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Emerald Archer, PhD, Director, Center for the Advancement of Women, Mount Saint Mary’s University
Nury Martinez, president, Los Angeles City Council
Ann McElaney-Johnson, PhD, President, Mount Saint Mary’s University
Where do women and girls in California stand today? Given that 2021 continues to be defined by the COVID-19 pandemic, the answer to this question is not clear. The summary of key findings provides a clearer picture of how women and girls fared in the pre-pandemic period and the possible setbacks in our post-pandemic reality. There is no doubt that the pandemic will have long lasting repercussions for women and girls across the state.
The pandemic has magnified the multiple and various roles women take on every day across the state. Women now find themselves juggling the roles of essential worker, caregiver, educator, all while taking on more responsibilities at home. The constraints COVID-19 has brought to California households has created serious stress, the lion’s share of which is felt by women. We will explore how women are faring in the wake of COVID-19.
Data suggests that more than one-third of California’s women business owners may be struggling during the pandemic. Long-standing issues like inequitable access to capital have only been amplified by the pandemic. Join Jane Wurwand, philanthropist, activist and founder of FOUND/LA as she discusses how crucial it is socially and economically to help women entrepreneurs across Los Angeles County succeed and thrive.
For the first time since its inception more than 150 years ago, the powerful Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors consists of all women. Join this important discussion as supervisors discuss leading the way for Angelenos during this historically challenging time. They will share their particular brand of leadership, the historic nature of an all-female LA County Board of Supervisors, and what women’s leadership will mean for the most powerful local government body in the nation.
Emerald Archer, PhD, Director, Center for the Advancement of Women, Mount Saint Mary’s University
Emerald Archer, PhD, is the director of the Center for the Advancement of Women at Mount Saint Mary’s University. She has dedicated her career to studying questions related to gender equity and women’s representation in non-traditional domains such as the United States military. Through the Center, Archer’s primary goal is to promote and increase gender equity in California and our region, and she leads the Center's efforts related to applied research, education and policy analysis. Archer has also published articles in The European Legacy and Armed Forces & Society, and is the author of a book titled “Women, Warfare and Representation: American Servicewomen in the Twentieth Century.”
Supervisor Kathryn Barger proudly serves the residents of the 5th District —Los Angeles County’s largest — which includes communities in the Antelope, San Gabriel, San Fernando, Crescenta, and Santa Clarita Valleys. Building upon her work from her time as chief policy advisor on health, mental health, social services, and children’s issues, Supervisor Barger continues to advocate for services and programs to improve the quality of life for foster children, seniors, veterans, those with disabilities, and those with mental illness.
Alisha Haridasani Gupta is a New York Times reporter covering politics, business, technology, health and culture through the gender lens.
She has covered, among many issues, inequality in the boardroom, the gendered ramifications of Brexit, the diversity of the Oscars, the biases programmed into A.I. technology and — more recently — how Covid-19 is impacting women.
Maria Hinojosa dreamt of a space where she could create independent, multimedia journalism that explores and gives a critical voice to the diverse American experience. She made that dream a reality in 2010 when she created Futuro Media, an independent, nonprofit newsroom based in Harlem, NYC with the mission to create
multimedia content from a POC perspective. As anchor and executive producer of the Peabody Award-winning show Latino USA , distributed by PRX, and co-host of Futuro Media’s award-winning political podcast In The Thick, Hinojosa has informed millions about the changing cultural and political landscape in America and abroad.
Mekala Krishnan, PhD, is a partner at the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), McKinsey’s business and economics research arm, based in Boston, MA.
Her research focuses on various topics related to inclusive growth and economic development, including climate risk, globalization, productivity growth in advanced economies, and women’s role in labor markets. Her most recent research focuses on the near-term impact of the climate transition and of physical climate risk across sectors and geographies, including its implications for companies and countries. She is an author of the recent McKinsey Global Institute research Climate Risk and Response: Physical hazards and socioeconomic impacts.
Supervisor Sheila James Kuehl was first elected to represent Los Angeles County’s Third District on November 4, 2014. She assumed office on December 1, 2014, and was reelected to her second term on November 6, 2018. As a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and immediate past Chair, she has led the way and worked on a great many initiatives and motions to improve people’s lives and reform systems in the County. Before her service on the Board, Supervisor Kuehl served eight years in the California State Senate and six years in the California State Assembly. She was the first woman in California history to be named Speaker Pro Tempore of the Assembly, and the first openly gay or lesbian person to be elected to the California Legislature.
Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez is the first Latina Council President in the City’s 170-year U.S. history. The proud daughter of working-class immigrants, she is a glass-ceiling shattering leader who brings a families-first and women’s rights advocacy to her efforts on behalf of the families in the 6th council district and City of Los Angeles. Martinez created the largest renters relief program in the country, helped lead the effort to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour in the City of Los Angeles, created a task force and increased efforts to help women caught in the nightmare of human trafficking, and championing paid parental leave for city workers and Angelenos citywide. Martinez’s “Green New Deal” is focused on environmental justice first and foremost for low-income, people-of-color communities that historically suffer from polluted air, water and land, more than other affluent communities.
Dr. Ann McElaney-Johnson is the 12th president of Mount Saint Mary’s University, the only women’s university in Los Angeles, and a leading advocate for the advancement of women and innovative teaching and learning. She has spoken at international conferences and institutions, including the American Council on Education in Washington, D.C. She led the creation of the Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California. Ann is a member of the Executive Committee of the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities, and the Board of Directors for the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. She is also Board Chair of the Women’s College Coalition and is on the ambassador council for the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. After majoring in French literature at Holy Cross, she earned a master’s degree in French from Middlebury College and a Ph.D. in French from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell was elected to serve the Second District of Los Angeles County in November 2020. She brings an extensive public record to the Board of Supervisors. Many of her bills have been at the forefront of expanding healthcare access, addressing systemic racism, and championing criminal justice reform. During her tenure in the California State Legislature, Supervisor Mitchell represented the 54th District for three years as an Assemblymember and later served seven years as State Senator for the 30th District.
Michaela Pereira is a Canadian television personality best known as being a former anchor for KTLA in Los Angeles and current anchor at Good Day LA. Family is very important to her so she frequently travels north to British Columbia to see hers. She is an adoptee, as are her numerous sisters and because of this, Pereira is active in community organizations that serve vulnerable young people. She is a member of the board of directors for the Long Beach Boys & Girls Club and a member of the advisory board of Optimist Youth Home, providing services for at risk youth. Michaela is a proud member of the National Association of Black Journalists.
María J. Prados is an economist at the Center for Economic and Social Research at the University of Southern California. Most of her research studies the determinants of different dimensions of inequality. She specializes in quantitative and applied economics, and her research interests have to do with health, gender, labor economics, and intra-household decision making. Dr. Prados’ research has been funded by the Michigan Disability and Retirement Research Center, the NIH, the Roybal Center for Health Policy Simulation, and the Roybal Center for Health Decision Making and Financial Independence in Old Age. She received her PhD in Economics from Columbia University, was a Postdoctoral Research Scholar at the Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics and a RCMAR Scholar for the Minority Aging Health Economics Research Center at USC.
“Learn how to do something.” These five words shared by her young widowed mother propelled Dermalogica founder Jane Wurwand, whose advocacy for women’s economic empowerment has earned her a platform at The United Nations, The White House, and around the globe. In 1986 as an immigrant to California with no credit history, she self-funded $14,000, and built Dermalogica into a multi-million-dollar international business and the global leader in the industry.
As one of America’s top entrepreneurs, President Obama appointed Wurwand a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship to share her expertise worldwide. In 2018, she launched FOUND, a non-profit initiative of Wurwand Foundation, to provide the community, capital and education for local entrepreneurs to succeed by building purpose into their business and life.