A record crowd of professional women turned out to connect with their peers and hear from four Oswego alumni who discussed challenges and solutions they found on the way to success.
The third annual Women's Connections symposium attracted about 140 people to Sheldon Hall for a day of networking and empowerment in October. President Deborah F. Stanley acknowledged the astounding progress of women in the workplace over the past few decades.
"This pushes the envelope a little bit further," she said of the day's programming.
Jill Consor Beck '93 said she had to learn to work smart, not hard, to become a senior product manager at Microsoft in Seattle.
"In order to be lucky, you have to put yourself in a position to be lucky," Beck said. "You can't just stay at home and wait for that to happen."
In 2007, she opened Purple Teeth Cellars as a wine-making hobby business with her husband, Marc. Beck said the past 15 years have taught her the value of believing in herself.
"At the end of the day, someone at the table is looking out for you and that person should be yourself," she said.
Former pharmaceutical executive Rose Cardamone Crane '81 promoted mentoring and creating friendships in the workplace.
"I always had a wonderful mentor and I became a mentor myself," the retired Johnson & Johnson executive vice president of group strategic marketing said. "As I watch young people come in, they really need role models."
Crane and close friends she made in business will become her business partners in a consulting startup.
Robert Feinberg '78 talked about the corporate trend of creating gender equity. He's seen plenty of positive changes at Ernst & Young, where he is now a partner.
"I'm very proud to be part of an organization that has been able to adapt to the next generation of service providers," Feinberg said.
Corporate flexibility is the key to success with the young demographic. Policies have to not only cover maternity leave, but the transition back to work.
The concept of work-life balance was a key theme throughout the day. Former Auburn mayor and educator Melina Dello Stritto Carnicelli '70 stressed to the mostly female audience the importance of nurturing their spiritual side during the Connections luncheon.
In addition to the speakers, the symposium included a marketplace of women-owned businesses from throughout the Central New York region. A photo gallery is posted online.
-- Shane M. Liebler
Women's Studies Director Lisa Langlois, left, and Women's Connections guest speaker Robert Feinberg '78 speak with School of Business Associate Dean Pamela Cox at the symposium. President Deborah F. Stanley is in the background.
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