Award re­cip­i­ents weigh in on ca­reer ad­vance­ment

WBDC rec­og­nizes Women with Im­pact

Greenwich Time - - BUSINESS - By Paul Schott; 203-964-2236; Twit­ter: @paulschott

The Women’s Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment Coun­cil rec­og­nized Fri­day the three re­cip­i­ents of its 2018 Woman with Im­pact Awards at its an­nual gala lun­cheon. Then it asked them to re­flect on their ca­reers.

Mod­er­ated by CNN “New Day” an­chor Alisyn Camerota, the panel dis­cus­sion at the Hy­att Re­gency ho­tel in Green­wich fo­cused on the build­ing blocks of lead­er­ship — prin­ci­ples that the awardees said could be im­ple­mented by any­one in the room.

“We all that ca­pac­ity for lead­er­ship,” Stacy Ja­niak, chief client of­fi­cer at pro­fes­sional-ser­vices firm Deloitte, told an au­di­ence of ap­prox­i­mately 700. “Part of our jobs, as lead­ers, is to draw that out of oth­ers and find op­por­tu­ni­ties where peo­ple aren’t nec­es­sar­ily rais­ing hands, but you see it and know it’s there.”

Robin Im­brogno, founder, CEO and pres­i­dent of Sey­mour-based Hu­man Re­source Con­sult­ing Group LLC, cited the need to fo­cus on col­lec­tive goals.

“Be­ing a leader is un­der­stand­ing that it’s big­ger than you ... and be­ing re­spon­si­ble for the op­por­tu­ni­ties you cre­ate,” she said.

Carla Har­ris, a 2017 Women with Im­pact re­cip­i­ent and a Mor­gan Stan­ley ex­ec­u­tive, sat in on the panel for Hope Knight, pres­i­dent and CEO of the Ja­maica, N.Y.-based Greater Ja­maica De­vel­op­ment Corp, this year’s other Women with Im­pact awardee. Knight could not at­tend be­cause she fell ill on the way to the event, Har­ris told the au­di­ence.

“Lead­er­ship is re­ally honed by the chal­lenges and op­por­tu­ni­ties that you are faced with and how you man­age that,” Har­ris said. “Once you make the de­ci­sion that you want to be in the lead­er­ship seat, then you have to make a de­ci­sion to ac­tu­ally show up in­ten­tion­ally ev­ery day as a leader.”

The pan­elists said women need to be proac­tive to ac­com­plish their ca­reer goals and rise to lead­er­ship po­si­tions.

“Don’t sit back; don’t wait for it to come to you,” Im­brogno said. “Go and find it, and make it hap­pen.”

Ja­niak of­fered sim­i­lar ad­vice.

“The best ad­vice … I ever got in my ca­reer was ‘Don’t ask; don’t get,’” she said. “I would sug­gest you go out and ask for it, ladies.”

Har­ris em­pha­sized the po­ten­tial of lever­ag­ing pro­fes­sional net­works.

“Do not try to do it on your own,” she said. “There’s some­body in your net­work that can be help­ful in ad­vanc­ing what­ever en­deavor that you have.”

Har­ris also cited peers’ sup­port in re­sponse to a ques­tion from Camerota about how a woman nom­i­nated to the U.S. Supreme Court would have fared had she con­ducted her­self in U.S. Sen­ate con­fir­ma­tion hear­ings in the same man­ner as Brett Ka­vanaugh.

“There was more than the pres­i­dent’s back­ing be­hind him (Ka­vanaugh), so if you put the same sec­u­lar force be­hind a woman, ab­so­lutely she could have got­ten away with it as well. It all de­pends on who is in your cor­ner.”

Head­quar­tered in Stam­ford, WBDC has served nearly 19,000 clients, ac­cord­ing to or­ga­ni­za­tion data. WBDC re­ports it has helped cre­ate nearly 1,800 busi­nesses and sup­ported the sus­tain­abil­ity and ex­pan­sion of about 3,800 firms, cre­at­ing more than 4,900 jobs.

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