Monday, March 20, 2017

Celebrating Women in Leadership at Peirce College

Despite the blowing snow, howling winds, and icy roadways, Career Development Services’ 7th annual Women in Leadership panel discussion was a roaring success!

The night started off with Uva Coles, Vice President of Institutional Advancement & Strategic Partnerships, who welcomed the crowd with rousing remarks about Peirce’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. President Jim Mergiotti followed by reminding everyone of Peirce’s long history of commitment to women’s education. Peirce College was the second college in Pennsylvania to admit women as students, along with the first school to treat women and men equally by allowing all genders to use the same doorway to enter. That legacy and commitment to equality endures as Peirce continually celebrates the accomplishments of women across all industries.

Our all-star cast of panelists included:
·  Dina Galeotafiore, Senior Vice President, Executive Search, Comcast Corporation
·  Nicole Pullen Ross, Managing Director, Investment Management at Goldman Sachs
·  Jane Slusser, Chief of Staff, Office of the Mayor, City of Philadelphia
·  Susan V. Van Buren, Former Assistant General Manager, Human Resources Division, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA)
·  Eloise Young, Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning & Information Services at Philadelphia Gas Works

The panel was expertly moderated by Dr. Rita Toliver-Roberts, Vice President of Academic Advancement, who kicked off the conversation with a question about the number of women executives in corporate leadership. The panelists were lively and engaging when answering this question and more, and the crowd rose to the occasion, matching the panelists’ energy with questions about counteracting discrimination in the workplace, achieving work-life balance, decision-making, and other topics. 

Much of the conversation revolved around pivoting when necessary and building yourself along with your team.  When looking to find your place in the world, Nicole Pullen Ross reminded us that “if you can bring out the best in people, the view of many outweighs the view of a few.” Along that same line, Jane Slusser assured the room that “you don’t win by beating your opponent when governing, you win by working together.”

Susan Van Buren provided a pearl of wisdom about team building and goal attainment: “in order to satisfy the external customers, you must first satisfy the internal customers: your employees.” When asked about specializing or being a jack-of-all-trades, Eloise Young explained how this will vary from person to person, but no matter who you are, where you are or what you're doing, “it’s very important to be very good at where you are on the ladder.”

One of my favorite quotes of the night was from Dina Galeotafiore: “Don’t give up. Be patient. Be strategic and be thoughtful how you can drive toward that outcome.”

Thank you to everyone who joined us for Women in Leadership 2017. We look forward to seeing you next year!