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Be Heard: Women In Leadership Conference

For three years in a row, the Emerson Leadership Institute’s Be Heard Conference has drawn hundreds of distinguished academics, businesses, and next-generation leaders from St. Louis and beyond for a series of presentations, discussions, debates, keynotes and networking sessions under the goal of advancing gender equity, empowering women, and creating a culture of holistic well-being for

Be Heard 2024:
Breaking and Powering through the Bamboo Ceiling – A Conversation and Celebration of Asian Women in Leadership

Friday, May 3
8 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Il Monastero Banquet Center
Saint Louis University

Cultural differences, a history of stereotyping, unconscious bias, struggles with identity crisis, the myth of the “model minority,” and the perpetual foreigner syndrome are challenges facing Asian American women leaders on a daily basis. The third Be Heard Conference delves into the intricacies of breaking and powering through the bamboo ceiling for Asian women in leadership.


Time Event
8:00–8:30 a.m.

Checking in & Continental Breakfast

8:30-9:30 a.m.

Leadership Development Workshop – Hear to be Heard

Brian Wellinghoff & David Pickersgill, Barry-Wehmiller

9:30-9:45 a.m.

Coffee Break

9:45 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

Welcome Remarks

  1. Michael Medart, President, Medart, Inc. and President, Dean’s Executive Board
  2. Christine Rollins, Faculty Senate president, Professor of law, SLU
  3. Betsy Cohen, executive director, STL Mosaic Project
  4. Michael Lewis, Provost, SLU
  5. Barnali Gupta, Edwards Jones Dean, Chaifetz School of Business, SLU
10:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

Asian Women in Leadership Panel

  1. Elaine Cha, Host and producer, St. Louis on the Air, St. Louis Public Radio
  2. Grace Lee, Dean of faculty, MICDS
  3. Michelle Li, NBC St. Louis Morning Anchor; Co-Founder, The Very Asian Foundation
  4. Nalini Mahadevan: Principal attorney, MLO Law; Co-founder, Immigrant Professional Women’s Network in STL
  5. Shu Schiller, Incoming dean, College of Business Administration, University of Missouri – St. Louis

Moderator: Luchen Li, Associate VP for Global Engagement, SLU

11:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Coffee Break

12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Asian Show

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Lunch & Networking



The event is free to attend, but registration is required. Sponsorship opportunities are available by contacting 

View the 2024 Conference Report