Jessica Shortall

Social Entrepreneur, Former Director of Giving at TOMS, Family Leave and LGBT Gender Equality Advocate, Director at Texas Competes

Jessica is a top innovation speaker, social entrepreneur, and Former Director of Giving at TOMS. As Managing Director of Texas Competes, Jessica runs a coalition of more than 1,200 Texas employers and chambers of commerce making the data-driven case for Texas to be welcoming to LGBTQ people. This business-oriented voice has become a national model and is credited with changing the Texas political playing field on LGBTQ issues.

 

  • Jessica Shortall`s Keynote Speaker Fee This reflects Jessica Shortall`s U.S. Speaking Fee

    $10,001 - $20,000

  • Languages Spoken

    English

  • Travels From

    Texas, USA

  • Jessica Shortall`s Keynote Speaker Fee This reflects Jessica Shortall`s U.S. Speaking Fee

    $10,001 - $20,000

  • Languages Spoken

    English

  • Travels From

    Texas, USA

Suggested Keynote Speaker Programs

Building Bridges and Empathy in a Divided Time

This talk is part career journey (global and varied and full of surprises), part exploration into where empathy comes from and how to build it, and part praise of the role of data in building surprising bridges among different groups, to create shared goals. A good portion of ...

This talk is part career journey (global and varied and full of surprises), part exploration into where empathy comes from and how to build it, and part praise of the role of data in building surprising bridges among different groups, to create shared goals. A good portion of this talk centers on Jessica’s experience in building the country’s largest state coalition of businesses making the economic case for LGBT non-discrimination – in Texas. But the *how* of that work is what ties in with those themes of empathy and data and facts and bridge-building, in any sphere. While it’s ever-evolving, Jessica gave the first version of this talk as a keynote at SXSW in 2016. It received two standing ovations and an Austin tech reporter called it “one of the best I’ve ever seen at SXSW.”

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The Hard Work of Doing Good Well

Jessica has obsessed over this topic for two decades. In trying to do good, most of us rely on the heart to make decisions. But while the heart can drive us to try to change the world, it’s the brain – driven by facts, seeking input and expertise and involvement of...

Jessica has obsessed over this topic for two decades. In trying to do good, most of us rely on the heart to make decisions. But while the heart can drive us to try to change the world, it’s the brain – driven by facts, seeking input and expertise and involvement of those we’re trying to impact, ruthlessly analytical and rigorous – that needs to be in the driver’s seat, if we’re going to do lasting good. This talk pulls from Jessica’s own diverse career as well as from other case studies to illustrate why a rigorous approach matters to doing good, and to prepare the audience for a lifetime of challenging themselves and others to do good well.

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What We Tell Ourselves About Gender And Work

In a talk that is thought-provoking, funny, and emotional, Jessica delves into the myriad ways in which our culture reinforces gendered roles in work and caregiving – and how the rules we are expected to follow impact all of us. This isn’t about women and work &#...

In a talk that is thought-provoking, funny, and emotional, Jessica delves into the myriad ways in which our culture reinforces gendered roles in work and caregiving – and how the rules we are expected to follow impact all of us. This isn’t about women and work – it’s about how we tell our children these rules from birth, how we reinforce it to grownups, and how all of that shows up at work. This culture is locking men and women – whether we have children or not – into roles that don’t fit our modern economy or our aspirations. We have to know the problem to find our way out of it, so Jessica shares data, stories, and images from popular culture, and discusses how we, individually and as organizations, can start to find our way out.

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About Keynote Speaker Jessica Shortall

Jessica Shortall believes that the world isn’t as polarized as we might think, so she spends her time looking for common ground among uncommon allies in order to make good happen. Her eclectic career has built unexpected bridges among unlikely partners, always sustainably, intelligently, and backed by data.

As Managing Director of Texas Competes, Jessica runs a coalition of more than 1,200 Texas employers and chambers of commerce making the data-driven case for Texas to be welcoming to LGBTQ people. This business-oriented voice has become a national model and is credited with changing the Texas political playing field on LGBTQ issues.

Jessica’s first book, written out of sheer necessity, is a survival guide for breastfeeding and going back to work called Work. Pump. Repeat. As a follow-up to the book, her 2015 TEDx talk on the moral and economic case for paid family leave has garnered more than a million views.

Jessica’s own life is filled with uncommon ground. She is the daughter of Venezuelan and English immigrants. She served, and spent 9/11, in the Peace Corps in Uzbekistan, a majority-Muslim, Central Asian country that was once part of the Soviet Union (as a result, she can swear in both Russian and Uzbek). She co-founded and franchised a food rescue and hunger relief non-profit, The Campus Kitchens Project, that puts young people in charge and is active in more than 50 U.S. cities. She was the first Director of Giving at TOMS Shoes, building out the company’s now-iconic One for One giving mission by focusing on global partnerships, neglected tropical diseases, and sustainable eye care.

Jessica has an MBA from the University of Oxford in the UK, where she was a Skoll Scholar in Social Entrepreneurship. She is married with two small children.

 

Testimonials

“I really enjoyed Jessica Shortall’s speech. I think it is important to really look at the messages we are sharing with our children as this is the first step to change.”

Sarah

American National Bank

“My favorite speaker was Jessica Shortall. I loved her message and I liked her take on everyday things that you just take at face value and never think about or question.”

Stephanie

Lincoln Financial Group

“I really enjoyed what Jessica Shortall had to say. Maybe it was because it was so very relevant to me at that moment, having just had my 2 year old daughter throw up all over herself in the car on the way to the conference and I had to figure out how to get her taken care of and get to the event. The irony of having this happen on the day of the ICAN conference was not lost on me and what Jessica had to say felt so true.”

Jennifer

Union Pacific Railroad

Jessica connected with her audience immediately, putting them at ease by telling some brazen truths about herself. She has a unique ability to impress you while making you feel like you can completely relate to her. She is truly a world-class speaker.

Tamra Rushing

VP of Marketing, CareFusion

Jessica brought real passion to the intersection of business results and social impact. In a small, interactive session of senior women, Jessica really drew them in for an engaging, dynamic conversation.

Alison Dew

VP Global Marketing, Dell

Jessica has a fantastic grasp of her subject matter, drawing from personal and global examples. And she entertained us all with her irreverent style, gripping, funny anecdotes and examples, and refreshingly honest approach.

Lee Walker

Senior Fellow, UT Austin

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