Posted on

Enter to Win

We are excited to announce that USC Women in Management (WIM), in partnership with USC Department of Administration, is offering one all-expenses-paid trip (VIP Package) for a WIM Member to attend the USC Women’s Conference: “Leading through Impact” in Washington D.C. Thursday, March 14through Saturday, March 16. Enter once here by Wednesday, January 30, noon, to win!

Don’t know if your membership is up to date? Login at the “My Account” tab at the top menu bar and check “Memberships” on your dashboard!

It’s that easy!

Posted on

Words of Wisdom from interim President Dr. Wanda Austin

On Monday, December 10, USC’s Interim President Dr. Wanda Austin greeted over 100 participants at the USC Women in Management Speaker event and shared what she had learned from her professional and personal life journey on leadership.

Dr. Austin talked about how female leaders can accomplish by focusing on what truly matters to us without being intimidated by various “labels” and prejudice. Here are some of her tips:  

  • Bring solutions: Everybody can be a critic. Let us be sure that we are the person to bring solutions instead of problems.
  • Embrace changes: Don’t look at changes as a door closing. Look around to see what new doors are opening.
  • Take time to be proactive with your team and your colleagues: Check in and ask how they are doing, what makes them unique, what motivates them. Figure out what is important to them.
  • You are not the boss: There are important stakeholders all around you. Be a conductor, try to keep everyone on the same beat and the same tune.
  • Ask good questions: You need to ask people questions to be better informed in order to make better decisions
  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes: We learn much more from our mistakes and failure than success.
  • Be a mentor: It is rewarding to other and yourself and helps build a supportive community.

“Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” Dr. Austin used this amazing RBG quote to close her speech and received the Honorary Member Award, presented by Laura Ponder from USC Women in Management.

Posted on

A Dialogue on Gender, Diversity and Leadership

USC Marshall School of Business Professor Leigh Tost and PhD student Stehpanie Smallets presented to Women in Management (WIM) members at the Health Sciences Campus on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. Dr. Tost studies the psychological and sociological dynamics of power and status in organizations, with a particular focus on how hierarchy affects team functioning, moral judgments,and ethical decision making. Ms. Smallets’ research focuses on understanding the predictors of inequality, both psychological and structural, and creating interventions to empower those who are disadvantaged.

Prior to the event, Dr. Tost and Ms. Smallets surveyed WIM members on their thoughts,concerns, and questions related to gender, diversity, and leadership in the context of career. As part of this professional development workshop, they presented the survey results and also shared additional findings from their research areas.

A few points of interest for those that could not attend…

From the 44 WIM survey respondents, the top three areas of concern related to gender equity are the lack of opportunities for promotion, lack of leadership development opportunities and resources, and unequal pay between women and men. Dr. Tost noted that it is important to look at results like these with different filters– such as responses from members that identify as women of color. When analyzed, the top three areas of concern had differed for this smaller group.Dr. Tost and Ms. Smallets also discussed that change in organizations has been shifting from a top down model to bottom up or center out models. In today’s workplace, a group of people, usually middle management or frontline employees,make change by engaging in issue selling or identifying areas for change and then advancing that change.

We also discussed equity strategies used by employers – two of which are gender blindness and gender awareness. In addition to learning about their pros and cons, we learned that employers who engage in the gender blind strategy are seen as less open to ideas by employees and employees practice predictive vigilance with their actions.

Dr. Tost and Ms. Smallets mentioned that a future study may involve looking at age discrimination and digging deeper into individual perspectives on gender equity. Possibly asking respondents to think about what they see in their organization, what they want in their organization, and what they think about gender equity if that differs from the previous two responses. Members asked questions on how to gather data on gender discrimination and age, if there is university wide training for leadership and/or collaboration with the USC Race and Equity Center, or if they have researched gender equity differences between the faculty and staff population, union and nonunion employees, or the trans community.

Posted on

Help Celebrate World Values Day!

This Thursday, October 18, is World Values Day and marks the third year of celebrating values on a global scale!  World Values Day is aimed at increasing awareness of a global movement toward a more values-driven approach in business and society.

The organization asks us all to earnestly reflect on our value and to set these values into action every day.  We, at WIM, encourage you to Choose a Value, Take an Action, and Share it!

To learn more about World Values Day, please visit

Happy World Values Day and Fight On!

Download the pdf here, and please share using the hashtag #WorldValuesDay! 

Posted on

Women’s Leadership Conference – Nov 29th

Calling all WIM members! The Los Angeles County Women’s Leadership Committee is hosting its 9th annual Women’s Leadership Conference on November 29, 2018.

Early bird registration is now open, Registration includes:

  • Access to great speakers and authors
  • A professional headshot
  • Gift bag and opportunity to win prizes throughout the day
  • Breakfast and lunch.

To register, please visit

See you there!

Posted on

A Special Invite to WIM Members: Join METRANS at Fleet Week – Weds, Aug 29, 11 am, LA Harbor

Join the LA Fleet Week activities, have lunch, visit the USS Iowa, and have your own private tour of the active Navy battleships which have come to LA for the event.

Spaces are limited, and when they are gone, they are gone!  If you’d like to join us, or just have questions, please email student assistant Lin Zhu at, with the following:

  • Your name
  • Your email address
  • Your date of birth
  • Your country of citizenship (international is just fine!)
  • Your cell number
  • Would you  be able to drive  carpool?

I look forward to seeing you,


Victoria Deguzman

WIM Chair of Professional Development

Associate Director,PSR and METRANS Transportation Centers

University of Southern California


Posted on

Dr. Jonathan Lucas, LAC Medical Examiner-Coroner, WIM Luncheon

Dr. Lucas at the head of the table; his assistant, Isisdora Centeno, on his left. (click images for larger versions)
On Monday, July 30, 2018, USC WIM hosted Dr. Jonathan Lucas, LAC Medical Examiner-Coroner, and his assistant, Isidora Centro, at a WIM Luncheon at HSC. It was a fascinating discussion on where and how the DMEC (department of the medical examiner-coroner) fits into the vast and mysterious (to me) LA County system.

As Cynthia Henderson points out:

“Dr. Jonathan Lucas spoke to the living about the dead!

“The most surprising thing for me about Dr. Lucas was how absolutely down to earth (no pun intended), engaging, knowledgeable, and funny he was. And he brought his assistant. (We always invite the assistant, but Dr. Lucas is the first guest to bring the assistant to the luncheon. GM)

“I thoroughly enjoyed his luncheon conversation today and I learned a lot about the Los Angeles county coroner’s office DMEC (department of the medical examiner-coroner).

“I never thought about how bodies get identified but looking at a picture or asking a relative to do a quick look for identification are not the top ways of doing so. Fingerprints, Dental records, Body X-rays, even DNA are preferred.

“Around 10,000 autopsies a year are performed by a staff of approximately 250. They are especially sensitive to the needs of the family, religious practices, and the dignity and respect of those who no longer can speak for themselves.

“The DMEC’s work can provide a concrete look at what we die from the most, when, where and possibly ways to prevent accidents from happening not yet thought of.”

And Kathleen Warner was glad she was at the luncheon:

“USC’s Women in Management organized a luncheon meeting with Dr. Jonathan Lucas, L.A. County’s Medical Examiner-Coroner, on July 30, 2018 at Norris Medical Library on the Health Science Campus. Dr. Lucas is a board certified forensic pathologist and was appointed to his position by the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors in June 2017.

“Dr. Lucas shared with the group the myriad tasks performed by the Medical Examiner’s office from determining cause and manner of death to analyzing DNA samples to help identify who has died. Dr. Lucas stressed the importance of serving the residents of the County of Los Angeles, especially a decedent’s loved ones, in the processing of the cases the office handles. The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s office is the busiest medical examiner’s office in the country.

“Dr. Lucas assumed management of the County’s Medical Examiner office at a time of concern over case backlog and inadequate staffing. Dr. Lucas described the strides the office has made in addressing these issues and the plans he has for further strengthening office procedures. As busy as the DMEC’s office is, WIM is most appreciative of Dr. Lucas generously sharing his time to speak at its luncheon.”

This was a very relaxed and relaxing luncheon. The conversation, and it really was a conversation, was so congenial and flowing, I even dispensed with the written question demand I usually make. Dr. Lucas even did his own introduction, mentioning that he’s a native Californian, worked for the New York City Medical Examiner until October 1, 2001 (yes, he worked on 911 in the NYC morgue). He moved back to California to be the Assistant ME for San Diego County. Then, as he told us, 1 year and 20 days prior to our luncheon, Dr. Lucas took over as the LA County Chief Medical Examiner. The hour and a half flew by as Dr. Lucas talked about how the addition to our morgue of an in-house DNA lab returns results in 2 weeks, as opposed to the 3 months when they used to send it to another lab. He listed the ways Jane/John Doe bodies are identified, and that a recently purchased CAT scanner has been a valuable tool for this task. He graciously answered questions about how bodies of various religious faiths receive the most sensitive and respectful treatment possible in each case. There was also some discussion on the ages of children who pass through the morgue, and how his department works with Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and the LAPD in certain cases. And it was all thoughtful and practical information on things I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about. (Okay, full disclosure, since I’ve reached the age where I will not live as long as I have already lived, DEATH does cross my mind a little more often, but rarely do I think about the dead.) Yes, rarely do I think about the dead, but I am greatly relieved that if I die in LA County, the DMEC will be there for my remains. And I feel proud that Dr. Lucas is leading that department because he said: “We care for the dead in service of the living.” He went on to explain that his department provides answers on why and how that person died to their family, friends, and community — all the people who will grieve for and remember the deceased. And this is why I hope Dr. Lucas will be LAC Chief Medical Examiner for many years to come, and I’m very glad he made time to talk with us on Monday, July 30, 2018.

Also, I was delighted to meet his assistant, Isidora Centro. She told me she’s been with the County for 30 years, but she’s not going to retire until Dr. Lucas retires, so he must be a great boss.

Many thanks to Cynthia Henderson and Kathleen Warner for sharing their thoughts on the luncheon with me and refreshing my memory. Thank you to Janet Schmidt for the photos.

Also, if you were at the luncheon, and want to share your thoughts, I’ll be happy to post them here if you email them to me. I thought we had comments on WIM blog posts, but it seems not to be. You all know where to find me. GM

Posted on

Creating Images That Resonate: PowerPoint and Beyond

Friday, August 3, 2018
8:30 to 10am
Norris Medical Library West Conference Room
WIM members no charge; non-members $10

Create powerful, evocative images that communicate ideas effectively. Explore slide design, with an emphasis on mobilizing the power of photographs, graphics and typography. Transcend the normal boundaries by exploring production techniques and design fundamentals. Whether you have given up on presentations or build decks regularly (in PowerPoint, Prezy, PDFs or other format), you are a novice, there is something in this workshop for you. This session will be at Norris Medical Library West Conference Room, from 8:30 to 10am, Friday, August 3, 2018.

Continue reading Creating Images That Resonate: PowerPoint and Beyond

Posted on

Board Transition Lunch: Mission and Vision

USC WIM Board members attended the annual transition lunch held in July to honor outgoing members, to welcome incoming members, and to kick off a new season of empowering the women of USC! This year we ventured to the Artist’s District’s Zinc Café. Board Members Leonette Williams and Bernice Taylor were honored for their service as they step off the board. Leonette Williams has been a part of USC Women in Management since its inception forty years ago. She served various roles over the years and returned to serve the past four years as WIM’s Vice President, ensuring that the HERS Institute scholarship continues well into the future. We welcomed new board members: Dana Coyle, Karen Escobar, Victoria Esquer and Janet Schmidt.


As a group we talked of being grounded and powerful as individuals and coming together as a community of like-minded individuals to continue to provide our members the strength of this organization. We discussed the desire to include more members in the creation of events via subcommittees to brainstorm the upcoming year’s programming. We noted that our mission “to empower the women of USC” remains as it did since the inception of Women in Management in 1979; however, what is our vision? Members agreed it had to do with creating a cohesive leadership program, connecting with senior leadership, developing deeper relations with other organizations doing similar work within our university and throughout higher education. We agreed that getting feedback of members-at-large as how to even better serve us all was critical.


We reiterated the fact that our organization was formed by twenty like-minded women at the University of Southern California (USC) in 1979 who followed the need: to empower the women who work at USC and to have women represented in the leadership positions at the university. From our own About Us page: “The compelling forces driving the formation of Women in Management included the need for increased representation of women in responsible University positions, equal pay for men and women holding similar positions, and the provision of a forum in which women could develop leadership skills.”


The organization was not offered by the institution; it was a community created by like-minded, forward-thinking individuals who felt compelled to come together to make the changes they sought and were needed.


Let us continue to follow the need and to offer a platform that will propel women to the highest levels of responsibility at USC. Let us build a network of like-minded women who will support and empower each other at every level of the institution. Let us all take ownership of the positions we hold and lead at every level.


The board looks forward to serving us all as we head into the 40th celebration of this organization that has served the women of USC since 1979!


Fight on!



Your 2018-19 USC WIM President