A national celebrity chef, the founding principal of one of Los Angeles’ leading arts-centric architecture firms, and an award-winning journalist are among the national experts and local Angelenos scheduled to speak at Mount St. Mary’s open-to-the-public Women’s Leadership Conference on Sept. 20 (8 a.m.-2 p.m.) at the Chalon Campus in Brentwood.

This is the third straight year Mount St. Mary’s has organized this leadership experience for women, which provides practical skills and strategies for professional and personal leadership development. Participants also have the chance to network with successful women from a variety of fields.

Speakers will include Susan Feniger, chef and co-owner of Border Grill Restaurants; Annie Chu, founding principal, CHU+GOODING Architects; and Tess Vigeland, journalist and former anchor of “Marketplace” on public radio.

The 2014 Women’s Leadership Conference takes place amidst new evidence of the need for women leaders in both the public and private sector in California.

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research’s 2014 rankings rate California 20th in the U.S. in women’s job equality. The last time they produced this report, in 2005, California was in the Top 10.

And the 2014 Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California (published by Mount St. Mary’s) found that, since 2005, California has dropped from 10th to 19th nationally in the number of women serving in state legislative office.

Information: www.msmc.la.edu/WLC.