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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!

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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.

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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.

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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! 

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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


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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



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June Member Highlight: Stacy Patterson Performs in “A Reasonable Fear of Tubas”

WIM Past-President and incoming Member-at-Large, Stacy Patterson goes solo in her one-person show at the Hollywood Fringe Festival with shows running now through mid-June.

A Reasonable Fear of Tubas explores what scares us, whether real or imagined, in human or fish form. If we are all afraid of something (and we are, right?) then what might life after facing our fear look like? Perhaps, it’s a bit more reasonable.

In addition to her work as a Program Manager in the School of Cinematic Arts, Stacy is a producer, storyteller and coach. After earning her BA in Fine Arts with an emphasis in theatre from the University of New Mexico, Stacy moved to Los Angeles and began working in film and television production and local theater. This is her first Fringe Festival though. Oh, and she’s seriously, (and often) hilariously scared of sharks, so she doesn’t get to the beach much.

The Hollywood Fringe Festival is at The Actors Company’s Let Live Theater. For more information and tickets, see the attached flyer or visit the show site at (Enter discount code WIM for $10 tickets.)


Are you a WIM Member with an event, or talent, to share? Contact Shu Li to be considered for our monthly Member Highlight.

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WIM and METRANS Lunch with USC Trustee Suzanne Dworak-Peck

Reposted from METRANS, Pacific Southwest Region 9 UTC 

Sunday, March 25, 2018 – 9:45pm

By Richard Aviles, USC MSW MPL 2019

On March 6th, 2018, at the USC Doheny Memorial Library, USC Women in Management (WIM) and METRANS hosted USC alum Suzanne Dworak-Peck in a lunch conversation centered around her life and career, her principles, and her advice. Suzanne Dworak-Peck has served as President of the National Association of Social Work, is a member of the USC Board of Trustees, and is a proud social work practitioner, and generously provided the naming gift for the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. We appreciate her sharing her time and thoughts with us, and both WIM and METRANS for making this event possible.

Dworak-Peck stressed to the audience of students, faculty, staff, and practitioners from varied backgrounds know that at the center of her work and career, the values of social work have been at her core.  She noted that, as conveyed by the NASW’s Code of Ethics, social workers strive for “competence, dignity and worth of the person, human relationships, and social justice,” and these have been her guiding principles in all aspects of her life.

Dworak-Peck began her talk with a dilemma too common in the social work profession; for those people outside of the profession, social workers are believed to be simply “baby snatchers.” Dworak-Peck explained that the portrayal of social workers in the media does not do justice to the intricacies and pedagogy of the profession. As a dual degree student in Social Work and Planning, I am striving to follow in the legacy of Dworak-Peck: a nontraditional social work practitioner striving to find nontraditional solutions.

She reminded us that at a time where we have social movements like Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, and Gun Violence Reform, it is more imperative than ever that we all reconnect to the principle of social justice. Dworak-Peck added that said principles are not limited to just the social work profession. As an example, she applied the NASW Code of Ethics in her real estate business, and believes that social workers can be, and work hand in hand with, developers, planners, artists, and politicians. Social workers, in the words of Suzanne Dworak-Peck, are driven by empathy; in a world that seems to be disconnected and disengaged, now is the time for social workers, and truly all of us, to step to the forefront and remind the world of the power of empathy and human connection.

About the Author: Richard Aviles

Aviles is a dancer, choreographer, and dual degree student. As an artist, Aviles focuses on choreographing queer and feminist theories in American Modern Dance. As a student, Aviles is interested in using his background in choreography to further his interest in spatial analysis and the role of social workers in the development process.