Posts Tagged ‘women and power’

C4W Member Profile: Kim Wright Brown

July 24, 2013

KimBrownWhat is your profession?  Associate VP Development, Carolina Youth Development Center.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career? Spending time with my husband Dean and family, entertaining, travel, being a good friend and I love watching college football (Gamecock Fan)!

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women?  I just joined as an individual. I have had the good fortune of being involved with my previous company over the past couple of years and would not miss being a member.

What inspired you to become a member?   I have been inspired, supported and encouraged by many of the women I have met at the C4W over the past few years.  The Women & Power series is exceptional and the opportunity to meet and get to know the talented and amazing women in the Charleston business community is not to be missed. 

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you? There are so many opportunities to get involved, learn, or share with other women.  The connections I have made at C4W have helped in all areas of my life, personal to professional.  It is a tremendous resource.

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you?  I had an amazing mother, who taught me I could do anything, be anything I wanted.  She instilled in us all to believe in ourselves and be good to yourself.

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy?  Dream BIG! Help each other…I love a quote that was in Time Magazine several months by Taylor Swift…she said

“There is a place in hell for women who do not help other women.”

Reach out, connect with other women (and men).  It is a tougher road alone.

How can people connect with you?

a)      Email – kbrown@cydc.org

b)      Phone – (843) 266-5218

c)      Facebook – Carolina Youth Development Center

d)      Website – www.cydc.org

f)       LinkedIn – Kim Wright Brown

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Becoming Aunt Polly

July 18, 2012

Speech by Jane Perdue, CEO, The Braithwaite Innovation Group
Charleston Regional Business Journal
Influential Women in Business Luncheon
July 12, 2012

If you had asked me about my life and career ten years ago, I would have told you I was living my career dreams.

After 15 years as a vice president in Fortune 100 telecommunication companies, I had what I called my charm bracelet of success: the corner office, my own personal assistant, managing a $25 million budget, a department with 150 great people in it, a great income, and all the designer handbags I wanted.

The telecommunications industry was built on mergers and acquisitions, and my employer had been purchased a few months earlier by a scrappy little firm on its way to greatness.

As he typically did, Scott, my post-merger boss (and not his real name!), came into my office, sat down, grabbed the rake to my desktop sand garden, and began talking.

“Phil was in town last night. I had dinner with him.” Phil was the CEO of the eighty-billion dollar corporation that had acquired us.

“He wanted to know more about you and a few others on the team.”

“So what did you tell him?”

“I told him you were Aunt Polly.”

“What does that mean?”  You can only imagine what was going on in my head!

 “I told him you were a soft, round woman who everyone feels they can talk to and learn from.

You know, it’s like you’re both sitting down in rocking chairs on a porch and people pour their heart out to you. You get them all inspired and renewed.

I told him you were a big woman with big ideas and a big heart, in short, Aunt Polly.”

Scott went on to say he had described Lisa, the other woman on the senior leadership team, as a “butterfly” because she moved fast and was colorful.

I confess to not hearing much else after “butterfly” because a nuclear bomb of fury and disbelief had just gone off in my head.

I expected Scott to have told Phil about our rock solid performance metrics, 60-plus hour work weeks, or impossible assignments consistently delivered ahead of schedule and below budget, like the $450 million call center project Lisa and I had just completed.

Instead he described us by our appearance and attributes.

These kinds of comments weren’t new to me in my career. Normally I brushed them off and moved on.

I got the soft and round part of what he said, of course.

But for some reason I couldn’t figure out, the rest of Scott’s words were Velcro’d into my mind…and not in a good way.

In a business world where you’re only as good as your last set of numbers, I felt compelled to prove my abilities, to show the folks back east what I could deliver besides “rocking chair” conversations and inspiration, two results I’d never seen on any business scorecard.

Little did I know then that this discussion was going to change the direction of my career.

18 months after Aunt Polly entered my life, I was selected to participate in a prestigious national year-long leadership program for female telecommunication executives. In the program we would learn  increase our business prowess and create our vision of where we wanted our career to go.

Figuring out where I wanted my career to go was a no-brainer at the beginning of that year. I wanted to become an executive vice president at an even bigger company, maybe an international one. I wanted to handle bigger budgets, projects and departments.

But there was something about that Aunt Polly image of helping others grow that kept nipping at the corners of my consciousness as I thought about my future.

That year was a mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual roller coaster ride for me I as pondered success, power, my place in the business world, and why Scott’s assessment continued to provoke me.

I laughed. Cried. Scribbled notes in a red leather journal. Did research.

I made lists. Talked to friends and business women.  Read books and poetry, listened to music. Worked with a nutritionist, personal trainer, and executive coach.

I challenged myself, my boss and his boss.

I bought purses.

It was a sunny spring day in Boston, the last week of the leadership program. Our assignment for the afternoon was to list what we had learned during the year and what we were doing to do with that knowledge.

At the end of the day, my list wasn’t about how I was going to get that next big job assignment.

My list had three things on it:

1)   Think BIG

2)   Get power, and

3)   Be the water

Three leading yourself and others lessons that are the focal point of the second act of my life.

Lessons that led me to leave corporate America, move, start a new business, and now partner with the Center for Women to create their new Women’s Leadership Institute.

Let me share those lessons with you.

Aunt Polly Lesson #1:  Think BIG

        Throughout most of my life, parents, teachers and then bosses rewarded me for having the correct, logical answer.

        Having the single right answer does bring focus.

It helps make sense in a chaotic world where people shy away from ambiguity. (I hesitate to say shades of gray given all the publicity a certain trilogy of books has received lately.)

People box themselves in with either/or thinking – believing it’s either this way OR that way.

        Over the years, I’d adopted the prevailing mindset of defining leadership as taking charge – delegating, deciding, problem-solving, driving results – because that’s how my job performance had been evaluated and rewarded. It’s what I knew best.

        So that’s how I expected Scott to describe me and Lisa when Phil asked about us.

        Instead, Scott described me with taking care imagery – collaboration, inspiration, and helping people build resilience and flexibility.

        Later on, I asked Scott why he hadn’t talked about the call center project when describing us to the CEO.

His response was enlightening:  those results were expected, were a given, so why highlight them.

He said he talked about the ability to inspire because it was something he valued.

Wow.

        I’d been thinking small. Thinking that it’s either take care or take charge.  When the broader view is believing and knowing you can do both.

I don’t want to leave you with the impression that either/or thinking is wrong. It’s not. It has a very rightful place in solving problems that have a singular solution, things like:

  • Should we promote Angela or not?
  • Do we buy the new telephone system this year or wait until next?

Yet many things we face in life, love and leadership don’t lend themselves to either/or thinking.

Instead we have to think BIG – to think both/and because many times there’s more than one right answer or way…like taking care AND taking charge.

Gary Hamel, described by the Wall Street Journal as the world’s most influential business thinker, has this to say about thinking BIG:

“Organizational success in the years ahead will hinge on the ability of employees at all levels to manage seemingly irreconcilable trade-offs – between short-term earnings and long-term growth, competition and collaboration, structure and emergence, discipline and freedom, and individual and team success.”

        The world is incredibly complex and multi-faceted as we deal with people with different backgrounds, ideologies, cultures, races, religions,  professions, and of multiple generations.

This means we have to think BIG and do things like:

  • Know when to speak with candor and when to use diplomacy
  • Know how to achieve equilibrium between stability and stimulating change
  • Celebrate similarities and differences

Being an influential leader of ourselves and others requires envisioning possibility.

Which is seeing there’s either/or AND both/and options available to us.

BIG thinking allows us to do just that.

Now on to Aunt Polly Lesson #2: Get Power

        Like love, power is one of those words rarely spoken in the workplace.

        As I looked back over my career and education, I realized no one had ever taught me about power – what it was or how to use it effectively.

        No college class curriculum or leadership workshop addressed it. Bosses didn’t bring it up in performance reviews or staff meetings.

        And, if power ever was discussed, it happened in hushed tones after meetings or in the hallway following a glaring example of power gone wrong.

Power gets a bad rap from both genders, in the press and in the media.

        It’s misunderstood or used improperly. Some say it corrupts. Others believe it to be malicious or narcissistic.

        Rosabeth Moss Kanter, author and Harvard business professor says power is America’s last dirty word.

        So, as with many things that exist in the shadows, incorrect assumptions and myths loom large. Italian philosopher Umberto Galimberti says:

        “…myths are ideas that own and govern us by means that are not logical but psychological and therefore are rooted in the depths of our soul. Myths prevent us from deeply understanding the world…we must therefore put our myths under scrutiny.”

        Scott’s description was unsettling because I truly didn’t get power then. To my way of thinking, he made me sound weak and powerless.

        Leaders didn’t sit in rocking chairs.

        Today I know differently.

Power is more than knowing your place or having power over someone or something.  It’s power with and power to.

        I want to share two definitions of power.

Thomas Hobbes, an English philosopher, describes power as a person’s “present means to obtain some future apparent good.”

        Political theorist Hanna Pitkin offers another compelling definition:  “…power is a something — anything — which makes or renders somebody able to do, capable of doing something. Power is capacity, potential, ability, or wherewithal.”

Power in and of itself is neutral. It’s only in how one chooses to use power that it becomes positive or negative.

Power is readily available to us from a multitude of sources – one’s job, what information and expertise you have, your connections, your charisma and may other sources.

We just have to put aside the bad stereotypes and our fears, and decide to step into our power and use it for the collective good.

Being personally and positively powerful can move mountains and make a positive difference.

And it doesn’t matter what kind of chair you sit in.

And for now the last Aunt Polly Lesson: Be the water

I recently participated in a webinar about ebooks.

About halfway through the session, the facilitator interrupted the teaching to ask us a series of simple questions:

  • Are you participating in a webinar to learn about ebooks?
  • Did Joan help you get enrolled?
  • Is today Tuesday?

The correct response to each question was “Yes.”

He then went on to ask:

  • Are you going to sign-up for my 6-week course on ebooks that’s available to you today for only $597?

Psychology tells us that once people are used to saying “yes” that they’ll be more likely to be influenced to say yes when you ask them to do or buy something.

This is hard selling at its best, or perhaps its worst, depending on your point of view.

In the world of work, we think in terms of hard and soft skills.

Hard skills are technical or administrative abilities and knowledge related to an organization’s core business.  Things like computer protocols, financial procedures and closing a sale. These skills are typically easy to observe, quantify and measure.

The rules for hard skills typically remain the same regardless of where you work and can be learned in school and from books.

“Soft skills deal with how people relate to each other: listening, engaging in dialogue, giving feedback, cooperating as a team member, solving problems, resolving conflict, encouraging and motivating.”  Scott described me by my soft skills.

Soft skills are self-management and people skills where the rules may change depending on the company culture and people you work with. They’re usually learned by trial and error.

And while they are really the hard stuff in my view, these skills are typically under-valued.

Lao Tzu, a Chinese philosopher, wrote:

“Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong.”

“Studies of close to 500 organizations worldwide indicate that people who score highest on emotional intelligence rise to the top of corporations because among other things, these individuals possess more confidence than other people.

One of the first things I did in my second act of life was to partner with Dr. Anne Perschel, a psychologist in Boston, to study executive women in business and their relationship with power.

81% of our study participants were either members of the most senior leadership team in their organization or worked at the director level and up within their company. Some earned more than a half million dollars a year.

One area Anne and I studied was understanding what internal and/or external barriers to achieving power held these executives back.

52% told us that it was a lack of confidence that held them back.

Which was surprising and yet not surprising at the same time.

In a world where we chase perfection, the ideal seems to be the rock.

Steady. Dependable. Strong. Unchanging.

It’s easy to start thinking you don’t measure up and to let your inner critic take over, telling you you’re not smart enough, not thin enough, not good enough, and on and on.

That’s when we have think like the water rather than the rock.

Quit doubting our abilities. Stop holding ourselves back because we think we don’t measure up to some unobtainable goal. Believe that we bring value and can get the job done.

Because confidence is the best accessory a woman or a man can wear.

Scott and Aunt Polly gave me a gift. One that took me awhile to unwrap and appreciate.  One that I want to share with leaders everywhere and hope that they, too, in turn, will share with others.

Remember to think BIG, get power and be the water.

Recognizing Women in Business: Got Influence?

May 18, 2012

It’s nearly impossible to pick up a newspaper or listen to the news without hearing a story about how an executive, politician, celebrity, etc. has misused their power and influence. At the other end of the spectrum are those who believe they have zero power and influence, and opt out of even trying.

Both camps have it wrong.

Power and influence are available to everyone. Being proficient at influencing isn’t linked to having a big job title. In this day of social networking and relationships, one’s ability to feel personally empowered to make an appeal (to influence) based on logic, emotion or a sense of cooperation is essential for personal and professional success.  Influencing others is critical for securing support, persuading other people to champion your idea, or to stimulate someone’s imagination. As retired AlliedSignal CEO Lawrence Bossidy says, “The day when you could yell and scream and beat people into good performance is over. Today you have to appeal to them by helping them see how they can get from here to there, by establishing some credibility, and by giving them some reason and help to get there. Do all those things, and they’ll knock down doors.”

People with first-rate influence skills combine interpersonal, communication and assertiveness abilities. The purpose of influence is building win-win interactions between people, not controlling or manipulating them, both common misperceptions about power and influence.

To determine how effective your ability to influence is, ask yourself:

  • Do I drive results even when I’m not the boss?
  • Do I have the ability to shape outcomes and make things to happen?
  • Do people seek out my opinion?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, polishing up your skills in the following areas will help you increase your sphere of influence.

Get clued in. Watch what’s going on in your company or around you at home or with friends. Individuals with strong influencing skills examine, ask and validate.

Have a bias for action. Be clear about what you want to achieve and have a plan for making it so. Under-promise and over-deliver on timelines for getting things accomplished.

Involve others. People who have highly developed influence skills first pull people to their ideas, and then push those ideas to the rest of the organization through other people.

Watch your intentions. Understand your motivation. Are you in it to win it for yourself, or for the greater good?

Be a broker of ideas and information. Share what you know. Connect people with ideas and each other. Create alliances and identify stakeholders who share a win-win orientation and common goals.

Don’t be a conversation or credit hog. Don’t force your ideas on people or perpetually keep yourself in the spotlight. Don’t let your ego stand in the way of positive win-win outcomes.

How successful you are in influencing others depends in large measure on your ability to use the right tactic. Jay Jamrog, senior vice president of research for Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) believes leaders must know the influence skills they have, be able to identify skill gaps and get the right development tools to close those gaps. As part of its new Women’s Leadership Institute, the Center for Women recently offered a “Power, Persuasion and Influence” workshop. Participants learned which influence styles are commonly used by both men and women, which ones women use most often and which ones they should be using more.

Ready to get some positive power and influence?

______________

Author:  Jane Perdue, Leadership and women in business expert and consultant with Braithwaite Innovation Group.  Reach Jane through her company’s website www.braithwaiteinnovationgroup.com or at jane@braithwaiteinnovationgroup.com.

First appeared in the Business Review section of The Post and Courier Monday, April 30, 2012.

The Job Coaches: Embrace power, build alliances to get results

April 20, 2012

Join Jane this Saturday to learn more about
Power, persuasion and influence!

Power. The very word sends shudders down the spine of many women. It shouldn’t. Thomas Hobbes, an English philosopher, in his book, “Leviathan,” defined power as one’s “present means to obtain some future apparent good.” There’s only upside to that definition.

Power derives a negative connotation when one thinks about having power over someone or something — using control, force and/or threats to drive behaviors and outcomes. Thinking about power as a coercive force is an unpleasant thought and experience regardless of one’s gender.

However, if you think of having power with something or someone to produce constructive win-win outcomes, then that’s an entirely different mind-set and approach that comes naturally to most women.

As Helen E. Fisher observes in “The Natural Leadership Talents of Women,” “Men tend to cast themselves within hierarchies and view power as rank and status; women, on the other hand, form cliques and regard power as an egalitarian network of supportive connections.”

Power with is multifaceted and flows from many sources: what you know, what abilities you have, what level of respect you command and your charisma.

Consider the findings of Diane Jacobs, principal of The Talent Advisors, a company that advises corporate executives, who writes, “Women pursue power by producing results, forming collaborative relationships and building alliance networks.” Relationships and results are power with outcomes that women can and should embrace.

Let’s take a look at several sources of power to understand what they are as well as how you can adopt behaviors within that power realm to broaden your sphere of influence.

Personal or charisma power is based on your individual distinguishing characteristics. Think about the things that you do and what you are: your work ethic, integrity, character and interpersonal communication style. Being sincere in your approach to your work and interacting with your colleagues is essential for building trust, a key element for personal power.

Regularly recognizing and rewarding others (giving without thoughts of getting) boost your personal power as well. Be known for your willingness to work hard and work smart.

Understand and connect with your personal views, then assert them sincerely, diplomatically and without apology.

As Marian Ruderman and Patricia Ohlott note in “Standing at the Crossroads: Next Steps for High-Achieving Women,” “A key component of acting authentically is understanding what you care about most, developing self-awareness of your values and priorities, your likes and dislikes.”

Referent power is relationship-based. It stems from your ability to build loyalty and respect by attracting others as well from possessing qualities that others admire and would like to have.

To grow your referent power, be supportive, keep your promises, encourage participation through collaboration and influence, create relationships and build alliances.

Linda Tarr-Whelan, author of “Women Lead the Way” and a keynote speaker at 2010’s Women in Business Conference, offers some excellent advice, “Remember: relationships are primary; all else is secondary. Coalitions that come together because of a single common interest … are actually best held together by personal relationships.”

Expertise power is rooted in your knowledge, skills and achievements. When people view you as an expert, you have credibility and your advice is viewed as sound and reliable.

Staying current in your field and building additional competencies are two ways to increase your influence and expertise power.

Involve others in your work so their skills and knowledge are enhanced as well. Share information freely and communicate what you know. Work to maintain a credible reputation as a consistent source of relevant and timely information.

Power with is a concept to be embraced, not avoided.

Welcome it, then work to develop your personal, referent and expertise power bases so women can create the kind of world described by Matthew Arnold, English poet and cultural critic, “If ever the world sees a time when women shall come together purely and simply for the benefit and good of mankind, it will be a power such as the world has never seen.”

I look forward to seeing you there!

Jane Perdue is CEO of Braithwaite Innovation Group. The Job Coaches are experienced volunteers from the Center for Women’s Job Counseling Program. Ask them a question by calling 843-763-7333 or e-mailing info@c4women.org. If you would like further assistance, make an appointment; a donation of $20 is requested for appointments.

First appeared in the Moxie section of The Post and Courier Friday, February 12, 2010.

The Job Coaches: Improve your influence skills

December 16, 2011
Do you ever feel envious of that successful work colleague who’s connected to everyone, whose projects and budgets get approved, and whose opinions are actively sought out because people want to know what they think? Don’t waste time being jealous. Instead, expand and improve your influence skills and abilities.photo

Whether at work or in your personal life, your ability to make an appeal based on logic, emotion or a sense of cooperation is essential for success.

Influence and leadership are related in that anyone, regardless of having a job title or not, can be proficient at them. Influence comes into play when you want to build relationships, secure support, inspire, persuade other people to champion your idea, or when you need to spark someone’s imagination.

People with first-rate influence skills combine interpersonal, communication and assertiveness abilities.

The intent of influence is to build a network of win-win interaction between people, not to control or manipulate them.

To determine how effective your influence skills are, ask yourself: Do I get results through and with people? Is my involvement sufficient to make something happen? Do I have the personal power to shape outcomes and cause things to happen?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, polishing up your skills in the following areas will help you increase your sphere of influence.

Become a perceptive observer. Watch what’s going on in your company or around you at home or with friends. Individuals with strong influencing skills examine, ask and validate.

Be knowledgeable and have a bias for action. If you want to have an impact on results, know your organization and its culture, as well as your job, inside and out. Be clear about what you want to achieve. Under-promise and over-deliver on timelines for getting things accomplished.

Be visible by engaging and involving others. Actively listen to what people are saying. People who have highly developed influence skills first pull people to their ideas, and then push those ideas to the rest of the organization through other people.

Be self-aware. Understand and control your own emotions and actions. Know both your limitations and your strengths, and then position yourself to maximize what you do best.

Give, give, GIVE! When you give, people will give back. Never underestimate someone’s heartfelt desire to leave a positive mark. Make your own constructive contribution while seeing, and appreciating, the gifts of others.

Cultivate meaningful two-way relationships. Help before someone asks. Say thank you. Be there when people need you. Be a broker of ideas and information. People like to be around those who make positive things happen.

Be sincere and authentic. Approach situations seeking to find a mutually beneficial outcome; avoid the “I win, you lose” mentality. Assure that your words and your deeds are consistent and rooted in goodness. As Herminia Ibarra, a professor at the Harvard Business School says, “Integrity can be a source of power.”

Ace these skills, and enjoy being called an influential leader!

Jane Perdue is CEO of The Braithewaite Group.The Job Coaches are experienced volunteers from the Center for Women’s Job Counseling Program. Ask them a question by calling 843-763-7333 or e-mailing info@c4women.org. If you would like further assistance, make an appointment; a donation of $20 is requested for appointments.

First appeared in the Moxie section of The Post and Courier Friday, December 4, 2009.

C4W Member Profile: Vikki Matsis

December 7, 2011

What is your profession? Manager of the Notso Hostel.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career? Singing every Thursday night at Fish Restaurant on King Street.

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women? One month.

What inspired you to become a member? Jane Perdue is a friend and a great inspiration to me. She is an active member and I wanted to become a part of a strong community.

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you? It has inspired me to step into my power in the strong leadership position I hold at work.

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you? It has positively affected my life in that I am yin to the world’s yang.  I can influence strong, progressive change as a compassionate, deeply caring person.

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy? Turn off the television. Your thoughts determine your future- what goes in willinevitably come out. Meditate on what brings you happiness and work towards keeping your peace of mind.

What I learned at Harvard: Part 1

May 27, 2010

Jennet Robinson Alterman
Executive Director
Center for Women
Charleston, S.C.

Jennet pictured with Dr. Hannah Riley Bowles

Jennet pictured with Dr. Hannah Riley Bowles

Last week I was one of 60 women chosen to participate in a seminar on “Women and Power” at the Kennedy School at Harvard. Nineteen countries were represented. One of the 4 women elected to the Kuwaiti Parliament in 2009, the first year that women were allowed to run for political office, was in attendance along with the biggest real estate developer in Mongolia. We had a diverse makeup in terms of professional affiliations as well with several members of the military, both US and foreign, and the first woman chief of a South African Zulu tribe.

Hannah Riley Bowles was the coordinator and chief lecturer and she blew the top off the impact of gender when negotiating. She shared good solid data on how women needed to approach conflict resolution and how to negotiate for base pay and raises. She roped in some of the best talent on campus to share their research with us such as Iris Bohnet, the Director of the Kennedy School Women and Public Policy Program and a behavioral economist focused on questions of trust and decision-making, often with a gender and cross cultural perspective. Pippa Norris, the McGuire Lecturer in Comparative Politics had a wealth of knowledge on democratic institutions and cultures, gender politics and political communications in many countries. Andy Zellecke, a Lecturer in Public Policy is an expert on leadership and corporate governance. He helped us unravel the past governance turmoil at both the Red Cross and the Security Exchange Commission. Sara Lightfoot-Lawrence, a Macarthur prize winning sociologist, shared her experiences writing her newest book, The Third Chapter: Risk, Passion and Adventure in the Twenty Five years after 50.

Rosabeth Moss Kanter, of Harvard Business School fame joined us for an evening. Her comments centered on the importance of confidence in creating winning organizations. I was truly honored to be in the presence of the person who coined the term ‘token woman’. Our last day, we were in the thrall of Ambassador Swanee Hunt, an expert on women in politics and dedicated advocate for women’s rights worldwide. She reminded us that every time we speak before a group, we are auditioning for leadership and went on to share her recommendations for finding one’s voice.

It was a whirlwind and the days passed quickly, but the themes became evident early on. Understanding the differences between power and leadership, learning how groups come to decisions, effective conflict resolution, good governance, and the importance of negotiation and presentation skills. All of these add up to the formula for becoming a powerful leader. As women, we need more nuanced approaches in order to succeed. We all have these skills on some level, but for one week I was able to operate above that baseline and learn what it takes to soar. I am bringing that home now and will look forward to continuing the discussions here at the Center for Women. I am interested in providing a forum for such discussions and ask anyone who is interested in participating to speak up now.

I also anticipate expanding our programming to include more learning opportunities on the subjects addressed at this seminar. We have the talent in this community to offer programs on how gender affects so many management skills. We also have the role models who can share their expertise in navigating the shoals of their careers. What holds us back from seeking power and leadership positions? Help me answer that question by sending me your thoughts on how we can position Lowcountry women to take their rightful place at the decision and policy making tables.


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