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Women’s Leadership on Stage with Georgetown

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“When women succeed, America succeeds,” said Nancy Pelosi, minority leader, U.S. House of Representatives, during her remarks to open a discussion on “Women and Leadership: The Courage to Dream Big” February 21 in Miami Beach, Fla., for Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.

The panel, moderated by Catherine Tinsley, Georgetown McDonough professor of management and executive director of the Georgetown University Women's Leadership Initiative, included Kara Ross (C' 88), owner of Kara Ross New York LLC; Maria C. Hackley (B' 83), Citigroup managing director; and Regina Scully (I' 85), founder and CEO of Artemis Rising Foundation.

Before a standing-room-only audience of alumni at the university’s annual John Carroll Weekend, the panelists emphasized the importance of empowering the next generation of women to take risks in the pursuit of their ambitions and take a proactive role in pursuing their dreams. The key is to put oneself in the way of luck.

Tinsley presented her research on women in business, noting on the positive side that “Women own 7.8 million U.S. businesses; a 44% increase from 1997-2007; twice the growth rate of men.” Yet, on the negative side, despite the advancement of women to top positions within publicly traded corporations, the ratio of women to men is still woefully imbalanced.

She and the other panelists went on to offer their advice. Ross stressed importance of women helping to mentor and finance to build women's careers. She also encouraged women to take risks, saying, “You can't be afraid to hear the word ‘no.’ ”

During the discussion, Hackely recommended that today’s parents teach young girls how to manage money. “Financial intelligence improves confidence,” she said.

Scully noted how most of the top executives in media and thus decision makers for what content and images get broadcast though traditional channels are men. She advocated using the media to communicate the value of women’s contributions to the global economy. “The media is one of the most powerful tools in our culture right now to make change—to make social change, to make policy change, to change ideologies. We can move the needle by using the media to shift the way we communicate with our youth about our culture.”

To see their discussion, watch the video.