WINI To Host Executive Women for Upcoming Panel Discussion

March 17, 2014

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This spring, Women at INI (WINI) student organization is hosting a series of talks that will discuss the issue of women in leadership.

Women hold just 4.6 percent of Fortune 500 CEO positions and 4.6 percent of Fortune 1000 CEO positions, as calculated by Catalyst, a non-profit organization that has charted the representation of women in senior leadership roles since 1996. In many companies, women do not even appear in the boardroom, as reported by The Washington Post in December 2013. Ten percent of the Fortune 500 do not have any women on their boards, and 27 percent of companies do not have any women as c-level officers.

A woman's perspective is inherently different from her male counterpart. Women make up fifty percent of the population and play a large part in decision-making for many households. The lack of feminine perspective in leadership is disturbing, as highlighted in the 2013 bestseller Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, by Sheryl Sandberg. Sandberg shares many personal experiences throughout the book, such as the time she had a breakthrough moment with executives at her former employer, Google, by suggesting they offer expectant mother parking spaces in the employee lot.

Hoping to reveal more real-life stories on the journey to the boardroom, WINI will host "Lean In: A C-Level Perspective from Women in Technology" on Monday, March 24. This fascinating panel discussion will be open to the Carnegie Mellon community and will take place from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. in the Peter/Wright/McKenna Rooms at University Center. The event will also be broadcast to the Silicon Valley Campus in Room 109/100 (1:00-2:00 p.m. PDT). Follow the topic using #CMULeanin on Twitter.

The panel will be moderated by Dena Haritos Tsamitis, director of the INI, and will feature panelists Michelle Dennedy, chief privacy officer at McAfee, Joyce Brocaglia, president and CEO of Alta Associates, and Holly Ridgeway, chief information security officer at PNC Financial Services Group.

WINI is hosting more intimate discussions for its members this spring, as part of a "Lean In" series. The first talk took place March 6 with guest Roseanne Silva, senior vice president at PNC Financial Services Group.  Another talk will take place in April with Carnegie Mellon Ph.D. candidate and researcher Hanan Hibshi.

For a woman whose career goals are high, her perspective will influence her journey up the corporate ladder, perhaps by helping or hindering it and, at times, both. WINI's series of "Lean In" talks will explore many ways that women can become knowledgeable and feel prepared for achieving their ambitions in the workplace.