What is your profession? I am a certified fashion/image consultant and Owner/President MLM Personal Development, an image consulting company specializing in non-verbal and interpersonal communication skills. My goal is to combine sociological theory, communication theory and theatre techniques to help individuals become better communicators.
What do you enjoy doing outside of your career? Outside of my career I enjoy designing masques and collages and attending classical concerts. I also enjoy donning an elegant hat and having lunch with my sister HatLadies.
How long have you been a member of the Center for Women? I’ve been a member about 3 or 4 years.
What inspired you to become a member? What inspired me to become a member and retain my membership are the programs and events. I also enjoy meeting other professional women in a non-competitive, sharing environment.
What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you? The women I have met at the Center for Women have made me realize how far we have come from the old stereotypes.
How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you? I grew up with two older brothers and went to an all girl’s school from kindergarten to the 10th grade, so I didn’t learn the feminine communication skills most adolescence girls learn. When I transferred to a co-ed public high school in the 11th grade, I was consistently told by other girls “you think like a guy”. I was never sure if that was a compliment or an insult. Before becoming an image coach, I worked in male dominated fields of lighting design and audio/visual. I never found communicating with male co-workers a challenge. The challenge was to be better than my male co-workers in order to be respected and advance. I believe that too much is made of the differences between male and female communication styles; to the point that it has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Communication styles are based on many things, socioeconomic conditions, geographic area, level of education, conditioning and perceived expectations, but not on biology.
What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy? I would advise making career decisions based on a realistic assessment of your skills and abilities, but do not be afraid to push the envelope. Listen to your heart. Too many individuals have risen up the career ladder only to discover they don’t like that career or the work environment that they have worked so hard to succeed in. The largest portion of our adult lives will be spent in the workplace and we will be working longer than previous generations. If you enjoy the work you do, you will be successful.