Columbia Business School recently partnered with Vista Equity Partners to host the sixth annual Women's Business Leadership in Tech Conference.

Held in person at the School’s new Manhattanville campus in New York, this year’s conference featured executives, industry experts, and CBS alumnae who shared unique perspectives and innovations while inspiring solutions and advocating for the future of inclusivity in business.

“What I’m most impressed by at this conference is how it brings together leaders from all sectors to talk about the nature of technology and women in business,” said Rachel Arnold, a panelist and senior managing director at Vista Equity Partners. “Columbia Business School has a reach many organizations don’t have, and providing that platform is special.”

CBS Dean Costis Maglaras opened the conference with brief remarks to welcome attendees. The Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, Robert F. Smith ’94, participated in the discussion and met with the Robert Smith Scholars over breakfast in the Robert Smith Dining Hall early that morning. 

Launched during the 2022-23 academic year, the Robert F. Smith ’94 Scholarship Fund supports MBA students through partial or full scholarships that are awarded to enrolled CBS students who have graduated from HBCUs, overcome systemic hardships or challenges in their academic pursuits, or demonstrated a strong commitment to engaging diversity.

Robert F. Smith ’94 meets with the Robert Smith Scholars
Robert F. Smith ’94 (back row, third from right) meets with the Robert Smith Scholars. Photo: Tim and Lydia Lee

Promoting Advancement

This year’s Women's Business Leadership in Tech Conference included lectures, chats, and panels featuring C-suite executives, leading industry experts, and CBS alumnae. Many highlighted their unique perspectives and innovations while inspiring solutions and advocating for the future of inclusivity and diversity in business.

Speakers and panelists included: 

Christine Alemany ’04, chief marketing officer, i2c Inc.

• Rachel Arnold, Vista Equity Partners

Agnes Chu ’08, president, Condé Nast Entertainment

Meghan Cross ’15, partner, Amplifyher Ventures

Inger Dewey Golob ’95, co-owner and founder, PhotoBall; angel and venture investor

Laya Khadjavi ’88, global head of business development and client relations, Menai Financial Group

Christina Crawford Kosmowski, CEO, LogicMonitor

Alison Albeck Lindland ’08, chief marketing officer, Movable Ink

Miklos Sarvary, professor of business, Columbia Business School

Alexandra Tibbetts ’99, group product marketing manager, YouTube Learning 

Lisa Utzschneider, CEO, Integral Ad Science

Dana Weeks ’03, co-founder and CEO, MedTrans Go

Andrea Zaretsky ’01, chief marketing officer, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management


Women Business Leadership in Tech Conference panel


The daylong event consisted of several panel discussions, including: 

  • Adopting a Diverse Workforce During Uncertain Times,” which focused on empowering marginalized groups in business, particularly women, and the benefits of having a diverse team. 

Panelists included: 

Robert F. Smith, Vista Equity Partners

Lisa Utzschneider, Integral Ad Science

Christina Crawford Kosmowski, LogicMonitor

Rachel Arnold, Vista Equity Partners

  • The panel “Investing in Uncertain and Volatile Times” covered best practices for investing during periods of high inflation and tumultuous industry turnover. 

Panelists included: 

Meghan Cross, Amplifyher Ventures

Inger Dewey Golob, PhotoBall

Laya Khadjavi, Menai Financial Group

During the panel discussion, Khadjavi said, “I’ve never seen anything like this in the last 30 years of investing, meaning stocks and bonds are down together.” 

  • The panel “How Every Industry Is Utilizing and Adapting to New Technology” focused on how to handle the adoption of new technologies. 

Panelists included: 

Alison Albeck Lindland, Movable Ink

Alexandra Tibbetts, YouTube Learning

Dana Weeks, MedTrans Go

Andrea Zaretsky, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management

When asked to share advice with the conference attendees, here is what some of them said: 

Dana Weeks: “Be persistent, be resilient, be curious.”

Andrea Zaretsky: “Be true to yourself and be a lifelong learner.”

  • The conference also featured a Fireside Chat with Agnes Chu, president of Condé Nast Entertainment. She said, “I’m all for more global citizens, and that unification is a very good thing ultimately for how we see the world.”  

Women Business Leadership in Tech Conference panel