California Issues & Trends
Our Core Program
More than 1,700 women leaders from around the state have participated in our programs to increase their knowledge of California issues and trends, broaden their connections, boost their influence, and be inspired to act and make a difference.
Through our programs, Leadership California provides the critical foundation and experiences to help women positively impact their workplaces and communities. We seek to expand the understanding, connections, and opportunities for women leaders, both while they are in our programs and beyond, recognizing that the commitment to leadership and service continues long after the completion of the program.
Each year we select 60 women to participate in our hallmark California Issues & Trends (CIT) Program. We seek a diverse slate of candidates from each region, professional experience and sector to take part in CIT.
The state of California is our “classroom” as we expose participants to the state’s issues and trends during this year-long, four-session program. We present thought leaders, experts, field trips and unique access to experiential learning to help participants gain knowledge and insight about California and its place on the national and global scene. Focus areas include demographics, the economy, education, healthcare and public policy. The program also facilitates a rich dialogue among the Class and helps build leadership competencies.
Each session is held in a different region of the state and focuses on a distinct topic, all with the aim to grow knowledge, facilitate lasting connections and inspire women leaders to act.
CIT is a tuition-based program launched in 1991.
The hallmark of the California Issues & Trends Program (CIT) is the diversity of the 60 women who are selected for the annual CIT Class. We seek diversity in region, ethnicity, professional experience, and sector.
Within that context of diversity and inclusion, we do know that there are a few guidelines for candidate selection that ensure that members of the CIT Class we are seeking and will appreciate the knowledge, insights and connections they gain to ultimately inspire them to act!
Guidelines developed by Leadership California for candidate selection follow and are based on 27 years of CIT Class members’ experience and feedback.
- Seek to broaden their perspectives and knowledge to be a more effective leader in their organization and community, rather than gaining direct management/leadership training
- Manage others, leading projects, and interested in expanding their horizons
- Are ready to make new connections and develop a network beyond their professional expertise and sector
- Range in age from late 30s to late 50s with the majority between 35-55
- Have served in a variety of positions within their organizations. It is not unusual for a CIT Class to include upper level managers, as well as senior executives
- Are willing to hear different points of view and offer their own insights
- Desire to learn about issues and trends that may not directly impact their immediate work, but may have profound impact on the future of businesses and communities in California
There are several organizations that support Leadership California by selecting multiple candidates for the CIT Program. We typically allow up to three women from the same organization. See following guidelines:
Leadership California places a high value on diversity and inclusion in the areas of professional expertise, region, and ethnicity. We ask organizations to take this into consideration.
- CIT presents an opportunity for women to make cross-company connections
- CIT offers women new to California an immediate, high-level download on California issues and trends and connects them to thought leaders and experts across the state
- Leadership California has programming beyond CIT that is open to women from their company
- Leadership California Goes to Washington DC, which is also offered as a fifth CIT Session option for CIT.
Current CIT Schedule
- Know: How government influences all sectors at state, national and global level; meet key decision makers from all branches; participate in non-partisan, non-political learning environment
- Connect: Learn from diverse thought leaders and women role models
- Act: Discover the unique contribution of women leaders and begin charting your leadership plan
- Know: Demographic trends and impacts and role of diversity to develop a 360 perspective on the importance of inclusion and value of diversity
- Connect: Find your voice and be a part of the dialogue in your community, building a diverse network outside your sector, region, expertise, background
- Act: Begin to identify how you can lead and contribute in California
- Know: Learn about economic issues and trends, global positioning, future disruptors / influencers and infra- structure
- Connect: Track and execute your leadership journey
- Act: Consider how to share what you have learned and how you might modify your path forward
October 27, 2019 – October 29, 2019
| San Diego
- Know: Create change through collaboration, innovation, adaptation, role of science
- Connect: Solidify lasting connections and network
- Act: Finalize your leadership journey and identify what motivates and inspires you to take action and make a difference; become active in alumnae program
Apply to CIT Today
Join the ranks of over 1700 women leaders through our flagship program. You'll gain knowledge, connections, and inspiration.
What Our Alumnae Say
My year with Leadership California transformed me into a woman leader that removed my self-imposed limits on what I could achieve. My career went further and higher than I had ever envisioned, truly life changing.
Retired - California State Senate
Leadership California allowed me to add new relationships and resources to my professional tool-kit. I particularly enjoyed knowledge sharing and being among inspiring and accomplished California women leaders. This experience inspired me to take my leadership to the next level by serving as a current board member of Leadership California.
California State University, San Bernardino
Oftentimes the opportunity to speak with other senior women is limited to those in our immediate organizations; Leadership California is a place where I was able to speak with successful women from other industries and learn from their experiences. The opportunity was beyond value, and the ongoing friendship and support of the Leadership California network has been a great resource for me.
Leadership California was the most powerful leadership training program I have ever participated in. As an entrepreneur and leader dedicated to the success of California, the program gave me a close up view of the political, business and social issues and trends that are coming in the next ten to twenty years.
Ursula C. Mentjes, M.S., ACC
Certified Business Coach
I've spent half my work life in the corporate world, and the past ten years in the non profit world, but neither taught me how to be who I am at work--the whole pastiche of talent and spirit. Leadership California did that. I found role models who excited me, the true state of our state of California (which frustrated me,) work partners continually learning like me, and friends. All those wonderful leadership sessions, the hilarity and the pajama parties--priceless.
Peta G. Penson, Ed.D.
Consultant – Oakland Unified School District
When I was nominated and selected to participate in Leadership California, Class of 2018, I was honored. After reading the bios of the amazing ladies in my cohort, I became nervous, intimidated and scared. I even allowed some self-doubt to creep in and asked myself, “How do I fit in with this distinguished group of women leaders?” After completing Session One of my journey, I knew that I was meant to be in the program and had a great deal to offer to the ladies in my cohort, who I also learned a great deal from. As a result of Leadership California, the lens in which I view various issues (at work and otherwise) has been widened; being exposed to phenomenal ladies throughout the state and in professions that, without Leadership California, I probably would have never met, has allowed me to grow, professionally and personally. At the end of my one year journey, I knew that I was made for more and how that “more” is to be shared, in part, by giving back and mentoring others on their journey. Leadership California truly gave me tools that have equipped me to have moved from success to significance.
Chief Consultant – California State Assembly
As a working woman, I was pulled in many different directions by my family and my job demands. I did not realize until I started Leadership California that it would provide a sanctuary where, for the first time ever, I gave myself permission to focus on just “me.” I went into the program with an expectation that I would gain skills and knowledge to elevate my leadership position within my currently organization. However, I did not anticipate that through the outstanding program curriculum, time for reflection and the connections I made with the incredible women in my class that I would gain the confidence and insight to realize my current job was no longer a good fit and I needed to make a change. Since my Leadership California journey I have been able to fulfill my three work related goals: 1: Focus on impactful and meaningful work 2: Work with people I enjoy and can learn from, and 3: Have flexibility in my schedule to work and play when it’s best for me!
I hope you embark on your own Leadership California journey – you will never regret taking the time for “you.”
Co-Owner and Chief Operating Officer – G. Van & Associates
Thank You to Our Supporters.
Leadership California sincerely appreciates the generous support of our corporate partners. Our partners’ involvement and investment in Leadership California demonstrate their deep commitment to elevating and supporting capable women leaders.