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Business Leaders, Influencers, and Educators Rally Around Female Leadership at Girl Scouts’ Voice for Girls 2018


Julia Offenberger, Sharleen Loh, Gina L. Osborn, Girl Scouts of Orange County CEO Vikki Shepp, Alisha Sehgal, Maaryah Sattar

Over 240 attendees – including educators across Orange County – tackle collaboration in the workplace and pave the way for tomorrow’s leaders to thrive.

IRVINE, Calif. (May 15, 2018) – Today’s youth are immersed in technology from the time they are born. With technology fueling collaboration, tomorrow’s leaders will expect-- even demand-- collaboration in the workplace. But that hasn’t always been the case. Many of today’s leaders were mentored by command and control (or top-down) managers, and the culture of many organizations is still based on command and control norms.

A record 240 Orange County business leaders, influencers, and representatives from the Orange County Department of Education rallied together with local Girl Scouts at the Newport Beach Country Club on Friday, May 11 to discuss ways we can foster collaborative leadership in our organizations, schools, and communities and pave the way for the next generation of tech-savvy leaders. Sponsors for the 7th Annual Voice for Girls forum included Presenting Sponsor BNY Mellon Wealth Management, Breakfast Underwriters Jeff and Caron Winston and O’Melveny & Myers LLP, and Invest in Girls Education Sponsors: Beacon Pointe Advisors, Blizzard Entertainment, Cox Communications, KPMG, and Western Digital.

Reflecting on the importance of this advocacy forum, Girl Scouts of Orange County CEO Vikki Shepp shared, “From the board room to the courtroom to the caucus room, women bring diverse perspectives to the workplace. Through our unparalleled leadership development programs, Girl Scouts is fueling the female leadership pipeline for employers across every industry.” Shannon Kennedy, President of US Markets – Southwest and Girl Scouts of Orange County Board of Directors Executive Committee member, shared, “Now, more than ever, it is vital for companies to get behind organizations like Girl Scouts that are building strong, confident young women who are prepared to take on tomorrow’s toughest challenges.”

Gina L. Osborn, FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge of Cyber and Computer Forensics, headlined the event. As keynote, she provided candid insights into her own experiences coming up through the ranks in a male-dominated workforce (only 14% of FBI agents were female at the time she joined in 1996). Ms. Osborn also shared how she used collaborative leadership to bring together 17 law enforcement agencies across Southern California to create the Orange County Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory. She advised girls interested in pursuing male-dominated fields to “just do it” and let go of the idea that they need to be perfect in order to compete.

The keynote was the perfect segue into a table exercise where attendees discussed what their organizations currently do to foster collaboration in the workplace and what they could be doing to encourage greater collaboration.

Following the table exercise, guests had a special opportunity to listen in as Girl Scout Alum and Attorney at Law Gina Cervino interviewed four Gold Award Girl Scouts-- Sharleen Loh (17), Julia Offenberger (17), Maaryah Sattar (17), and Alisha Sehgal-- (18). The Girl Scouts provided keen insights into how they use collaboration as Girl Scouts, the technology they use to collaborate, and what they will be looking for in their future workplaces.

Before the event concluded, panelist and 2017 GSUSA National Young Woman of Distinction Sharleen Loh from Placentia shared a rousing testimonial about how Girl Scouts transformed her from a shy little girl into a leader who created the non-profit STEMup4Youth to share her love for STEM with over 10,000 underprivileged children.

Voice for Girls 2018 attendees left empowered with new tools to enhance collaboration in their personal and professional spheres and inspired to make sure every girl is acquiring the courage, confidence, and character she needs to take the reins of leadership in the 21st century. 

View event photos here

About Girl Scouts

We are Girl Scouts of Orange County.  We are 33,000 strong-- 20,000 girls and 13,000 adults who believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to change the world. With programs in every zip code in Orange County, Girl Scouts offers every girl opportunities to practice a lifetime of leadership, adventure, and success. To volunteer, reconnect, donate, or join, visit  girlscoutsoc.org .

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