Tag: She Suite

For International Women’s Day, Olin celebrated the successes of professional women who have faced challenges and made an impact. This year’s panel included women from a wide spectrum of lived experiences who exemplify the talent, drive and leadership women bring to the workplace.

Building on the IWD’s #EmbraceEquity theme, the panel shared stories, lessons learned, business philosophies and how their values have affected their decision-making.

The panelists were:

Darci Darnell, BSBA 1994, partner and global head of the customer sales and marketing practice, Bain & Company;

Laurie Hiler, EMBA 1996, project lead/coordinator, CGB Women’s Leadership Development and Mentoring Program;

Ann Marr, vice president of Global Human Resources at World Wide Technology;

Lakesha Mathis, director, Diverse Business Accelerator, Greater St. Louis Inc.

Staci Thomas, professor of practice in communications, moderated the March 8 event.

Olin’s popular annual Leadership Perspectives event “6 executives. 60 ideas. 60 minutes” drew an audience of about 300 on January 26.

Six leaders shared a lightning round of tips. Their suggestions included “think of confidence as a muscle” you can build, “seek and accept the truth” and many more. Todd Milbourn, Olin interim deputy dean and Hubert C. and Dorothy R. Moog Professor of Finance, moderated the event. These were the panelists:

  • Adrian Bracy, president, Adrian Bracy and Associates
  • Elizabeth Fratturra, EMBA 2016, first vice president, portfolio manager, financial advisor, Morgan Stanley;
  • Steve Harris, MBA 2008, principal, Edward Jones;
  • Jo Pang, founder/consultant, Culture Wise;
  • Patrick E. Smith Sr., BS 2007, EMBA 2016, senior vice president, operations and technical services, Ameren;
  • Kelli Washington, BSBA 1994, managing director of research and investment strategy, Cleveland Clinic.

Here’s a brief selection of wisdom they offered:

Bracy: Trust is the foundation for building a team. “Your word is your bond. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. If you can’t do it, let the person know. It’s very important to keep your word as a leader.”

Fraturra: “Believe in yourself and be confident. We all struggle with insecurities, and part of the reason is we’re privy to this sort of chaos behind the scenes.”  Don’t “compare what’s behind the curtain to others’ polished, finished project.”

Harris: Understand your purpose and draw on it. His purpose: “Use what I’ve learned to help others grow so I can experience the rewards that come back to me later.”

Pang: Ask yourself questions and reflect on your personal answers to guide you. “What is my own definition of success?” “What would I do with my life now if I were to die in 10 years?

Smith: “Select a mentor who is at least a couple of levels above you.” That person likely won’t see you as a professional risk, “and that way, they won’t hold back on the good stuff.”

Washington: Ask yourself, “What are your biases, and how can they cause you to be wrong?”

Watch the event here.

Upcoming Leadership Perspectives

The next Leadership Perspectives event is virtual at 4 p.m. Wednesday. Register for “Startup 360°: Looking at entrepreneurship inside, outside, upside down.”

Olin’s ever popular “She Suite: A panel discussion on women and leadership in the business world” begins at 5:30 p.m. March 8. Register for the in-person event or the virtual one.

For International Women’s Day, Olin celebrated the successes of professional women with our annual She Suite event. Building on the IWD’s #BreakTheBias theme, the panel shared stories, lessons learned and business philosophies.

“If we start having conversations, things will change,” said panelist Cassandra Ray, chief financial officer at the St. Louis Zoo. “People are more engaged in these conversations because of how gender and equality are changing in our society.”

Staci Thomas, Olin professor of practice in communications, moderated the March 8 virtual event. Other panelists were Marilyn Bush, president of Bank of America St. Louis; Paris Forest, EMBA ’18, senior director of information technology at Boeing; and Lynn Gorguze, PMBA ’86, president and CEO of Cameron Holdings.

On creating a culture with no bias, Bush noted that diversity and inclusion—creating a culture of inclusiveness—starts at the top with leaders.

The panelists agreed that strong mentors are crucial for career success. “My sponsors, advocates and mentors have really been instrumental in helping to accelerate my success, and helping champion me to take on tough challenges,” Forest said.

And Gorguze offered this advice: “Your time is precious. You need to keep prioritizing what you do. Don’t do the little stuff, and learn to say no to things. Focus on the big things.”