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California Issues & Trends
2021 California Issues & Trends

Candidate Criteria | Schedule | Application | Recruitment Packet

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.

Applications for the 2021 CIT Class are due by November 15, 2020 for four, two-and a half day sessions in four cities.


Each year we select up to 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. Participants gain knowledge and insight about California and its place on the national and global scene. 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.

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 29 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.

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 anyone, including Leadership California Goes to Washington DC, which is offered every odd-numbered year

  • Questions? Contact: Jen Brydges, Executive Director, or the Leadership California office at

CIT 2020 Schedule


March 8-10, 2020 | Sacramento
Embassy Suites, Sacramento, $199/night
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 - 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 and identify your leadership values
  • 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 - August 21, 2020 | Virtual 

Learning Objectives:

  • Know: Learn about economic issues and trends, global positioning, future disruptors / influencers, technology and infrastructure
  • Connect: Shape your leadership journey
  • Act: Consider how to share what you have learned and how you might modify your path forward


October 25-27, 2020 | San Diego
U.S. Grant, San Diego, $239/night
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 1,700 women leaders through our flagship program. You'll gain knowledge, connections and inspiration. Application deadline: November 15, 2020
Apply Now