Women and Leadership Workshop: Redefining Work and Life

This year’s 10th annual Women and Leadership Workshop connected students with successful alumni and further prepared them for leadership roles after graduation. The workshop, which was held at McKenna Auditorium on February 22nd, featured keynote speaker Pamela B. Gann, J.D., President Emerita of Claremont McKenna College, Trustee Professor of Legal Studies and George R. Roberts Fellow, and Senior Fellow at the Kravis Leadership Institute. President Gann gave insights from her own school experience and spoke of gender biases she and others had to work through when trying to pave their way through their careers. “We were really on our own, [but] sometimes being on our own is a real growth factor.” After giving harrowing statistics on the number of women in politics, business, and law, she emphasized the importance of self-efficacy and building strategies for developing yourself into a good leader, such as “work[ing] on that thing that makes you uncomfortable.”

Dr. Sherylle Tan engaged the crowd as well with an interactive activity on work-life balance. At each table, students had the opportunity to create their own work-life balance wheel and to ask alumni about
how they’ve managed their wheels. The following panel of CMC alumnae, including San San Lee ’85, Harmony Palmer ‘13, and Charlie Stoddard Fitzpatrick ’94, further elaborated on this theme. In describing their backgrounds, they discussed an overall theme that there is no right way to approach your career.

“Stop thinking about the should’s and have-to’s and just go for the ride,” remarked San San Lee. The panelists also gave insight into how they dealt with personal costs with their careers, what they’ve changed to achieve more balance, and what they would say to themselves when they were students.

This event was sponsored by Susan and Thomas Handley ’77, the Berger Institute, the Kravis Leadership Institute, the Mgrublian Center for Human Rights, and the Women and Leadership Association.