From making themselves heard in the workplace to encouraging innovation among employees, from landing influential board seats to taking care of their personal lives, today’s women leaders face a host of challenges.
All these, and more, will be discussed at The Daily Record’s first-ever Women’s Leadership Summit on June 6. The conference will feature four panels aimed at helping women leaders improve their leadership capabilities.
‘At the Table’
Karen Bond, the president-elect of women’s leadership nonprofit Executive Alliance, will moderate a panel entitled “Are You Ready for Your Seat at the Table?” The session will explore leadership preparedness for women seeking senior management and board-level positions. She said that, too often, women leave their selection up to chance.
“It kind of reminds me of Hansel and Gretel. Getting on boards without knowing how is kind of like following breadcrumbs, and that’s impossible,” said Bond.
She hopes that the event will also prove valuable in strengthening the network of local businesswomen, who can help each other succeed.
Pat Lambert, a member at Pessin Katz Law, will also speak at the panel. She said she’ll discuss the importance of confidence and urgency, among other things.
“There’s one statistic that women want to have a perfect résumé before doing things,” she said. “Nobody demands perfection, and so women shouldn’t.”
A panel exploring how women leaders can deepen their community engagement will include panelist Bronwyn Mayden, the executive director for Promise Heights in the University of Maryland School of Social Work. Mayden said she’ll discuss some projects her group has pursued in the city of Baltimore, including B’More for Healthy Babies, an initiative aimed at reducing infant mortality in the area.
“It is immensely rewarding whether you hold a baby drive and help five babies or maybe you have more time and you want to do something like helping a child that is having difficulty reading,” she said, adding that it’s important for those who’ve been successful in their careers to give back to the community.
Today’s leaders not only find themselves challenged to accomplish traditional goals but to serve as catalysts for innovations.
And an innovative or entrepeneurial culture might not be part of the organization’s DNA.
Kirsten Silveira, a government innovation analyst with the City of Baltimore, said she’ll discuss creativity in government occupations at her panel about innovation in the workplace.
“Generally, we see government as a slow-moving, change adverse machine,” she said. “However, in my career I’ve seen that by empowering the people who have dedicated their lives to public service, government is capable of making transformative change that positively impacts its employees and the community.”
‘Secure your own mask’
Carmel Roques, the CEO of Keswick, will moderate a panel called, “Secure your own mask first, before helping others” about the importance of self-care in leadership.
Roques said this can be easier said than done.
“A leader can’t be in charge of themselves and be in charge of their destiny and the vision and mission of their organization unless they know themselves,” she said. “That’s very easy to say and not as easy to do.”
Angie Barnett, who is the president of the Better Business Bureau serving Greater Maryland, will speak at that panel as well. She said that learning about leadership and passing down her knowledge to employees helps create a positive workplace environment — and ensures her own personal and professional wellbeing.
“It’s sort of the circle of life,” she said. “As you take of others, they take care of you and then you can take care of yourself.”