LA MIRADA, CALIF. — Despite statistics showcasing that women are being prepared at a greater rate than men for leadership positions, earning half or more of all baccalaureate degrees for the past three decades and of all doctoral degrees for almost a decade, faculty and college administrations still fall short of a healthy gender balance representation. Biola University in partnership with the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) will host the 2nd Annual Women in Leadership Conference on March 24, 2017 as one effort to address and work to improve the gender leadership gap.

The one-day conference — Advancing Women in Leadership — will address opportunities and challenges facing women in higher education. March will also mark Biola’s 10th anniversary of celebrating National Women’s History Month on campus in La Mirada, Calif., where the conference will be held. For the past ten years, Biola has honored women with the annual Ruby Awards, a tradition that will continue at this year’s conference.

“Leadership matters,” said Shirley Hoogstra, Council of Christian Colleges and Universities first female president. “If you have a leadership gift, coming to a conference where you can learn how to shepherd that gift to its maximum potential will not only be to your benefit, but will benefit those whom you will lead.”

The conference is designed for women of all stages of life and professional development. Men are also highly encouraged to attend and learn about leadership trends, cultivating a gender balanced talent pool, research models, and achieving diversity in leadership structures. Faculty, staff and students who aspire to higher levels of influence and professional development are the key audience for the conference.

“The flourishing of women is key to the flourishing of organizations,” said Dorothy Alston Calley, co-chair of Biola’s University Committee on Women and professor of communication studies. “This conference gives participants the opportunity to build their knowledge, skills, and awareness regarding the development and promotion of women in the workplace. When women fulfill their potential, organizations grow in depth and richness allowing for the enrichment of the organization and its constituents.”

Keynote speakers include Hoogstra and Karen Longman, professor at Azusa Pacific University and a long-time proponent and pioneer of women in leadership in higher education. Longman launched a series of books sponsored by the International Leadership Association titled “Women in Leadership: Research, Theory, and Practice.” In addition, Eugene Cho, founder and lead pastor of Quest Church — an urban, multicultural and multi-generational church in Seattle, Wash. and Mimi Hadadd, President of Christians for Biblical Equality, will speak on the plight of women around the world. Hoogstra will moderate a panel discussion among college presidents from Azusa Pacific University, Biola University and Houghton College.

Participants will learn from top women leaders in the field of higher education and receive encouragement, direction, support and education related to advancing careers, personal influence, professionalism, discernment of vocational calling, and leadership gravitas. Breakout session topics will include “2016 Research and Review of Women in Leadership: Have our campuses made progress or are we losing ground?” and “Advancing Your Professional Development: Learn the art of negotiation, proposals preparation, personal vision casting,” among other topics.

The Advancing Women in Leadership Conference sold out in 2016 when it was hosted by Pepperdine University. Attendance for the conference is already at an all-time high with 400 registrants. Space is limited. Register at General tickets are $125. Students tickets are available for $25 with valid student ID.  

Contact Jenna Loumagne, Manager of Media Relations at Biola University, for more information or press passes at (562) 777-4061 or