Standing ovation for ICFW keynote speaker

Speakers

Introducing the 2021 Keynote Speakers and Breakout Leaders for the Indiana Conference for Women 

Jameela Jamil_Headshot.jpg

JAMEELA JAMIL
Actress, Performer, Activist

MORNING KEYNOTE

Jameela Jamil is a one-of-a-kind multi-hyphenate who works as an actress, writer, host, and advocate. Jamil was first seen on American television starring as Tahani in Mike Schur’s Golden Globe-nominated series THE GOOD PLACE, opposite Ted Danson and Kristen Bell. In 2020 Jamil reprised her role as host on the TBS game show THE MISERY INDEX. She will also voice the character Auntie Pushpa in the Disney series MIRA, ROYAL DETECTIVE with an all-Indian cast that includes Freida Pinto and Kal Penn. In addition, she is one of the judges on HBO Max’s new competition show LEGENDARY.

Jamil is an advocate for many causes and in 2018 launched a movement and activism platform called I Weigh. What started as an idea and an Instagram page became a platform and community of change makers who come together to share ideas, experiences, and ultimately mobilize activism. Through original content, editorial and podcasts, the platform explores social issues that stem from mental health to climate change to the representation of marginalized groups. In April 2020 "I Weigh with Jameela Jamil" Podcast launched with Earwolf in which Jameela speaks to different thought-leaders, performers, activists, influencers, and friends about how they are working through their past shames to find where their value truly lies. With hilarious and vulnerable conversations, I Weigh will amplify and empower diverse voices in an accessible way to celebrate progress, not perfection. The podcast has featured names such as Gloria Steinem, Reese Witherspoon, Demi Lovato, Billy Porter, Tarana Burke, Ashley Ford and Deshaun Wesley to name a few. In May 2020 the I Weigh platform expanded onto YouTube to bring viewers fresh, original content to keep everyone informed and inspired with a mix of interviews, BTS, mini docs and round table discussions.

 

Jameela has also appeared on various talk shows including Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Conan, The Talk, GMA, The Today Show, and Seth Meyers to name a few. She has also appeared on various fashion and editorial publications such as Glamour, Vogue UK, Elle, In Style, Allure, The New York Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian and Stylist.

MAE WHITMAN
Award-Winning Actress

LUNCHEON KEYNOTE

Mae Whitman is a versatile actress in both film and television. She recently starred as Annie Marks in

NBC’s “Good Girls.” 

 

Previously, Mae starred as Amber Holt, the bright, but rebellious daughter of Sarah Braverman (Lauren Graham)

in NBC's drama series "Parenthood.” For her role, she

won a Gracie Award for Outstanding Female Actor

in a Breakthrough Role and earned a Critics’ Choice Television Award nomination for Best Supporting

Actress in a Drama Series.  

 

She starred in CBS Films’ comedy “The DUFF” as Bianca,

a high school senior who instigates a social pecking

order revolution after finding out that she has been

labeled the DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) to her prettier, more popular friends.  

 

Mae appeared in the critically acclaimed film “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” as Mary Elizabeth, starring opposite Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and Ezra Miller. She also let her comedic chops shine, reprising her role as Ann Veal in the Emmy Award winning “Arrested Development” on Netflix. A talented voiceover actress, Mae is the voice of Tinker Bell in the hugely successful Disney Fairies

franchise, she voices the character of April O’Neil in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” on Nickelodeon, and

Amity in “The Owl House.” 

 

Mae Whitman Headshot.jpg
Taraji Henson_Headshot hires.png

Ms. Henson will be joining us via a semi-live virtual presentation due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

TARAJI P. HENSON
Actress, Performer, and Activist

CLOSING KEYNOTE

Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe-winning actor, writer, and producer Taraji P. Henson quickly rose to fame after her breakout performance in the critically acclaimed film Hustle & Flow, which earned her and the cast a Screen Actors Guild nomination as well as a BET Award for Best Actress.

Henson currently stars as Cookie Lyon in Fox’s hit musical drama Empire, which has earned her three Emmy nominations, a Golden Globe Award, a Critic’s Choice Award, and three BET Awards. Prior to Empire, Henson had recurring roles on Person of Interest, Boston Legal, and The Division.

In 2017, Henson portrayed NASA mathematician Katherine G. Johnson in the Academy Award-nominated film Hidden Figures. Henson and her cast received a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture for the film. Other credits include Proud Mary, Think Like A Man with Kevin Hart, Think Like A Man Too, Talk To Me opposite Don Cheadle, Smokin’ Aces with Ben Affleck and Alicia Keys, Tyler Perry’s The Family That Preys, Hurricane Season opposite Forest Whitaker, No Good Deed starring opposite Idris Elba (which opened #1 at the box office), Larry Crowne with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, Taken From Me, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button with Brad Pitt, for which she earned an Academy Award nomination for “Best Supporting Actress.”

In March 2018, Henson was seen starring in Tyler Perry’s Acrimony for Lionsgate. Other projects include Paramount’s What Men Want, from director Adam Shankman and writer Nancy Meyers, and Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2, to which she lends her voice.

In October 2016, Henson released her New York Times bestselling novel Around The Way Girl, a memoir about her family and friends, her determination to make it to Hollywood, and the importance of living your own truth. In Around The Way Girl, she reminisces on the world-class theater arts education she received at Howard University, and how she chipped away at Hollywood’s resistance to give women, especially women of color, rich and significant roles. With her iconic humor and honesty, Henson shares the struggles and disappointments of an actor’s journey and shows audiences that she is

ever authentic.

A Washington, D.C. native, Henson currently resides in Chicago.

 

EMILY BALCETIS
Associate Professor of Psychology

BREAKOUT LEADER

Emily Balcetis, PhD, is an associate professor of psychology at New York University. She is the author of more than seventy-five scientific publications, and her research has been covered by Forbes, Newsweek, Time, Cosmopolitan, Scientific American, and The Atlantic. Her TED talk has more than 3.6 million views. Her work has been recognized by the Federation of Associations of Behavioral & Brain Scientists, the International Society for Self and Identity, and the Society for Experimental Social Psychology, among others. She lives in New York City with her husband and son.

Emily's book, Clearer, Closer, Better: How Successful People See the World, was released in Feburary 2020. A mind-blowing and original tour of perception, Clearer, Closer, Better will help you see the possibilities in what you can't see now.  Inspiring, motivating, and always entertaining, it demonstrates that if we always take advantage of our visual experiences, they can lead us to live happier, healthier, more productive lives every day. 

 

Emily Balcetis (c) Yulia Nar.jpg
Michelle King

Ms. King will be joining us via a semi-live virtual presentation due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

MICHELLE KING

UN Women's Global Innovation Coalition for Change

BREAKOUT LEADER

Michelle King is a leading global expert in gender and organizations and head of the UN Women’s Global Innovation Coalition for Change. In addition, King is an advisory board member for Girl Up, the United Nations Foundation’s adolescent girl campaign. Michelle writes for Forbes, Thrive, Harvard Business Review, and is also the host of the weekly podcast, The Fix, which shares practical ways men and women can advance equality at work. She lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and two children.

In the vein of #Girlboss and Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office, discover how to thrive at work from the head of the Global Innovation Coalition for Change at UN Women with this “passionate, practical roadmap for addressing inequality and finally making our workplaces work for women” (Arianna Huffington).

 

For years, we’ve been telling women that in order to succeed at work, they have to change themselves first— lean in, negotiate like a man, don’t act too nice or you’ll never get the corner office. But, after sixteen years working with major Fortune 500 companies as a gender equality expert, Michelle King has realized one simple truth: the tired advice of fixing women doesn’t fix anything.

 

The truth is that workplaces are gendered; they were designed by men for men. Because of this, most organizations unconsciously carry the idea of an “ideal worker,” typically a straight, white man who doesn’t have to juggle work and family commitments. Based on King’s research and exclusive interviews with major companies and thought leaders, The Fix reveals why denying the fact that women are held back just because they are women—what she calls gender denial—is the biggest obstacle holding women back at work and outlines the hidden sexism and invisible barriers women encounter at work every day. Women who speak up are seen as pushy. Women who ask for a raise are seen as difficult. Women who spend hours networking don’t get the same career benefits as men do. Because women don’t look like the ideal worker and can’t behave like the ideal worker, they are passed over for promotions, paid less, and pushed out of the workforcenot because they aren’t good enough, but because they aren’t men.

 

In this fascinating and empowering book, King outlines the invisible barriers that hold women back at all stages of their careers, and provides readers with a clear set of takeaways to thrive despite the sexist workplace, as they fight for change from within. Gender equality is not about women, and it is not about men—it is about making workplaces work for everyone. Together, we can fix work, not women.

 

TARA SCHUSTER
VP of Talent and Development
Comedy Central

BREAKOUT LEADER

Tara Schuster is vice president of Talent and Development at Comedy Central. She is the executive in charge of Lights Out with David Spade, and was the executive in charge of the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning Key & Peele and the Emmy

Award-winning @Midnight. Her numerous other shows included Another Period, Not Safe with Nikki Glazer, and Hood Adjacent. Her plays have been performed in the New York International Fringe Festival, and her writing has appeared in The New Yorker online. She lives in Los Angeles.

 

Tara Schuster