Get Ready to Submit! The ILA Women and Leadership Conference CFP Will Open 15 September!

By Denise Thomson

The planning for ILA’s 4th Women and Leadership conference, Building Solutions, Harmony, and the Greater Good, is well underway! Scheduled from 16-19 June 2019 at the beautiful 1440 Multiversity nestled in the redwoods near Santa Cruz, California, the conference theme celebrates and explores the contributions women are making in today’s complex, rapidly changing, interdependent, and often contentious world. Conference leaders chose the theme in recognition that the building process often begins by finding harmony and balance within our own lives which then extends to seeking solutions for our immediate communities and seeking peace for the planet.

Program Co-Chairs, Randal Joy Thompson and Marlene Janzen Le Ber, are passionate about advancing women and leadership studies. Randal attended her first ILA Women and Leadership conference (WLC) at Asilomar in 2015, shortly after submitting a chapter to Women and Leadership Around the World – part of the ILA Women and Leadership: Research, Theory, and Practice book series. Her chapter, “Dying to Lead: Women Leaders in Afghanistan During the 2012-2014 Transition and Beyond” was the first of her studies of women leaders in countries where she has worked to be published. Randal’s presentations about women leaders in Burma (Asilomar 2015) and challenges in girls’ education in Morocco (Omega 2017) reflect her interest in global women’s issues. Randal notes: “I am honored this year to be a member of ILA’s Women and Leadership Affinity Group (WLAG) Executive Leadership team and a Program Co-Chair for the 2019 Women and Leadership conference at Multiversity 1440. I am one of the practitioners who greatly enjoys presenting work from the field and meeting with scholars at WLC who stimulate my learning about theories and how to make my work more rigorous.” Randal is especially keen on contributing to the ongoing conversation about advancing women in leadership.

Program Co-Chair, Marlene Janzen Le Ber, is enthusiastic about her involvement with the WLAG, noting that it was through the 2014 Colloquium “Advancing Theories of Women and Leadership” that she met the women with whom she continues to conduct research. She notes “I finally found colleagues who understood my leadership journey as a woman and who were equally passionate about studying women’s leader identity development. Using the Collaborative Autoethnography (CAE) research method, we have learned so much from each other and grown as scholars. I think we have presented our work at every subsequent ILA Women and Leadership conference or ILA global conference. This would have never happened without the WLAG ‘incubator’ that encourages the development of theories of women in leadership.” Marlene is an Associate Professor and Chair in the School of Leadership & Social Change at Canada’s only women’s university, Brescia University College. She is also Adjunct Research Professor at the Ian O. Ihnatowycz Institute for Leadership at Ivey School of Business, Western University in London, Ontario, Canada. A multiple research-grant holder in the complex processes of leadership, her current research is in leader character, leader identity development in women, and impact of art-based and narrative research on policy and social change. Prior to her doctoral studies, Marlene was a seasoned health care executive within academic health sciences centers and known as a strategic leader who spearheaded numerous health system innovations.

In planning the 2019 conference program, Marlene and Randal have been intentional about creating additional opportunities for practitioners to share their expertise and in recognizing their contributions to our development of knowledge about women and leadership. Randal notes, “At the 2019 Women and Leadership conference, we are happy to invite practitioners to submit practice-based cases and to obtain feedback from scholars in order to create teaching cases suitable for publication.”

Marlene and Randal explain: “Cases are descriptions of unique, decision-focused situations that have been faced by a woman in a leadership role at a specific point in time.” Cases should deal with issues of importance to one or more of the conference streams; fictional cases will not be accepted. Conference organizers recognize there are a dearth of teaching cases where women, particularly women of color, are the protagonists. The intent of this new presentation format is to connect practitioners who are facing challenges relevant to any of the conference streams to academics who are interested in working together to develop teaching cases and teaching notes. All cases must be previously unpublished and permission to submit must accompany the submission; while consultants or academics may identify potential cases, the client (the protagonist and their organization) must consent to the submission.

The entire conference team is excited about new opportunities available in 2019. In addition to soliciting abstracts, papers, symposia, workshops, cases, panels, and interactive roundtable topics, this year’s leadership team will offer Best Case, Best Paper, and Best Reviewer awards. Additionally, a special Symposium planned for the Journal of Leadership Studies will provide a forum for publication of select papers from the conference.

Start planning now to submit your proposal for consideration! Review your research, gather necessary permissions, and invite colleagues to join you at the 2019 Women and Leadership conference! The call for submissions period runs from 15 September to 15 November 2018. Download the CFP today to learn more. For the most current information about the conference, bookmark the conference home page: http://www.ila-net.org/WLC.

Denise ThomsonDenise Thomson, EdD, specializes in coaching executive-level teams and creating innovative programs that support lifelong learning. She brings a diverse background in the social services field and twenty years of public service to her passion for leadership development. The Storied Leadership™ model Dr. Thomson created integrates social cognitive, narrative, and learning theories into a tool that facilitates transformational growth. Denise is Chair-Elect of the Executive Leadership Team of the ILA Women and Leadership Affinity Group, a Certified Coach/Consultant in Appreciative Inquiry and Whole Systems Intelligence, and a Circle Practitioner trained by the foremost authority in participatory leadership and collaborative conversations.