Four women who have either held elected office, studied women and leadership, worked as executive leaders or helped get women elected will discuss how gender plays out in politics, particularly in the presidential race.
The panel features former San Jose City Councilwoman Cindy Chavez; business executive and political fund-raiser Lorraine Hariton; Morgan Family Foundation President and former California Senator Rebecca Q. Morgan; and Stanford Law Professor and Ethics Center Director Deborah L. Rhode.
Panelists will explore such topics as whether the playbook is different for male and female politicians, why women are underrepresented in leadership positions and how the role of women in politics has evolved in the United States. Panelists also will respond to audience questions.
Foothill College History/Women's Studies Instructor Dolores Davison, M.A., who also serves as the Academic Senate president and Curriculum Committee chair, will moderate the discussion. The program is co-sponsored by the Commonwealth Club of Silicon Valley- Foothill College
County Supervisor, Santa Clara County
Cindy Chavez has been a driving force in Silicon Valley politics and labor issues for more than two decades. As a two-term member of the San José City Council, she developed cutting-edge community-based programs to address crime, education, small business development and neighborhood revitalization. Elected to the City Council in 1998 and in 2002, Chavez served two years as vice mayor. As the executive officer of the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council and executive director of Working Partnerships USA, her work was highlighted by her ability to build new collaborations to create innovative policy that improve the lives of working families throughout Silicon Valley. Chavez was named by the Silicon Valley Business Journal in its surveys of “Influential Women in Business” and served on the Board of the Silicon Valley Women’s Alliance. She was a recipient of the California Assembly’s Housing Leadership Award and the Blue Cross of California’s Community Service Award. Cindy Chavez was voted “Legislator of the Year” by the Silicon Valley Asian Pacific American Democratic Club and 2012 Woman of the Year by the California State Assembly.
Dolores Davison is an associate professor at Foothill College in Los Altos, CA.
Lorraine Hariton has spent more than 25 years in the technology sector. As a former CEO and general manager, Hariton has also directed a number of executive functions, including business development and strategy, sales and marketing. Much of Hariton's career has allowed her to be affiliated with companies whose products reflect key milestones in the timeline of technology, including IBM's mainframes, Network Computing Devices' thin-client technology, Verifone's e-commerce financial infrastructure, Beatnik's Internet audio solutions and Apptera's speech applications.
From June 2003 to December 2004 Hariton was President and CEO of Apptera. During her tenure Apptera shipped its first commercial products, established marquee customers and channel partnerships and raised $8 million in venture capital from Alloy, Lighspeed and Walden International. Previously, Hariton was CEO of Beatnik, Inc., where she currently remains as Chairman. During her tenure with Beatnik, she raised more than $40 million in venture capital from Mayfield and others. Hariton grew the company from 10 to 125 employees and successfully re-positioned the company for profitability from a web based audio content company to the leading audio technology provider for wireless devices.
Rebecca Q. Morgan was born in Vermont. She holds a bachelor's degree from Cornell University and an MBA from Stanford University. Ms. Morgan has a long-standing commitment to community service as demonstrated by her career. She served as a member of the Palo Alto Board of Education from 1973 to 1978.
Chairing the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors for one year, she served as a Board Member there from 1981 to 1984. Ms. Morgan was a California State Senator from 1984 to 1993, and President/CEO of Joint Venture Silicon Valley from 1993-1998.
Deborah L. Rhode is one of the nation's leading scholars in the fields of legal ethics and gender, law, and public policy. An author of 20 books, she is the most frequently cited scholar in legal ethics. She has headed Stanford Law School’s Keck Center on Legal Ethics and the Legal Profession, and is the founding director of Stanford University's Center on Ethics.
Professor Rhode has served as President of the Association of American Law Schools, Chair of the American Bar Association Commission on Women and the Profession, Director of Stanford University's Institute for Research on Women and Gender, and Special Counsel to the Judicial Committee of the House of Representatives during the Clinton impeachment proceedings. She is a regular columnist for the National Law Journal. Before joining the Stanford Law School faculty in 1979, she was a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.
Cindy Chavez, Former Vice Mayor and City Council Member of San Jose, describes the barriers she faced as a woman running for elected office and her surprise at the prevalence of gender discrimination in politics.
Former California State Senator Rebecca Morgan outlines the advantages of women representation in the legislature and the importance of their involvement and support of each other in all facets of society.