball is in the final stages of completing her PhD in Economics at UC Davis, where she earned her masters degree in 2003, with concentrations in Microeconomic Theory and Industrial Organization. She has a background in business and economics including having worked for Capital One, the Investment Company Institute, and the Corporate Executive Board.

Christie Smith, Ph.D.
Deloitte LLP

Christie Smith has a track record of breaking boundaries – including her past career as a professional golfer, her leadership in fostering growth of the San Francisco biotech sector, and her experience as one of Deloitte’s most senior diversity partners.

Christie has spent the last 24 years consulting, focusing on aligning business strategy with the requirements of organizational structure, talent, leadership development and global workforce planning. She is Deloitte’s West Region Industry and Life Sciences leader, and is responsible for growth of Deloitte’s industry practice. She recently drove the formation of Deloitte’s collaboration with the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3) to spur bioscience innovation and convert that innovation into a catalyst for jobs, companies, and better health in California.

In addition to her client work, Christie is Deloitte’s West region Women’s Initiative (WIN) leader and West region Diversity and Inclusion leader. She is responsible for helping to ensure Deloitte supports and advances its diverse talent and making Deloitte an employer of choice for the best and brightest talent. In this capacity, she is spearheading Deloitte’s relationship and activities with, a call-to-action campaign that seeks to empower women and girls to challenge limiting media labels in order to realize their potential.
Christie has a master of social work from Rutgers, and a Ph.D. in industrial organizational psychology from New York University. She is a former national board member of Out & Equal.

2012 Recipient of Most Influential Women in Business in San Francisco Award

Patricia Gillette
Partner, Employment Law, Orrick
San Francisco

Patricia Gillette, a partner in Orrick's San Francisco office, is a member of the Employment Law Group. Ms. Gillette's practice focuses on all aspects of employment law, including wrongful discharge and discrimination litigation of class actions and individual/multi-plaintiff cases in both state and federal court, representation of employers before administrative agencies, and counseling and training employers on preventive personnel practices.

Ms. Gillette is a frequent lecturer to management and professional groups on employment issues. She has spoken for such nationally recognized groups as the American Bar Association, California State Bar Association, National Employment Law Institute, Practising Law Institute, and many other state bar associations and management employment groups.

Before joining Orrick, Ms. Gillette was head of Heller Ehrman LLP's Labor and Employment Practice Group for 10 years and she was at the firm for 17 years. She was also on the Policy Committee of the firm for five years. Prior to joining Heller Ehrman, Ms. Gillette was in private practice for several years and was in-house counsel for Bank of America, where she was in charge of the Personnel Advice Section of the Legal Department.

Ms. Gillette is the founder of the Opt-In Project, a nationwide initiative focused on changing the structure of law firms to increase the retention and advancement of women in the workplace. Ms. Gillette speaks frequently on these issues at conferences across the nation including conferences sponsored by the ABA Commission on Women, NAWL, and NALP.

Ms. Gillette is a Commissioner on the ABA Commission for Women in the Profession. She is the co-chair of the San Francisco Bar Association's No Glass Ceiling Initiative. She is also on the board of the National Association of Women Lawyers. She is a member of the Austin Consortium, a national group of thought leaders on women's issues in the legal profession. At Orrick, Ms. Gillette is co-head of the Women's Affinity Group. Ms. Gillette's articles on issues relating to women in the legal industry have been widely published in state and national publications.

Steven C. Currall
Dean and Professor of Management
Graduate School of Management
University of California, Davis

Steven Currall is Dean and Professor in the Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Davis. He has conducted research and taught for over 20 years on organizational psychology topics such as innovation, emerging technologies, negotiation, and corporate governance.

At the invitation of the U.S. President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, Currall was a member of the Nanotechnology Technical Advisory Group. He has been a grantee on nearly $18 million in external funding of which more than 80 percent came from refereed research grants from the National Science Foundation. Currall's research has been published in management, psychology, and science/engineering academic journals. He has served on numerous editorial review boards.

He has served as a member of the boards of the University of California Global Health Institute, BioHouston, and Leadership in Medicine, Inc. He has been quoted more than 400 times in publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, The Economist, Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, Bloomberg BusinessWeek magazine, British Broadcasting Corporation television and the Nightly Business Report.

Currall was formerly Vice Dean of Enterprise and Professor of Management Science and Innovation in the Faculty of Engineering Sciences at University College London (UCL). He was Visiting Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Entrepreneurship and Faculty Co-Director of the Institute of Technology at London Business School, the top ranked business school in the world by The Financial Times. At UCL, he was founding Chair of the Department of Management Science and Innovation. Currall was the William and Stephanie Sick Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Brown School of Engineering at Rice University and tenured Associate Professor of Management, Psychology, and Statistics in the Jones Graduate School of Management. In 2003, he was a Visiting Scholar at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business.

Barbara Morrison
TMC Financing

Barbara Morrison is Founder and President of TMC, a Certified Development Company (CDC) based in San Francisco that has provided real estate financing for over 28 years.
TMC specifically offers commercial real estate financing for owner-user buyers utilizing the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 loan program. Clients are successful, growing small and medium-sized businesses located in California and Nevada. Since inception TMC has financed over $5.2 billion for more than 3,400 small businesses. TMC ranks annually as the largest SBA lender in Northern California, and has been in the top 10 CDCs nationally for over a decade.

Morrison is also the Founder and Board President of Working Solutions, an innovative nonprofit organization that assists underserved microentrepreneurs with accessing the capital they need to start and grow their businesses.

Morrison is a former Mayor and a former Council Member for the City of Belvedere since 2002.

Morrison previously served as Deputy Director of the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development in San Francisco and worked for five years in investment banking.

Sally Thornton

Sally founded Forshay to connect the Bay Area’s most innovative and progressive companies with exceptional talent, on demand or direct hire. Prior to founding Forshay, Sally co-founded Flexperience in 2006, and worked with clients ranging from global leaders such as Genentech and Levis to high-growth start ups and creative companies like Method Home, Pixar, Sonos, and IDEO. Flexperience was grown into a nationally acclaimed firm that connected Bay Area experienced professionals with flexible work projects, and was awarded "Top 100 Fastest Growing Private Companies" in 2010 by the San Francisco Business Times.

Sally has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, KQED radio, Forbes, NBC11 News, ABC7 News,, ABC’s View From the Bay, and She has presented to audiences ranging from large business conferences to guest lectures at both Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business. Sally is a frequent keynote speaker on the topics of talent recruitment and engagement strategies, how to increase the number of women in leadership, and how to apply research on happiness & meaningfulness into a practical work/life blend. She supports other women entrepreneurs through her leadership role at Stanford University’s Clayman Institute for Gender Research, and in her Board of Advisor role at two start ups: RallyOn, Inc. and

David Assmann
Deputy Director
San Francisco Department of the Environment

David Assmann has been Deputy Director of the Department of the Environment since August 2000. From October 2008 through July 2009 and from January 2010 through August 22, 2010, he was the Acting Director of the Department of the Environment. Prior to August, 2000, he was the Recycling Program Manager for the San Francisco Solid Waste Management Program. Prior to being appointed Recycling Program Manager, he held the positions of Public Outreach Coordinator and Senior Administrator for the San Francisco Recycling Program. Before joining the City and County of San Francisco in July of 1993, Mr. Assmann was the Vice-President and Director of Information Services for Conservatree Paper Company. Prior to that, he was the publisher of Mother Jones Magazine. In addition to his professional environmental experience, he has had more than 18 years of media management experience, working in radio and print media.   
Mr. Assmann is the author of more than 100 published articles on environmental issues. Over the past twenty years, Mr. Assmann has made more than 140 public presentations on environmental issues, including presentations at state, national and international conferences.

Mr. Assmann is the Treasurer and a founding Board Member of the California Product Stewardship Council, a statewide organization dedicated to promoting Extended Producer Responsibility in California. He is also a member of the coordinating committee for Green Cities California, a coalition of ten of the largest local jurisdictions in California working together on environmental and sustainability initiatives.

Mr. Assmann was the chair of the Bay Area Working Group of cities and counties responsible for organizing and implementing the Save Money and the Environment Too campaign in the San Francisco Bay Area for five years and has remained involved for the entire sixteen years of this regional effort, now known as the Bay Area Recycling Outreach Coalition. This innovative waste prevention campaign has won ten national and state awards, including the National Recycling Coalition’s Beth Boettner Award for Outstanding Public Education, the National Association of Counties Environmental Protection and Energy Achievement Award, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 9 Award for Outstanding Environmental Achievement and California Resource Recovery Association’s Award for Best Waste Prevention Program in California. He was also co-chair of the National Recycling Coalition’s Source Reduction Forum for two years. In 1999, Mr. Assmann was the annual conference chair for the California Resource Recovery Association, chaired the host City organizing committee for the 2004 National Recycling Coalition Conference in San Francisco and was responsible for organizing the public workshops held during World Environment Day in San Francisco in 2005.

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