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Olympic gymnast Simone Biles to keynote 2021 Pa. Women’s Conference in November

Laverne Cox and Joyce Russell, dean of Villanova’s school of business, will also present.

Gymnast Simone Biles performs in the women's balance beam at the Tokyo Olympics last week.
Gymnast Simone Biles performs in the women's balance beam at the Tokyo Olympics last week.Read moreRobert Gauthier / MCT

Simone Biles, the most-decorated gymnast of all time and an emerging role model for Americans with mental-health issues, will give a keynote speech at the Pennsylvania Conference for Women on Nov. 10.

The event will also feature speeches by researcher and storyteller Brené Brown; actress and mental-health advocate Glenn Close, and actress, producer, and equal rights advocate Laverne Cox.

Like last year, the conference events will be online, virtual only.

The Pennsylvania Conference for Women’s 18th annual conference will focus on issues affecting women as a result of COVID-19, including returning to work, navigating work-life balance, and prioritizing mental health.

Biles’ decision to drop out of the Tokyo Olympics all-around gymnastics competition highlighted the oft-neglected issue of mental health among young women, athletes and sexual abuse survivors. She later competed and won a bronze medal on the balance beam.

Increasing concerns around the economic impact of the Delta variant on women’s employment will be at the forefront of conversation this year, according to organizers. One session will focus on “How to Harness the Strengths of Introverts to Change How We Work, Lead, and Innovate.”

The Pennsylvania Conference for Women is part of the Conferences for Women, a network of women’s conferences that attracts more than 50,000 attendees a year.

For more information or to register, go to