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Microsoft, eBay women leaders to speak at Tampa summit

Veronica Brezina



Unsplah image by CoWomen.

The top C-suite women executives leading the charge from tech and e-commerce giants such as Amazon and Microsoft will meet in Tampa to share how they’ve climbed the corporate ladder. 

The McGuckin Group founder and CEO Audrey McGuckin. Image provided.

The theme for this year’s inaugural Tampa Women on Their Way Summit, hosted by St. Petersburg-based talent design innovation firm The McGuckin Group, will be the foundation of authenticity in Ivy-league leadership and overcoming adversity. 

“Tampa has become a hub for this event with speakers from all over the world,” McGuckin Group founder and CEO Audrey McGuckin said. 

The in-person Aug. 24 event, which will run from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., is expected to draw over 300 people at the Jewish Community Center, located at 522 N. Howard Ave. 

McGuckin said the speakers, such as Jessica Fulton, a data and artificial intelligence director specialist at Microsoft, have overcome personal triumphs. 

“Jessica is very successful and came into the world when her mom was just 12 years old and with limited education,” McGuckin said. “These are the types of empowering stories that will be shared.” 

McGuckin selected the speakers through her vast networking and international client base. 

The lineup of speakers includes: 

  • Soo Nadarajah, head of global data sales at Amazon Web Services
  • Zaida Hernandez, an engineer at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  • Danielle Clark, head of global talent at eBay
  • Stephanie Kramer, chief human resources officer at L’Oreal
  • Qualenta Kivett, executive vice president and chief people and talent officer at Tampa General Hospital 

The full agenda can be found here

“Our overall mission is to close the gender gap. We think the way you have to approach it is to address organization, management and mindset issues rather than slowly promoting individuals,” McGuckin said. “We know that when you have more than two women on your leadership team, innovation is 40% higher.”

She explained political headwinds and economic recessions are affecting the ability of corporations to embrace equality in the workplace; however, the number of women leaders is gradually increasing. 

She cited the World Economic Forum’s 2022 Global Gender Gap Report, which states there’s been a steady global increase in women leadership roles since 2017. In 2022, the global gender parity for this category reached 42.7%, the highest gender parity score yet.

McGuckin’s group evaluates the makeup of companies and identifies potential women executives who can rise among the ranks, filling in the gaps. 

“Our work is about knowing who has the right skills and is on that leadership trajectory,” McGuckin said. 

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