PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. -- Pace University hosted a women in leadership panel, “Suffragette to CEO," in celebration of both Women's History Month and the Pleasantville campus' 50th anniversary on Thursday, March 27.
Panelists included Jody Fay, president, Westchester County Bar Association; Dean Harriet R. Feldman, College of Health Professions, Pace University; Marsha Gordon, president and chief executive officer, The Business Council of Westchester and Stacey Hengsterman, associate vice chancellor for government relations, State University of New York.
The panelists shared insights gleaned from navigating traditionally male-dominated industries. Several students asked panelists questions about their career paths, the consequences of their life choices and career advice.
Bill McGrath, senior vice president and chief operating officer for the Westchester campuses of Pace, offered welcoming remarks. He spoke of a time during his previous career at Con Edison that a concerted effort was made to hire and promote women in an otherwise male-dominated field.
Some of the highlights of the discussion included:
- Significant barriers to female leadership: Marsha Gordon stated, “When people talk about male barriers to success, to me it’s not even part of the conversation.” Pace University College of Health Professionals Dean Harriet Feldman added, "The most significant barrier for women is the one we place on ourselves."
- Discrimination or derogatory name calling throughout their careers: Westchester County Bar Association President Jody Fay noted that organizations such as the Westchester Women’s Bar Association were helpful in combating negativity. She spoke of a time early in her career when male colleagues assumed she was there to get coffee simply because she looked young.
More than 80 people gathered to hear the stories.
The next event in the 50th anniversary series at Pace is a lecture with renowned historian and Columbia Professor Kenneth Jackson on Monday, April 7 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Pace’s Pleasantville campus, 861 Bedford Road, Entrance 3, Kessel Student Center.