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Independence sponsors the 2023 Pennsylvania Conference for Women

logo for the PA Conference for Women

Independence Blue Cross (Independence) is proud to sponsor and participate in the 2023 Pennsylvania Conference for Women for the 13th consecutive year. For the first time since 2019, the event will be held fully in person at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia on October 19.

The conference provides an opportunity for women across the state to connect and learn from industry leaders. Participants have the option to choose from three different tracks specialized to fit different professional needs: leadership, career, and personal development.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the conference. The distinguished lineup of speakers includes three Independence leaders:

  • Lorina Marshall-Blake, vice president of Community Affairs and president of the Independence Blue Cross Foundation, will host the “Career Progression: Getting from Here to There” session. This career workshop covers strategies for achieving career progression, including centering your values, moving forward when you’re unsure of what to do next, and using the power of storytelling to help you write your next chapter.
  • Reetika Kumar, M.D., vice president of Strategic Clinical Solutions and Pharmacy Services, is a panelist for “How to Advocate for Yourself and Others… Without Risking your Career.” Dr. Kumar will share her experience with advocating for herself and provide insight on how to use allyship and effective communication.
  • Sushma Akunuru, senior vice president, Business Technology Services, is an executive mentor for the conference and a panelist for “Navigating the STEM Workplace.” Akunuru is speaking about how women can navigate this male-dominated STEM field. She also spoke with 6abc about strategies for women exploring opportunities in STEM and other traditionally male dominated fields in a segment titled “Inspiring Women Series: Navigating the STEM Workplace.

Keynote speakers at the conference include:

  • José Andrés, chef and humanitarian
  • The Rt. Hon Dame Jacinda Arden, prime minister, New Zealand (2017-2023); senior fellow, Harvard University; special envoy, Christchurch Call to Action; and board member, The Earthshot Prize
  • Ann Marie Baldonado, director, talent development, and contributor, Fresh Air
  • Gail Devers, Olympic Gold Medalist and thyroid eye disease (TED) patient advocate
  • Tina Fey, writer, comedian, actress, producer, and author
  • Lulu Garcia-Navarro, opinion section host and writer, The New York Times; podcast host, First Person; and former NPR Journalist
  • Laysha Ward, EVP, chief engagement officer, Target