Fifth Leading Women@Tech Program Cohort Complete Development Program

Participants Were the First to Experience Revised, Shortened Program

The fifth cohort of the Leading Women@Tech program completed the leadership development experience on January 12.

The participants were the first to partake in the program’s revised virtual, shortened development curriculum. The teachings were also streamlined to integrate storytelling, self-efficacy principles, contemplative practices, and race dialogue. The 28 participants also represented one of the program’s largest class.

With support from the Office of the President, Institute Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (IDEI) launched the Leading Women@Tech program in 2016 to facilitate women’s professional development and academic and administrative leadership, and to build a community of leaders across the Institute who will advance a culture of inclusive excellence.

“One of the top five most valuable skills in demand in the country is leadership,” said Pearl Alexander, executive director of IDEI’s Diversity, Inclusion, and Engagement and the program’s principal director. “We’ve all seen the importance of good leadership capacity unfold over the past year of navigating unprecedented challenges. The curriculum was revised to provide emphasis on self-awareness, self-efficacy, and mindful leadership. These skills support all leaders in resiliency and effectiveness in the most difficult of times. The program will focus its efforts in 2021 on engaging the entire existing community in practice of mindful leadership, intercultural dialogue, and opportunities for mentoring.”

Guest facilitator Lani Peterson and Swami Jaya Devi Bhagavati, founder and spiritual director of Kashi Atlanta – a community yoga and service program center – led the participants through a morning of virtual experiences, including meditation and storytelling and listening exercises. Participant April Howze, director of Georgia Tech Research Institute Accounting, shared, “Because of this program, I am learning how self-efficacy works in tandem with my faith. I understand the importance of connection and that life is better in community. I’ve learned how to be more mindful; I now meditate and take daily purposeful pauses.”

Peterson, a psychotherapist, executive coach, and facilitator with expertise in storytelling as a leadership skill, guided the cohort through an exercise to practice this skill by sharing a personal leadership story that has inspired them throughout their program journey which began last September.

Participants reflected:

I am worthy; I am more than enough.

I am confident.

I am more connected.

I am confident in my voice; I will be heard.

I appreciate living in the moment.

“These reflections are powerful insights that demonstrate who the women have become and ways they will influence those around them to experience the workplace culture,” Alexander added. “We are fortunate to be able to offer this unique development opportunity for women who are already doing incredible work at Georgia Tech. As with prior cohorts, these are individuals whom we expect to continue to rise and distinguish themselves in roles at the Institute and beyond.”

The fifth cohort participants were: Meltem Alemdar, Rosa Arriaga, Yolonda Cameron, Christine Conwell, Linda Daniels, Malynda Dorsey, Caroline Dotts, Jamie Fernandes, Gina Gonzales, Erika Gravett, Joy Harris, Nasrin Hooshmand, April Howze, Susie Ivy, Daurette Joseph, Shelese Lane, Jennifer Leavey, Morgan McCombs, Sebnem Ozkan, Dori Pap, Etta Pittman, Jamie Ready, Anne Rogers, Chris Sanders, Olga Shemyakina, Iyonka Strawn-Valcy, Emily Takieddine, and Kate Williams.

For more information on the Leading Women@Tech program, visit

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  • Leading Women@Tech fifth cohort members and program director Pearl Alexander completed virtual exercises during the program's closing on January 12.

For More Information Contact

Courtney Hill
Communications Manager
Institute Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion