Leaders in broadcast, print journalism and the public relations fields are scheduled to speak at the fourth annual Advancement of Women in Communication conference on April 4 at Florida International University’s Biscayne Bay Campus.

Panelists and speakers at the event, titled “Women in Communication: Shattering the Ceiling,” will discuss women’s leadership positions, status, and gender inequality in the communication industries.

“The conference is a very important conversation. Women make up more than half of the population in the United States, yet with regard to the communication industries, women are in the minority as far as having roles in leadership,” said Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver, whose center organizes and hosts the one-day event.

Kopenhaver, a former dean of the journalism program at FIU, said she strives to empower and encourage young women to move up into leadership positions in media, public relations, and advertising.

“I have been in situations where I was one of the few women in the room at a journalism conference. It’s one of the reasons why I started the center,” she said. “It’s because I didn’t want other young women to be in that kind of position that I was in, where you are kind of fighting for recognition and you were the only woman in the room.”

Headlining the morning panel discussion are: Natalie Boden, the president and founder of Boden, Nadege Green, a reporter and producer at WLRN and Liz Roldan, the news director at CBS4. The discussion will be moderated by Stephanie Bertini, a reporter at NBC6.

Dianne Festa, senior vice president of news partnerships for NBC Universal and an FIU alum, is also scheduled to give a keynote speech during the morning session.

In the afternoon, a separate panel discussion involving Patricia Alvarado, senior vice president at FleishmanHillard, Rosa Flores, a correspondent for CNN, and Nancy Ancrum, the editorial page editor for The Miami Herald will be held.

Ellen Weiss, the vice president and Washington bureau chief for the E.W. Scripps Co., will keynote the afternoon sessions.

“They have achieved positions that are important and in the information flow today and can let people who come to the conference know that it is possible to move up those ladders and to have that kind of influence,” said Kopenhaver.

The conference, which is free and open to the public, will take place at the campus’ Wolfe University Center from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.