The Bryant University Women’s Summit is back in person for its 26th annual event

BRYANT UNIVERSITY’s 26th Women’s Summit will feature three keynote speakers. From left are women’s leadership expert Sally Helgesen; former emergency physician and author Dr. Daria Long; and Beverly Johnson, supermodel, author, activist and entrepreneur. / COURTESY BRYANT UNIVERSITY

SMITHFIELD – Bryant University’s Women’s Summit is returning fully in person for the first time since the start of the pandemic for its 26th edition Thursday.

The all-day event at Bryant University is already sold out and expects 1,000 attendees, Bryant spokeswoman Karen Greco said.

This year’s theme is “Moving forward together. me, us, us,” which was chosen to “recognize the interconnectedness of the business landscape” while continuing to offer participants opportunities for professional development, personal development, and financial empowerment.

“With a clear focus on creativity and innovation, be prepared to learn and engage in discussions about how women navigate and affect change,” Greco said.

As always, this year’s agenda includes keynote addresses and multiple morning and afternoon sessions, but the university said on the event’s website that it has revamped the schedule to include several networking opportunities for its attendees.

The opening keynote speaker will be Sally Helgesen, a women’s leadership expert, bestselling author, speaker and leadership coach. Inducted into the Thinkers 50 Hall of Fame and ranked among the world’s thought leaders by global gurus, Helgesen has published numerous books on inclusion and women’s leadership. Her most recent book, How Women Rise, which explores the behaviors most likely to get in the way of successful women, became a bestseller in its field within a week of publication and is slated to be translated into 22 languages.

The afternoon speaker is Dr. Daria Long, a Harvard and Yale-trained emergency physician, clinical assistant professor at the University of Tennessee School of Medicine, TedX speaker, and international television contributor. A national bestselling author, Long founded, a website focused on helping women access evidence-based and actionable health information.

The final keynote speaker is Beverly Johnson, founder, president and CEO of Beverly Johnson Enterprises LLC, a luxury lifestyle brand. Johnson made history as the first African-American supermodel and the first African-American to appear on the cover of Vogue magazine in 1974. A model, actress, author, activist, businesswoman, and television personality, Johnson has been named one of the “100 Most Famous People of the 20th Century.” influential people in the fashion industry” by The New York Times and received the Thurgood Marshall Award for Style and Innovation.

A closing networking reception will conclude the summit at 4:30 p.m., with closing remarks and more networking opportunities.

The Bryant University Women’s Summit is the longest-running and largest event of its kind in New England, according to the university. The event has been selling out since its inception, with 650 in-person and 350 virtual attendees last year.

Providence Business News is the media sponsor of the event.

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