Award recipients weigh in on career advancement
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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