Get Involved | Print Page | Contact Us | Sign In
California Issues & Trends
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.

Candidate Criteria

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
  • 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


March 8, 2020 – March 10, 2020 | Sacramento
Embassy Suites by Hilton Sacramento Riverfront Promenade
Read a Recap Here
Learning Objectives:
  • 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 



June 5, 2020 – July 23, 2020 | Virtual 
Learning Objectives:
  • 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


July 1, 2020 – August 31, 2020 |Virtual 
Learning Objectives:
  • 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 25, 2020 – October 27, 2020 | San Diego
The US Grant Hotel
Learning Objectives:
  • 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. Application deadline for the 2021 class is November 15, 2020.
Apply Now

Thank You to Our Session I Sponsors.

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.