Women's Professional Development

The following resources provide opportunities for professional development and networking to all interested staff with a focus on women professional development.

academic & professional women in uci
Academic & Professional Women in UCI
ace women's network - southern california
ACE Women's Network - Southern California
ace | american council on education
American Council on Education
lean in
*Lean In
uc women's initiative for professional development
UC Women's Initiative
uci women in technology - advance inspire empower act
Women in Technology at UCI

*Lean In

DFA started a Lean In Network in 2020 which was inspired by Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In. Leveraging the resources available on leanin.org, DFA Lean In champions hosted one-hour sessions on topics such as leadership, negotiation, networking, time management, confidence, communication, work life balance, etc. Past topics are available below for reference and presentations are archived in DFA’s Lean In Network SharePoint site (requires approval and access with UCI credentials).

DFA Lean In Series

DFA Women's Symposium

Starting in 2023, DFA Lean In Series transitioned to volunteer-led Lean In circles, virtual or in-person. If you are interested in starting or leading a Lean In Circle, we recommend the following steps:

  1. You have experience as a DFA Lean In Champion and/or have experience facilitating meetings, group discussions, or events.
  2. Become familiar with the available resources on the Lean In platform.
  3. Complete Lean In Circle Leader training and consider joining a virtual event hosted by Lean In leaders.
  4. Decide on your circle’s purpose, members, when and where you will be meeting, the topics and format of your meetings, and how to spread the word. You can start a circle in your community, with friends, or invite potential members who you share a certain interest or goal with.
    1. Recommended circle size is 8-12 people.
    2. Consider meeting virtually or in-person, depending on any timing and space constraints, and your members’ preferences.
    3. If your circle members are coworkers, your circle meetings are recommended to be scheduled on voluntary off-work times, such as over a designated lunch period or before or after regular work hours.
  5. Review the materials from DFA’s Lean In Series for topic, structure, and content ideas. There are materials for over 20 sessions, which you are welcome to use in your circle.
  6. Consider asking an existing DFA Lean In Champion for advice and tips on facilitating discussions.
  7. Consider partnering up with a friend or colleague to lead a Lean In Circle together to split the effort and support each other.
  8. Email WithUForU@uci.edu with any questions.
  9. Keep us updated on your Lean In journey. We would love to feature your circle on our page! Please share with us information about your circle at WithUForU@uci.edu.
  10. Join DFA Lean In Network SharePoint site to access and share resources and ideas about your circle and women’s development with colleagues.

DFA Lean In Network adheres to UCI's Principles of Community and Lean In fundamentals of:

  • Confidentiality: What happens in the network stays in the network
  • Communication: Communicate openly, honestly, and with empathy
  • Commitment: Be fully present and invested in the success of all

DFA Lean In Champions

Volunteers across DFA leaned in and raised their hand to become DFA Lean In Champions and prepare and facilitate a virtual Lean In session. Featured below are DFA Lean In Champions for 2022:


  • Amie Chick, UCI Transportation & Distribution Services
  • Genevieve Yulo, Office of the CFO & Vice Chancellor
  • Griselda Duran, UCI Accounting & Fiscal Services
  • Isabella Ranck, UCI Facilities Management
  • Jeniffer DeLara Vallejo, UCI Police Department
  • Jessica Alvarez, Office of the CFO & Vice Chancellor
  • Lily Zaprianoff, UCI Procurement Services
  • Marie Rademaker-Alford, UCI UCPath


DFA Lean In Champions are happy to provide guidance about session facilitation to any DFA staff members interested to lead a Lean In Circle.