Celebrating Women on the Hill

Thursday night, March 22, 2012, McDaniel welcomed back five young alumni to speak about their experience as women working in leadership roles in the Baltimore area. Each had inspiring stories of the journeys that allowed them to obtain their positions and had plenty of advice for young women at McDaniel looking to enter the professional field.

McDaniel Lounge held an impressive turnout including many students and professors, as well as administrators and President Casey himself. Mrs. Robyn Allers, Special Liaison for College Relations and MWLN member, welcomed the five panelists and briefly introduced them.

Erin Strovel graduated in ‘93 with a Biology-Chemistry major and is now Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and director of the Pediatric Biochemical Genetics Laboratory at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine.

Nupur Flynn graduated in 94’ with a major in International Studies. She now works as Managing Director/Co-Director of Marketing for Brown Capital Management, an investment management firm.

Jaime Lus graduated in ’99 as an English major and is now a Partner for Tydings and Rosenberg LLP, a Maryland law firm.

Jessica Watson graduated in ’05 as a Communications Major with a minor in Studio Art & Business and has now created and begun running her own company: JWatson Creative as the CEO and Creative Director.

One topic of discussion was on new statistics showing, for the first time, that more women make up the national employment force than men. More women also earn college degrees, hold managing positions, and are now equally represented across the board in most areas of employment- except top tier executive positions. Here, women generally remain grossly excluded.

The panelists were among the small group of women to whom this did not apply. When asked about signs of this sort of discrimination seen in their workplaces, they all had little, if anything to attest. Their ability to get things done and done well seemed to surpass any room for it, as it got them all the respect and recognition they deserved.

Confidence was discussed as an issue for many young women in the workplace as far less women than men tend to negotiate their salaries. The panelists all also agreed that once they had asserted themselves, they benefited from it by getting across their demands but also by building a reputation as a potential contact in the future.

As most of the panelists were mothers, the lifestyle that comes with balancing a career and starting a family was also brought up as an important subject. Mrs. Motovidlak suggested the young women of the audience not to hold on to relationships too hard or for too long as circumstances are bound to change so early in our adult lives and as she learned, too much attachment can often lead to heartbreak.

Mrs. Luse and Mrs. Strovel encouraged the importance of finding a partner who is willing to split responsibilities at home and who recognizes your job as equally important as theirs in order to avoid ending up making sacrifices in your career which you shouldn’t have to.

Each of the panelists had inspiring stories and words of wisdom to tell that will likely stay with the many young women in the audience for years to come, while their successes were excellent proof of women’s ability to achieve the same as any man with enough motivation and hard work.