Yesterday, at JPMorgan Chase, the City Year New York Women’s Board held its Third Annual Women’s Breakfast. More than 150 guests heard a keynote address from Lisa Gersh, former President and Chief Executive Officer of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc., and a panel discussion moderated by Susie Gharib, Co-anchor of public television’s Nightly Business Report, on the topic of “getting women in leadership positions… and being constructive about what women can do, rather than what they can’t do.”
Joining City Year New York’s Executive Director, Erica Hamilton on the panel was Dr. Terri Cooper, Principal and National Chief Inclusion Leader for Consulting of Deloitte Consulting, Paula Gavin, Executive Director of New York City’s Fund for Public Advocacy, Council Woman Jessica Lappin, and Donna Ward, Vice-President of Global Business Support for Bayer Consumer Care.
A major theme of our morning was that our nation’s workforce is made up of a very strong pipeline of talented and able women. When pivoting in your career Paula Gavin asked the audience to consider the questions, “do I believe in this mission and what do I want to make happen?” She added, “I think there is a need for women to not only go where their heart, where their head takes them, but to say my job is to make this organization as successful as possible. You do this by being results oriented and building up people around you.”
Joining non-profit boards was one area discussed to help women learn important skills and grow their networks. Women “can come in and practice a level of leadership that you may not be comfortable or are still developing in your 9-5 job,” said Erica Hamilton. “You can think about where are the gaps in my abilities and skills that I might be able to leverage by working on this board.” For Dr. Terri Copper, joining the City Year New York board helped marry one of her passions with some of her personal and professional goals. “I am really passionate about education so when you are going to join [a board] you need to be passionate about the environment and the organization,” she said. “[The board] was mixture of my passion for education and for me to personally enhance my network in the City.”
In Lisa Gersh’s keynote remarks she reflected on the major pivots she made throughout her career and left the audience with a call to action, referencing a Yogi Berra quote. “’If there is a fork in the road, take it!’ As you all sit here and think about your careers, you ought to think about it that way. You never know when you are going to get to that fork in the road and you’re going to have to take it. And whatever you do, you need to be passionate about what you are doing, because if you are passionate about it and you really believe that you can do it, you can do it – there is not a doubt in my mind.”
We would like to thank our speakers and everyone who attended today’s event for their continued support of City Year.
Thank you Stephanie Mudick, Executive Vice President and Head of Office of Consumer Practices at JPMorgan Chase and JPMorgan Chase for providing us with a great space for yesterday’s event.
And finally, thank you Dianne McKeever for closing out the event and to City Year New York Women’s Board for their dedication to spreading the work of our corps and for mobilizing New York’s women to make a difference.
Please CLICK HERE to see more pictures from today’s event.