Hundreds gather online to gain insight into implicit bias as a foundation for building inclusive workplaces that welcome our future leaders.
IRVINE, Calif. – In a year of unexpected challenges and circumstances, Girl Scouts of Orange County’s ninth annual Voice for Girls forum was unlike any other, as hundreds gathered virtually on the morning of Friday, September 18. The goal was vital: to identify and navigate our unconscious biases- especially those that impede women- so we can create truly diverse workplaces that fuel female ambition. Sponsors for Girl Scouts of Orange County’s 9th Annual Voice for Girls forum included Presenting Sponsor Kaiser Permanente; Breakfast Underwriters Beacon Pointe Advisors, COX, Orange County Department of Education, and Jeff and Caron Winston; and Invest in Girls Sponsors Angels Baseball, Dale Carnegie of Orange County, First American, gorjana, Christine and Michael Mueller, Pacific Western Bank, SoCalGas, U.S. Bank, VerticAlign, and Nella Webster O’Grady and Kevin O’Grady.
Dynamic keynote and leading expert on implicit racial and gender bias L. Song Richardson, Dean and Chancellor’s Professor of Law at the UCI School of Law, encouraged participants to identify and explore their unconscious mental processes, which can lead people to view the world through a biased lens. She then provided valuable insights to safeguard against the influence of unconscious biases and shared ways together we can foster diverse and inclusive environments that welcome female perspectives. Following her keynote, Dean Richardson took questions from participants and then introduced Orange County Girl Scouts who shared ways they are taking action in Orange County to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.
National Gold Award Girl Scout and recent alum Isabella Madrigal from Temecula addressed the lack of indigenous peoples’ representation in the media by writing, directing, and performing in the play Menil and Her Heart about missing and murdered indigenous women. Girl Scout Cadettes Dana, Jumana, and Nahar from Troop 3408 in Anaheim invited local law enforcement into their Mosque to build trust through communication and education. Girl Scout Cadette Alivia from Troop 2966 in Seal Beach started a club in her middle school to support and encourage black students and build camaraderie among the entire student body. Recent Girl Scout alum Olivia Bobrownicki from Irvine closed the forum with a powerful testimonial sharing how Girl Scouts has inspired her to take action on issues she is passionate about, such as founding a Board of Female Directors to motivate girls to participate in her high school’s primarily male debate team.
Reflecting on the importance of this advocacy forum, Girl Scouts of Orange County CEO Vikki Shepp shared, “We are preparing girls for a lifetime of leadership. When these talented and diverse young women enter the workforce, it is vital that they are welcomed into inclusive workplaces and equipped with the resources and support to raise their voices and find solutions to the challenges our nation and our world face.”
Julie Miller-Phipps, President, Southern California Region of Kaiser Permanente, shared, “We are proud to be the Presenting Sponsor of Girl Scouts of Orange County’s Voice for Girls 2020. This year’s focus on workplace diversity and female leadership aligns beautifully with our commitment to a richly diverse workforce of 74,000 employees and 7,600 Southern California Permanente Medical Group Physicians, 75 percent which are women, who work to make lives, and our communities healthier places to work, live and play.”
Girl Scouts of Orange County Board Chair and Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration for Angels Baseball Molly Jolly took the opportunity at Voice for Girls 2020 to kick off Girl Scouts of Orange County’s Promise Circle of Giving, a community of donors who believe deeply that when girls succeed, so does society. To learn more about the organization’s new Promise Circle of Giving, visit girlscoutsoc.org/promise.
Attendees left Voice for Girls 2020 with new tools to foster equitable workplaces that value diversity and inclusion and inspired to create a future where there are no limits to what girls and women can achieve.