Los Angeles Business Journal Editor Scott Robson

Los Angeles Business Journal Editor Scott Robson

While much of the business world wrestles with what the workplace will look like as the pandemic begins to recede, one group of business leaders seems to have a pretty clear grasp of how things should play out.

For the panelists who participated in the first session of the Business Journal’s Women’s Leadership Series last week, it’s clear that the events of the past year have brought an array of permanent changes.

Some of these are obvious — Covid-19 laid bare the importance of work-life balance for women, in particular, and highlighted the need for workplace flexibility to ensure women can return to and thrive in the professional world.

“The workforce of the future is going to create an opportunity for us all to redefine who we are and what we want in life and in work, and to be able to feel like we can bring our authentic selves to work,” said Bernice Ledbetter, dean of students and alumni affairs at the Pepperdine Graziadio School of Business and director of the Center for Women in Leadership.

Other changes may be less readily apparent and may take longer to develop. But make no mistake, they say, these shifts are coming.

“If you’re in the room and you have the opportunity to make change, make that change,” said Dee Dee Owens, partner and advisory market leader for the Pacific Southwest at KPMG, offering up advice to the hundreds of other women (and men) at the event.

Owens also reminded the audience that a new normal brings new opportunities. “The reason why we need more women in leadership roles is your perspectives and your experiences are different,” she said.

The second part of the leadership series, featuring new panels and executives, takes place at 2 p.m. on June 16. Registration is free.

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Wells Fargo doesn’t dispense vaccines, but the bank managed to give a shot in the arm to struggling small businesses in Los Angeles last week. Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund announced a $1.25 million technical assistance grant to Together for L.A.

The collaborative organization, which is led by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp., is focused on helping businesses owned by women and people of color with their recovery from the impact of the pandemic.

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Los Angeles Football Club racked up another off-the-pitch win last week. The franchise was awarded the 2021 Major League Soccer All-Star Game, which will take place at Banc of California Stadium on Aug. 25.

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