Mentorship Works has announced its first event of 2016, entitled “Women Leaning In: A Discussion About Women In Business & Entrepreneurship,” as part of the nonprofit’s annual event series.  

Gathering experts in the field as well as local business leaders Mentorship Works will explore and discuss the opportunities and challenges that women face in their careers today, especially as related to starting and running a business.  


Bernice Ledbetter, Ph.D. who chairs the Master of Science in Leadership and Management program at Pepperdine University, will begin the conversation as a keynote speaker.  

The panel will also include Marsha Bailey, founder and CEO of Women’s Economic Ventures, and Paige Kearin, founder and CEO of The Joy Agency.

“Our last event featured local business leader and CEO of Curvature, Mike Sheldon, and we expect the conversation with Dr. Ledbetter and our other guests to be equally engaging and informative,” said Summers McKay, president of Mentorship Works.

“Listening to successful female industry leaders discuss the unique challenges they have overcome is inspiring and provides insight about success for our entire community,” she said. “Additionally, this is an important discussion about the evolution of work and metrics of success as we usher in a more gender balanced era.”

Ledbetter teaches graduate-level courses across a range of leadership topics, and she is an award winning teacher and recipient of the Howard A. White Award for Teaching Excellence.

Ledbetter’s professional background includes serving as a vice president at Right Management Consultants, an internationally known career transition and organizational consulting firm, and co-founding the De Pree Leadership Center dedicated to promoting values-based leading.  

She is a regular contributor on the Huffington Post Blog, offering practical advice to women in leadership, and is a frequent speaker to Fortune 500 companies about advancing women in their careers.

“Having experience as both a business leader and an academic, Dr. Ledbetter is a perfect resource for this event,” said John Osley, a Mentorship Works board member. “She has so much expertise and offers knowledge in a down to earth and direct way. We’re very lucky to have Bernice participate. She exemplifies a natural mentor for women and men alike.”

Mentorship Works launched in mid-2014 and provides a service to the community by connecting mentees with mentors through its website and events.  The organization has completed over 60 matches to date.  

Mentorship Works founder and executive director, Jacques Habra, says, “A mentor is not a boss, teacher or parent, rather they are an expert seriously interested in another individuals’ success. We facilitate connections by bringing the diverse community of members in the Santa Barbara and Ventura regions together to share their experiences and ideas.”

The event will include donated food from Opal and Los Agaves restaurants, as well as drinks from Happy Canyon Vineyard and Bon Affair.  

Tickets are $20, and can be purchased at NightOut or at the door.

Mentorship Works is proudly sponsored by Noospheric, First Click, Impact Hub SB, Cabana Homes and SoCal IP Law Group.  

To become a sponsor, click here.

Jacques Habra is the founder and executive director of Mentorship Works.