Upcoming Event

Developing Leaders for Montana's Future

June 06, 2022

Monday, June 20th 12:00pm-1:00pm


Deena Mansour, Executive Director, Mansfield Center

Suzi Berget White, Director of Business Development, Prospera Women’s Business Center

Shannon Stober, Girls Leadership Program Lead Facilitator (Designer of Red Ants Pants Foundation Girls Leadership Program Curriculum)

Moderated by: Megan Torgerson, founder of Reframing Rural

Join the Women’s Foundation of Montana for an engaging discussion about the state of women’s leadership development in Montana. Hear from experts about how they educate, empower, and encourage women to take on leadership roles in politics; what tools and support they provide to help women establish, grow and sustain businesses; and how they build upon the strength of girls from rural Montana to create highly competent and confident leaders.

The pandemic has undone much of the progress women have made in working in managerial or professional occupations in the past 20 years. Women are leaving the workforce at much higher rates than men and women’s participation in the labor force has dropped to its lowest level in 3 decades. Pre-pandemic and now, women are far less likely than men to be employed in leadership positions, in both the private and public sphere. Women of color, transgender women, disabled women, and women who have additional barriers to full economic participation experience even larger disparities in access and equity and suffer from additional prejudices in the workforce.

Women’s participation in Montana’s workforce, and in leadership specifically, is not only critical to women’s economic security, but to the success of our state’s economy as well. This is because gender diversity in a workforce and in leadership leads to better outcomes, higher production, and increased profits.

Educational programs working toward gender equity often provide women and girls with the training and skills they need to be economically successful. Many programs seek to provide women and girls with leadership and confidence-building skills, others work to teach women how to manage their finances and negotiate more successfully for higher pay, and others seek to train women in work skills that will move them into higher paid jobs that have been traditionally held by men, such as STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) and trades (welding, electrician, plumbing, etc.) work. In addition, there are now programs that train women entrepreneurs to build their own businesses and programs that teach women about public service, designed to increase the number of women serving in public office.

While the underrepresentation of women in leadership roles is systemic in nature, leadership development programs designed specifically for women help women gain the tools to navigate the disproportionate burdens of systemic inequities, intersecting identities, and biases (both conscious and unconscious). These programs are a critical piece of our work toward gender equity and the Women’s Foundation is honored to be able to highlight the work of the presenters from The Mansfield Center, Prospera Women’s Business Center, and Red Ants Pants Foundation.

Please register before the event!