What do you enjoy doing outside of your career? I am a member of the Garden Club of Charleston and the Ladies Benevolent Society (the oldest private charitable institution in America). I serve on the Board of Governors of the Harbour Club and am a past member of the Board of Directors for the Charleston Concert Association. I enjoy reading (I never leave the house without my Kindle!), playing bridge, Trivial Pursuit and dining out with friends, and travel.
How long have you been a member of the Center for Women? I just rejoined after a hiatus of several years.
What inspired you to become a member? Jennet has been an inspiration to me since I first met her. I think that the C4W is doing wonderful things for women in the Lowcountry, and I want to support that effort.
What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you? I love the idea of women helping other women to succeed. I came up through the corporate world during the seventies when it was not easy to be a woman in business. I would love to have had a female mentor to answer my questions, but there were very few women in executive positions back then. There were no organizations like the C4W to help, no seminars available to give us advice on the issues we faced in what was, and in many ways still remains, a man’s world. In my current real estate business I see many women in crying need of more education on business and financial issues that are critical to their future.
How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you? I still remember being told, “Here, honey — type this up!” by men who were on a lower executive level than I was. I remember a job interview with a major pharmaceutical company where the executive came right out and said that I should be staying home, taking care of my husband, and not trying to take a job away from a man with family responsibilities who really needed it. Things have improved, but we have a long way to go.
What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy? It’s not the economy that determines your success, but your determination that makes your economy a success! Educate yourself and do everything possible to become the expert in your field. Put the best interests of your clients ahead of any compensation you may receive, and always do the right thing, no matter what it costs. Be passionate about your business. If you can’t wait to get up and go to work each day, find another job!