Our full 2021 conference agenda for August 11 and other special events is below. This hybrid agenda is the same whether you are joining us virtually or in-person. Please note, agenda times and details are subject to change as the event date nears.

As shown, new this year is the series of pre and post-conference virtual events, in the surrounding months, to supplement learning, extend the experience and provide additional touchpoints with our speakers, regional + national executive leaders, and fellow attendees.

June 16

Pre-Conference VIRTUAL Event I: Insight on Community
This event was publicly accessible. The presentation stream is available for replay here.

9 – 9:30 a.m. CT

Nicole Sahin: CEO and Founder, Globalization Partners
How Giving Back Makes Us Better Leaders

July 14

Pre-Conference VIRTUAL Event II: Insight on Leadership
Registrants-to-date received e-mailed instructions for access on July 13. It is now available for on-demand viewing on the platform.

9 – 10 a.m. CT

How My Personal Volunteer Experience Has Shaped my Leadership Journey
Chanda Chacón, President & CEO of Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, sits down with ICAN’s Susan Henricks.

The Good Guys: Omaha’s Workplace Allies
ICAN’s Susan Henricks interviews
Timothy Burke, Past President & CEO, Omaha Public Power District
Steven H. Grandfield, President & CEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska

August 11

Conference Day Agenda

9 – 11:55 a.m. CT

Welcome + Opening Remarks: Susan Henricks, ICAN President & CEO

Morning Keynotes:

Herminia Ibarra - The Spectrum of Sponsorship

Too few women are reaching the top of their organizations, and a big reason is that they are not getting the high-stakes assignments that are prerequisite for a shot at the C-suite. Often, this is due to a lack of powerful sponsors demanding and ensuring that they get these stepping-stone jobs. Having an executive-level sponsor can be make or break for a high-potential woman’s career, particularly when it comes to getting important roles that are stepping-stones to the top.

Herminia Ibarra will share her research: on how women tend to be over-mentored, under-sponsored, with mentors less senior than their male counterparts. As a result, these mentors lack the clout needed to advocate for women. She suggests a new way of thinking about sponsorship - as a spectrum of behavior, one that allows various types of commitment – beginning with mentoring by sharing advice and coaching, culminating in the role of a public advocate who fights for her in settings where she can’t fight for herself.

Kam Phillips-Sadler - If You’re Not at the Table, You're on the Menu

Kam will share her inspiring mentorship story that has - so far - taken her from a Texas ranch to the University of Missouri, and now as a Harvard MBA candidate. Ten years after founding the non-profit Dream Outside the Box, Kam nurtures the belief that positive mentor & mentee relationships have the power to cultivate social change, and that every person should be mentored and in turn, sponsor the next generation of change agents.

Pat Mitchell - Becoming a Dangerous Woman: Embracing Risk to Change the World

Pat Mitchell, groundbreaking media icon, is a life-long advocate for women and girls, and a co-founder and curator of TEDWomen. As a journalist, Emmy-winning producer and pioneering executive, she focused on sharing women’s stories. Now, in the role of an “elder”, Pat wants to encourage others to be braver and bolder, to dismantle the barriers to full equality they see in their own lives, and to embrace risk to create a more equitable world and power for other women.

Short Break

Brad Johnson and David Smith - Good Guys: How Men Can be Better Allies for Women in the Workplace

Research shows that when men are engaged deliberately in gender inclusion programs and initiatives, 96% of women in those organizations perceive real progress on gender equality, compared with only 30% of women in organizations without strong male engagement. So, where are these “good guys”?

Gender-in-the-workplace experts and authors David G. Smith and W. Brad Johnson will offer practical, evidence-based guide for what men can – and must – do to support women at work, at home, and in our communities.

2021 ICAN Leadership Award Presentation

Shadé Zahrai - Step into Your Power

Shade is a leadership consultant who specializes in teaching professional women how to advance faster, overcome limiting beliefs and confidently control and create the life they deserve. Using a blend of neuroscience and psychology research, she will share actionable, tangible strategies to boost performance and success, providing tangible takeaways to step into your power.

11:55 a.m. – 1 p.m. CT


1 – 3:30 p.m. CT


Kimberly Bryant – What 2040 Means to Me

Founder and CEO of Black Girls Code, Kimberly will share her story on why and how she created her organization to mentor and sponsor black girls, her vision of the future for them, the power of volunteerism, and her own next steps as a female leader.

Skill Building Workshops:

Tara Jaye Frank - Stretch into your Future

People don’t get promoted for doing their jobs really well. They get promoted by demonstrating their potential to do more. That usually happens in the space that goes above and beyond, and can come in the form of a special project, leadership of a resource group, participation on an internal team, or just additional responsibilities. Tara Jaye Frank will provide a fresh perspective on various types of stretch assignments, and simplify the benefits, too, for anyone looking to up their professional game.

Jo Miller: Make Your Value Visible

Is there a closed door between you and your next career breakthrough? Kick it down with the backing of influential sponsors. Jo Miller will help you get clear on the difference between mentors and sponsors. Understand what sponsorship is, why you’re underestimating its value, and why you can’t ask for it—but you can up your chances to earn it. Learn what sponsors expect from you along with four key steps for attracting a sponsor’s advocacy.

Nicole Bianchi - Stand Out with Bravery

Harnessing the conference learnings within our Step Up. Stand Out. Stand Together. theme, ICAN Faculty Member and Author, Nicole Bianchi, will provide a brief roadmap to actionable and brave next steps in mapping out a career trajectory, as a preview of ICAN’s post-conference workshop on September 8!

Tiffany Dufu - The Future of Women’s Leadership

Consultant and National Strategist on leadership and women, Tiffany believes you already have everything you need to wake up to your own power and create the change you seek! She will offer insight into leveraging the current challenges, trends, and opportunities to advance female talent in our own communities and in the world - and share her belief in cultivating a peer network to provide ourselves with a long-term support system.

Closing Remarks

3:30 p.m. CT

Conference Concludes

3:30 – 4:15 p.m. CT

Optional Post-Event Networking Opportunities:
Continuing the Conversation Sessions facilitated by ICAN Faculty Members (Virtual Audience)
Book Signing / 'Standing Together' Reception (In-Person Audience)

September 8

Post-Conference VIRTUAL Event: INSIGHT on Your Next Steps
Open to registrants only via our virtual platform

9 a.m. CT

Nicole Bianchi: Brave Steps to Your own “In Sight” Journey
Community Panel: Step Up + Stand Out as a Volunteer
Moderated by SHARE Omaha's Marjorie Maas
Rodrigo Lopez, Chairman at AmeriSphere Companies
Gail Graeve, Vice President of Community Affairs & Corporate Events at Mutual of Omaha
Lindsay Borgeson, Senior Vice President – Deposit Services at Core Bank
Lorena Zamarripa, Instructional Designer and Trainer at LinkedIn