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Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling: SLU to Host Be Heard! Women in Leadership Conference

by Maggie Rotermund
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Maggie Rotermund
Senior Media Relations Specialist

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ST. LOUIS - Saint Louis University’s Emerson Leadership Institute will host its third annual Be Heard! Women in Leadership conference on Friday, May 3.

The free event, “Breaking and Powering Through the Bamboo Ceiling,” will kick off Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. The half-day event will focus on cultural differences, the history of stereotyping, unconscious bias, and the myth of the model minority.

Cook Hall gate

“We know from findings in studies and industry surveys that Asian Americans are less likely to feel like they belong or advance in their workplace,” said organizer Jintong Tang, Ph.D., the Mary Louise Murray Professor of Management in SLU’s Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business.

The conference will feature a panel of local Asian women leaders, including:

The panel will be moderated by Luchen Li, associate vice president for global engagement at SLU.

Tang said the previous conferences have featured a mix of faculty, staff, students, alums and professionals from the St. Louis area, and she hopes to see the same mix at this year’s event. The number of men attending has increased each year, a fact Tang attributed to interested and supportive colleagues in the School of Business.  

“This conference is open to all – it’s about women in leadership, but it isn’t limited to women,” Tang said.

Conference topics will include creating a sense of belonging and equity in the workplace. Tang said creating a culture of inclusivity in the workplace starts with mutual understanding, strong listening, and understanding between leadership and employees.

“For a business to succeed in the long term, they need to invest in their most crucial resources – their employees,” Tang said. “The right motivations can have a transformational impact.”

The conference will end with performances by SLU Asian student groups.

“We are going to talk about some heavy topics – bias, discrimination, inequality,” Tang said. “I’m looking forward to closing the day with some of our wonderful student organizations showcasing their talents.”

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About the Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business

Founded in 1910, the Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business at Saint Louis University has shaped the future of industry for more than a century. As one of the oldest business schools west of the Mississippi, the Chaifetz School has built a reputation as a leader in business education committed to innovation, inclusion and impact and recognized with eight undergraduate and graduate programs nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

About Saint Louis University

Founded in 1818, Saint Louis University is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious Catholic institutions. Rooted in Jesuit values and its pioneering history as the first university west of the Mississippi River, SLU offers more than 15,200 students a rigorous, transformative education of the whole person. At the core of the University’s diverse community of scholars is SLU’s service-focused mission, which challenges and prepares students to make the world a better, more just place.