CEW+ Welcomes Female Leaders Across Industries at May 12 Career Panel & Networking Event

Laughter and wisdom filled the Center on the morning of Thursday, May 12, as a panel of five remarkable women shared their career journeys. The panel was moderated by Ms. Christine Euritt, Senior Consultant at The Leadership Group, and friend and donor to CEW+.

The panel included Dr. Rose Bellanca, President of Washtenaw Community College; Ms. Donna Doleman Dickerson, brand builder, certified diversity professional, and marketing and strategy expert; Dr. Eva Felman (PhD ’79, MD ’83), Russel N. DeJong Professor of Neurology at U-M School of Medicine; Dr. Lynda K. Jeffries, Senior Consultant at The Leadership Group; and Ms. Mary Vandewiele (MBA ’15), real estate broker, investor, and business entrepreneur. 

Each panelist shared their career journey and definitions of success. The paths varied from the outwardly more traditional academic route to jumping between seemingly unrelated fields, to steady growth in their field by fostering high-performing teams. Their diverse paths of success resonated with event attendees, one of whom commented, “It really helped to hear from multiple women who didn’t take the classical path to success and how they dealt with big changes. I worry about my work and my happiness in the short term but I also worry about how I will feel in my 50s and 60s and 70s when society really writes women off, and I’m so encouraged by what I saw and heard from the panel.” 

In keeping with the Center’s approach to holistic career support, panelists shared stories about their professional journeys interwoven with personal and family stories that shaped their trajectory and growth. From challenging the expectations that parents have for their daughters, to demonstrating determination and resilience in interview processes, to seizing opportunities to care for family members during times of career change, comments by the panelists reflected a wide variety of experiences that apply to situations encountered by the nontraditional students and community members that CEW+ serves. 

The intimate setting afforded attendees the opportunity to ask the panelists detailed questions and learn more about their thoughts on their definitions of success. Remarkably, all panelists’ personal definitions shared the element of bringing other women along with you through mentorship. As one participant noted, “There was a common theme from the discussion: Support each other, and when you have an opportunity to be in leadership use that to your advantage and bring other women up with you.” CEW+ was also honored to welcome Laurita Thomas, President of the American Research Universities Human Resources Institute, as a guest during the event. Dr. Thomas shared her own advice, suggesting that attendees, “Make sure you have agreement with your team or your client, ‘What does success look like?’ and then deliver it.” 

To read the full transcript of the event, as well as one-page summaries for each of the panelists, please visit: http://www.cew.umich.edu/virtual-presentations-and-resources.