Pre-Conference Activities

WTS International Annual Conference 2024 > Pre-Conference Activities

Pre-Conference Activities

Professional Development Workshops (Tuesday May 7, 2024)

Invest in your professional development with WTS Workshops. Workshop sessions will be held on Tuesday, May 7th. Morning, afternoon, and full-day registrations are available.

This year’s professional development workshops will be hosted by Julie Kratz with Next Pivot Point. Julie Kratz has dedicated her career to helping people be better allies. After spending 12 years in Corporate America experiencing many career “pivot points” due to the lack of belonging, she started her own speaking business with the goal of helping leaders be better allies. Promoting allyship in the workplace, Julie helps organizations foster more inclusive environments so that everyone can feel seen, heard and belong. She is a Forbes contributor, frequent keynote speaker, podcast host and TEDx speaker. She holds an MBA from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, is a Certified Master Coach, and is a certified unconscious bias trainer. Julie has also been published on Entrepreneur, CNBC, The Good Men Project, The Forum On Workplace Inclusion, and more. She is the author of 6 books including Allyship in Action: 10 Strategies for Living Inclusively, Lead Like an Ally: A Journey Through Corporate America with Strategies to Facilitate Inclusion, a children’s book Little Allies, ONE: How Male Allies Support Women for Gender Equality, and more.

May 7th Morning Workshop: Lead Like and Ally and Cultural Intelligence
9 AM – 12 PM CT

In our morning workshop, Julie will focus on DEI initiatives and inclusive leadership in the workplace.

Lead Like an Ally
In this highly collaborative session, Julie will share stories, ideas, and research from her book, Lead Like an Ally: A Journey Through Corporate America with Strategies to Facilitate Inclusion. This talk is designed to meet all people “where they are at” on their DEI journey. To succeed together, you will learn how to:

  • Why Allies Matter – The business case and human case for diversity and inclusion
  • What an Ally is – Allies play different roles, personally and prfessionally 
  • How to be an Ally – Key strategies to lead like an ally, regardless of your role or position in an organization

Cultural Intelligence
Part two of our morning session will be a deep dive on Cultural Intelligence, with a workshop-formatted session built for stronger teambuilding and leadership team development. Attendees will grow as inclusive leaders by unpacking their unique identities and their different lived experiences and perspectives that they bring to their workplace. Using research from the Cultural Intelligence Center’s certification program, during this workshop we’ll cover:

  • Learn about your unique cultural values and your team’s values
  • Disrupt Biased Systems and Practices
  • Create a Leadership Action Plan
May 7th Afternoon Workshop:  Building Trust: Psychological Safety and Healthy Work-Life Boundaries
1 – 4 PM CT

In our afternoon workshop, Julie will focus on three crucial aspects of successful leadership.  

Building Trust

The most successful teams are those built on a foundation of trust. Discussion topics will include:

  • Self-Trust – Trust often begins within: it is difficult to extend trust to others if you do not trust yourself!
  • The 5 behaviors of a team – proven attributes to improve trust as a team
  • Best practices and techniques for building trust as a group

Psychological Safety
Psychological safety is a critical component of an inclusive workplace – the ability to freely express yourself without the fear of retaliation.  People from historically marginalized groups often report feeling less psychologically safe at work. By providing a psychologically safe workplace where people can feel seen, heard, and belonging, inclusive leaders set the tone for diverse talent to thrive. Discussion points will include:

  • The Research – Psychological safety is a competitive advantage in talent retention and attraction
  • How to Practice – Key components of psychological safety and how to practice it more
  • Common Scenarios – Three all too common situations where psychological safety can be enhanced

Healthy Work-Life Boundaries
With an ‘always on’ work culture and several years of pandemic upheaval of daily life – burnout and stress are a very real problem for many of us. The pressure of “how can I do it all?” in today’s world is a daunting task. Recent data shows 41% of people feel burnout at work and we’re experiencing prolonged stress due to so much change, so quickly. Participants and facilitators will have a collaborative discussion, learning alongside one another to start improving work-life integration. The session will cover:

  • Knowing your “Why” (and saying no to things not aligned with your why)
  • Giving to others through compassion (giving to give)
  • Prioritizing sleep (yes, sleep)


Executive Women’s Roundtable (Tuesday May 7, 2024: 12:00-5:00 PM CT)

The Executive Women’s Roundtable is open to all conference-attending executive members that identify as female. Invitations to the Roundtable are sent on Fridays. Upon successful registration for the Full-Conference as an Executive Member, you will receive an email invitation to reserve your space at the Executive’s Women Roundtable.  The Executive Women’s Roundtable includes lunch and breakout discussions with other female executives on the top challenges and opportunities you are facing as a leader, and especially as a female leader in transportation. Final invitations for the 2024 EWRT were sent on April 26, 2024. Those note registered for the conference or at an Executive Member level by 4/26 are not guaranteed admission to the Roundtable.


Executive Member Session (Wednesday May 8, 2024; 1:00 – 3:00 PM CT)

In the age of AI and high-speed innovation, companies risk overlooking their most valuable asset: the human element. The pandemic has taught us that employees want more than a job. They want meaningful work where their uniqueness is honored, their voices are heard, and their ideas respected. We are in a time of “rebirth”…a rebirth of humanity. We are in the “Next” Renaissance, and these times demand a new way to think and lead differently. These times call for “Renaissance Leaders” whose skillset runs both deep and wide, who cultivate curiosity, honor diversity and think like there is no box. All active WTS Executive Members are invited to join this special session for an interactive workshop with author, keynote, and leadership educator Jean Marie DiGiovanna. This session is included with registration. 


Women Business Owners Roundtable (Wednesday May 8, 2024: 8:00 AM-2:00 PM CT)

Applications for this year’s WBORT are now closed. This invitation-only (based on application) roundtable is an opportunity for women business owners (of varying ownership models) to come together and discuss topics like scaling your business, building a leadership team, succession planning, DBE certifications, and more. 


#WTSAC2024 Technical Tours

For more information on our Technical Tours please visit the
 Tours Page.