Powerful Women in the Spotlight: A Policy Conversation with Leaders in the 117th Congress

2021 Workplace Policy Conference

Last year, a record-setting 28 women were newly elected to Congress. Like women everywhere, they are already influencing their workplace, in this case the 117th Congress. Join us to hear directly from key female members of Congress -- both new and returning -- about innovative policy solutions that will shape the workplace for years to come. It's also a great chance to gain insights on how you can make the case for innovative policy solutions that will change minds on Capitol Hill.

Learning Objectives:
Participants will:

  1. Learn how more women in Congress will influence the legislative agenda, and how HR professionals can be a resource as they consider issues impacting work, workers and the workplace.  
  2. Hear directly from distinguished lawmakers about how they are changing their own workplaces and influencing change not only in the halls of Congress, but across the country.
  3. Learn about emerging legislative trends to watch for in Congress that will impact the workplace in 2021 and beyond.
Date(s) & Time(s): 
Tuesday, April 20, 2021 - 3:30pm to 4:20pm

Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers

Rep. Cathy McMorris

Cathy McMorris Rodgers is Eastern Washington’s chief advocate in Congress and a rising star in American politics. Since first being elected to the House in 2004, she has earned the trust of her constituents and praise on Capitol Hill for her hard work, conservative principles, bipartisan outreach, and leadership to get results for Eastern Washington. As someone who grew up on an orchard and fruit stand in Kettle Falls, Washington, worked at her family’s small business, and later became a wife and working mom of three, Cathy has lived the American Dream, and she works every day to rebuild that Dream for our children and grandchildren.

Cathy served as Chair of the House Republican Conference from 2012 to 2018. Cathy was the 200th woman ever elected to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Since being elected to Congress in 2004, Cathy has focused on moving legislation based on the priorities she hears in conversations with the people of Eastern Washington. Her mission is to restore trust and confidence in representative government and the rule of law, and lead as a trust-builder, ability-advocate, and unifying force to get results for hardworking men and women in Eastern Washington.


Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester

Rep. Lisa
Blunt Rochester

Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester represents Delaware in the U.S. House of Representatives and serves as an Assistant Whip for House Leadership. Lisa sits on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. The committee has broad jurisdiction over health care, the environment, commerce and trade, energy policy, telecommunications, manufacturing, and consumer protection.

As the Energy and Commerce Committee’s only former statewide health official, Lisa understands health care from a number of different perspectives – as an implementer at the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, negotiator while serving as State Personnel Director, and advocate as CEO of the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League. Lisa is focused on reducing the cost of health care and prescription drugs for middle-class families, addressing the disparity in outcomes for communities of color, and tackling our nation’s opioid and addiction epidemic. She serves as a Member of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force, comprised of more than 100 members united with the common goal of tackling opioid addiction.

Lisa is a leading voice in Congress on economic and future of work-related issues. As former Secretary of Labor and State Personnel Director, Lisa leverages her professional experience to advocate for legislation that boosts start-up business growth, removes barriers for citizens re-entering society, and addresses college affordability and ballooning student debt. She is a Co-Chair of the New Democrat Coalition’s Future of Work Task Force and serves as the sole Member of Congress on the Aspen Institute’s National Advisory Council for the Future of Work Initiative. She is also the founder of the Congressional Future of Work Caucus.


Representative Maria Elvira Salazar

Rep. Maria Elvira

Congresswoman Maria Elvira Salazar proudly represents Florida’s 27th Congressional District, passionately serving the people of South Florida. She currently serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs as well as the House Committee on Small Business. 

Congresswoman Salazar is committed to acting tirelessly in defense of individual rights and liberties, spearheading economic development & job training efforts, and promoting environmental resiliency in her community. She is well-known for her advocacy for Human Rights and democracy around the world, especially for the people of Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Nicaragua, as well as for her unabashed support of our global & regional partners such as Israel, Colombia, and Taiwan.

Congresswoman Salazar is a five-time Emmy Award-winning journalist— she has spent her career holding the corrupt and powerful accountable. Congresswoman Salazar has gone toe-to-toe with Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro, Chile’s Augusto Pinochet, and most notably Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, being the only US Spanish-language journalist to ever interview the tyrant one-on-one. Starting at the age of 22, she has worked for every major US Spanish-language broadcasting network: Telemundo, Univision, AmericaTeve, MegaTV, and CNN en Español. 

Salazar was born in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood, the daughter of Cuban exiles. She studied at the Deerborne School of Coral Gables and graduated from Miami Dade College. Salazar holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Miami and a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Congresswoman Salazar currently resides in Coral Gables with her two daughters, Nicoletta and Martina.


Mark Walker


Mark Walker started his career in finance management in North Carolina in 1991. In 1999, Walker earned a theology degree followed by a 16 year career as an ordained minister. In 2014, Walker stepped away from ministry and made a successful run for Congress. After arriving in Congress, Walker became the only member in their first term to be elected by his colleagues as Chairman of the RSC - the largest caucus in Congress. Walker served on House Administration, Education & Labor Committees, House Oversight and on Homeland Security, serving as the ranking member on Intelligence and Counterterrorism Subcommittee. Walker created the HBCU Fly-in attended by more 80 Chancellors from HBCU's across the country. Walker also worked with Congresswoman Alma Adams to launch the paid internship from program for college students and Walker is a frequent speaker on his work on Criminal Justice Reform. In addition, Congressman Walker served with Senator James Lankford as Co-Chair of the bi-cameral Prayer Caucus.


Session Type: 
General Session
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