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Q&A: Women in the Boardroom

Moderator Dawn Haghighi shares what's in store for the "Women in the Boardroom" panel at the Women Leadership in Law event on May 23.

By California Lawyer Staff  |  May 18, 2017


11:20am – 12:20pm

The panel will discuss the representation of women in the C-suite and on corporate boards and how to best leverage abilities and talents to achieve positive business results.  Our presenters will also share advice on how to get a seat at the table and successfully navigate the myriad issues facing women in leadership roles and explore wide-ranging ways to create a culture of inclusion. Board-ready attorneys will gain insights, tools, and connections to learn, advance, and lead.


Dawn Haghighi, General Counsel, Privacy & Compliance Officer, PCV Murcor and General Counsel, VRM Mortgage Services


Terry P. Bayer, Chief Operating Officer, Molina Healthcare, Inc.

Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire, Chief Executive Officer, Berkhemer Clayton

Araceli Campos, Executive Director, Miguel Contreras Foundation; Commissioner, Los Angeles City Ethics Commission;  Former President, City of Los Angeles Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)

Cheryl Travis-Johnson, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, VRM Mortgage Services & Co-Chair, The Council for Inclusion in Financial Services

What do you expect to discuss during your panel at the Women Leadership in Law conference?

Our panel will discuss how to best navigate at all stages of their career to serve in a C-suite role or in a director position:

  • What steps should a woman take early inner career to put her on the path to serve on a carpet abroad?
  • What steps should a woman take to get on her first board?
  • Once a woman achieves  her executive level position what skills and qualities does a woman need to successfully fulfill this position?
  • How can an executive-level leader transform an organization and be a leader of diversity and inclusion?

The discussion will not only include guidance on how to get a position, but also how to successfully fulfill the position. Our panel will discuss key skills sets needed for executives and board members in a post financial crisis world and the hot topics that directors face today in the boardroom. We will cover soft skills, but we will also offer insights into important substantive issues that board members face  in a globalized market place with overlapping regulatory regimes. We will also discuss The Yates Memo and potential liabilities for Corporate Directors and Executive Leadership.

How will this discussion benefit practitioners?

The discussion will be laser-focused on lawyers and the unique challenges they face in securing a C-suite and/or obtaining board positions. Lawyers are sometimes seen as legal advisers who do not possess business acumen, especially when they do not have traditional business experience. We will share experiences on how others have successfully overcome that perception and we will provide guidance on the unique value that a lawyer brings to the C-suite and board room.

How will this panel discussion differ from other speaking events on women in the boardroom?

What sets this panel apart from other speaking events is that our discussion is coming from a business perspective. Our panel is very diverse—in terms of age, education, race, and professional background—which is unique to the other panels. But what makes this panel particularly special is that the panelists are business leaders—executives with C-suite titles and director positions. They are uniquely equipped to discuss how a lawyer can transition into a C-suite executive or a director.

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