Date posted: 16/08/2019 8 min read

Don’t miss: The 2019 Women’s Global Leadership Summit in San Diego

You’ll get inspired and get achieving at the 2019 Women’s Global Leadership Summit, and also enjoy the best of San Diego.

In Brief

  • The Women’s Global Leadership Summit is on in San Diego on 6-8 November 2019.
  • It’s framed for women in finance who want to develop new skills and male colleagues who want to learn more about developing women leaders.
  • Attendees can hit up California’s best beaches and tastiest tacos during conference downtime.

By Matthew Brace

San Diego's historic Gaslamp QuarterLa Jolla Cove.

Bordered by the Sonoran Desert and the glittering Pacific Ocean, and lying within a burrito’s throw of Mexico, San Diego is the perfect base for a ‘Southwest’ experience.

Where to eat in San Diego

San Diego is Mexican Food Central in the US. You are close enough to the border to catch the smell of breakfast chilaquiles wafting over from Tijuana.

Try eating at Casa Guadalajara in Old Town and the popular Taco Stand in La Jolla. Also recommended is the brightly muralled La Puesto in La Jolla, which serves great esquite – a mouth-watering corn salad with chilli, lime and cotija cheese.

Two more for the checklist are ¡Salud! in Barrio Logan and Galaxy Taco in La Jolla. Also try Volcano Rabbit in Downtown, partly for the food and tequilas (more than 150 on the menu) but also to steal a coaster and tell your friends you ate at a restaurant called Volcano Rabbit.

Garage Kitchen + Bar in the Gaslamp Quarter has burgers made from a blend of bison, wild boar and beef, and ahi tartare nachos – wonton chips (the ‘nachos’ bit) with edamame sauce, avocado, salsa and fresh ahi tuna.

Garage also has live pub bands, but if you’d prefer your San Diego music experience to have more of a south-of-the-border tone, plenty of Mexican restaurants have mariachi bands. The mariachi wear huge sombreros, play oversized guitars and blow ear-splitting trumpets. It’s an acquired taste but, once hooked, a night at a Mexican restaurant without them seems incomplete.

Where to stay at the Women’s Global Leadership Conference

The conference’s home – the InterContinental San Diego – is by the harbour and has amazing views of San Diego Bay. It’s just a stroll to the heritage Gaslamp Quarter, a longer walk or short taxi ride to Balboa Park and Coronado Island, and a 15-minute cab ride to the airport. Get up early to take a swim in the ocean or the cool pool, then refuel with a giant breakfast salad or hearty plate of smoked short ribs.

Back in the Gaslamp Quarter, The Horton Grand Hotel is worth considering for a stay. It’s a throwback to the Victorian charm of the 1880s, with antique furniture and marble-framed gas fireplaces. It also houses the cosy Salt & Whiskey bar.

Two more to check out are the waterfront Kona Kai Resort & Spa, next to the big marina on Shelter Island, and the huge and historic Hotel del Coronado on the beach on Coronado Island. Both are a longer commute to the conference but worth it for those who love being by the water.

If you are a Qantas Frequent Flyer, the Qantas website offers good deals at hotels all over the city.

Where to play in San Diego

San Diego has some of California’s best beaches and waves. If you’re a beach bunny, swimmer or surfer, you’ll love it. Websites and give you the skinny on the most awesome local spots.

In downtime from the conference, cycle the Coronado waterfront, head over the border to Tijuana for a margarita, relax on a vineyard tour or bird-spotting adventure (San Diego is seriously birdie), or keep fit on a running tour of La Jolla ( for details). The Lonely Planet website also has some great activities and deals.

Culture vultures should hit the museums at Balboa Park, especially the San Diego Museum of Art. Every Wednesday at the museum’s Panama 66 restaurant, local jazz favourite Gilbert Castellanos hosts young musicians with The Young Lions Series (6-8pm), followed by the Wednesday Jazz Jam (8.30-11.30pm). There’s more art at the Museum of Contemporary Art, which has good examples of painter and sculptor Ellsworth Kelly’s colour-field work.

For post-conference beers, cab it to the rooftop Ocean Beach Brewery in (appropriately) Ocean Beach. It’s a showcase for San Diego’s many craft beers and a perfect spot for a sunset schooner or two.

Good to know

  • San Diego has a Mediterranean climate similar to Western Australian capital Perth, which is also one of its sister cities.
  • In Spanish, the ‘j’ is pronounced ‘h’, and the ‘ll’ is ‘y’, so if you’re heading for the La Jolla neighbourhood, ask for “La Hoya”.
  • A tip on tipping. Despite what Aussies and Kiwis might think of all-but-compulsory tipping in the US, save yourself an unpleasant end to your meal by gritting your teeth and factoring it into your budget. Food’s pretty reasonably priced over there so if a plate of tacos and salad is US$14, call it US$16 with the 15% tip.

For more information and events check out

Women’s Global Leadership Summit

This three-day conference in San Diego on 6-8 November offers a great opportunity for those in the accounting profession – wherever they practice – to support women in the workplace. American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) organisers say it is also a chance for female and male participants to brainstorm on how to reduce the gender gap at the leadership level.

AICPA’s Yasmine El-Ramly says: “Accounting does not add up without women. With the existing shortage of talent and the succession planning challenges that organisations face, it is important to engage the other half of the talent pool if we want to stay relevant as a profession for generations to come.”

“Accounting does not add up without women.”
Yasmine El-Ramly

The summit is the place to hear from women who have made it. They will share their experiences and their advice on getting to the top. On a practical level, the summit will also explain the professional development pathways available to young accountants.

Although this is a conference about women, it is not exclusively a conference for women. Indeed, attendees will learn much from male leaders and colleagues who are interested in engaging, supporting and advocating for women – and diversity in general – within their organisations.

The summit will focus on three areas: Experienced Leader, Emerging Leader and Specialised Knowledge. Topics will relate to personal development (such as emotional intelligence and commanding the room or developing an executive presence) and professional growth (such as profession updates and discussions on boardroom diversity).

“Inspiration brings aspiration and the summit will inspire women by demonstrating that they can be anything they aspire to be,” says El-Ramly.

“It will also show that women can be partners, owners, entrepreneurs, wives, moms and so much more.”

Read more:

Women’s Global Leadership Summit

6-8 November 2019 InterContinental San Diego. San Diego, California, US (also live online)

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