OLP Women’s Symposium

The paramount focus of our school is the safety of our students, faculty, staff, and the larger OLP community. 

In light of the Presidential Address March 11 regarding the spread of the coronavirus, and recommendations from the CDC and the San Diego County Office of Education, we are postponing large scale gatherings in order to increase social distancing. Therefore, the Women’s Symposium is being postponed until the Fall of 2020.

Tickets purchased for OLPWS will be refunded for the rescheduled event and sponsors will be contacted individually by a member of our Advancement team. 

We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause and appreciate your support of this annual event.

Join us for OLP’s Sixth Annual Women’s Symposium on March 13, 2020 at the Academy of Our Lady of Peace.

OLP is honored to serve as an epicenter for women's education and is excited to host this unique event centered on reciprocal learning and inspiration. We are incredibly thankful to have Jen Carroll (Illumina), Peter Dennehy (Newland), Carrie Sawyer (DEI Expert), and Danitza Villanueva '98 (Giving Back Magazine) as our amazing Co-Chairs for this wonderful event. Modeled after speaker panels at leading universities, OLP’s Women’s Symposium brings together top women leaders to share their insights and pathways to success with our students and the community. Through dialogue and modeling, these female leaders empower young women to stand up for themselves and fearlessly chase their dreams.

Funds raised from this event will benefit OLP's Carondelet Annual Fund which supports our students and programs in all areas, including academics, athletics, co-curricular activities, technology, campus maintenance, and so much more.


8:00 Registration
8:00 - 8:45 am: Roundtable Experience for Students
8:30 am: Vendor Marketplace and Networking Hub open
9:00 - 9:40 am: Keynote Assembly
10:05 - 10:45 am: Panel Session 1*
10:45 - 11:15 am: Break
11:20 am - 12:00 pm: Panel Session 2*
12:05 - 12:45 pm: Closing Assembly
12:45 pm: Student Dismissal
1:00 to 2:30 pm: Networking Lunch and Vendor Marketplace

*We will have four panels running simultaneously during session #1 and session #2 and will be repeated for session #1 and session #2.

$50 – General Admission
*Includes access to all presentations and panels, welcome reception and networking lunch

    • $15 – OLP Alumna / College Student / Young Professional (under 30 years old) / Current OLP Parents & Guardians

Keynote Speaker: Haben Girma

Haben is the first Deafblind person to graduate from Harvard Law School. She advocates for equal opportunities for people with disabilities. President Obama named her a White House Champion of Change. Haben believes disability is an opportunity for innovation. She travels the world teaching the benefits of choosing inclusion. Her best selling book "Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law" was featured in The New York Times, Oprah Magazine, People, The Wall Street Journal, and on the Today Show.


Is she enough? Is she capable? Is she worthy? The answer to all these questions is: yes. Everyday double standards, comparisons, and gender stereotypes give women the impression that they are inadequate. In this panel, participants will share experiences of those societal pressures that women and girls often face while in pursuit of all of which woman is capable.

This panel addresses the reality that women must overcome many personal and professional challenges, the types of adversity women face, and how they have overcome these obstacles. It will focus on the pivoting that is sometimes required when plans change, the risk-taking that is so critical but often difficult for women and girls, our responses to inevitable failure and the self-compassion that is then required. These women will be speaking from their own experiences, spotlighting their resilience throughout their lives and how it has made them stronger and more determined to accomplish their goals.

She is passionate, she is a risk-taker, she is driven, she is bold -- she is daring. In this panel, you will have the opportunity to meet women who were the “1st’s” in their careers, facing challenges like the gender gap and socio-economic stereotypes in the workplace. These trail-blazing women will elaborate on the challenges they faced while bravely reaching for their goals, whether they be overcoming the fear of failure and self doubt, or learning how to deal with the unexpected when adversity came their way.

This panel features inspiring young women who are only a few professional and educational steps ahead of our brilliant students! Attendees will be inspired to create their own path based on the guidance and stories of these impressive women. In a world where paths can be predetermined, this panel challenges the societal constraints and pushes boundaries to imagine what can be. It discredits the generational stereotypes that young people cannot meet standards of success normally achieved by those with more extensive professional experience.

Parking: There will be optional shuttle service provided for parking convenience. We encourage guests to park at the Westfield Mission Valley Mall (East parking lot between The Broken Yolk and Bank of America) and take one of our courtesy shuttles to OLP. Shuttle service will begin at 8 am. Shuttles will run continuously between Westfield Mission Valley and OLP, with the last shuttle leaving OLP at 3 pm. Parking is limited at and around OLP, and we ask our guests to support our efforts in being good neighbors by being aware of residential driveways. Please do not block or park too close to driveways: you will be towed. Carpool and rideshare are also encouraged.

We are excited to announce the return of our Vendor Marketplace. Make sure to stop by and support our women entrepreneurs, including our student entrepreneurs! From jewelry to skincare, there is something for everyone.



Branch out market
Honey and Lavender
Kendra Scott
Azaneth (scarves)
Holy Paleta
Run for Cover books
Beauty Counter

Networking Tables

La Jolla Institute for Immunology
Women in Aviation International
UCSD Sally Ride Science
MANA San Diego
Student African American Sisterhood
San Diego State University
Association of Women Geoscientists
DAMES Collective
Rady School of Management

Sixth Annual Women's Symposium

Join us as a corporate partner for the Sixth Annual Women’s Symposium. Through your support, your business or organization will benefit from direct exposure to hundreds of community members who are interested in supporting and encouraging young women to pursue their dreams, find their voices and reach their true potentials.

Sponsorship Opportunities range from $1,000 to $15,000 and can be customized to fit your needs.

View 2020 Sponsor Info 


Danitza Villanueva '98 
 Giving Back Magazine

Jen Turbiak Carroll 
 Associate Director of Public Relations, Illumina

Carrie Sawyer 
 CEO and Founder, Diversity by Design

Peter Dennehy
 VP Customer and Market Research, Newland

2020 OLPWS Committee

Jamie Flannery, English Department Faculty Member 
Liz Bui, Vice President & Intellectual Property Counsel at ViaCyte, Inc.
Sandy Young, Vice President, J. Walcher Communications
Andi Scherschel, MSN, FNP
Rana Sampson, Community Relations Ambassador, Union Bank
Stephanie Kanaski, Director of Institutional Advancement
Kaila Weedman, Associate Director, Annual Giving
Bridgette Ouimette, Associate Director of Strategic Initiatives

Thank You, 2020 Sponsors

Innovator Sponsors

Change Maker Sponsor

Pathfinder Sponsors

Anne Sweeney

Trendsetter Sponsors


Change Maker

In Kind Sponsors

2019 Women's Symposium

View 2019 Photos