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Empowering Women to Lead and Succeed

PWH Blog - Insights

  • 02/01/2018 11:03 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Succession planning – identifying and developing leaders with the capability and readiness to fill key organizational roles – is a critical business process to assure continuity and strategy execution.  Completing a succession plan requires talent segmentation – an assessment of the organization’s leaders to differentiate well-placed or so-called “core talent” from those who have the capacity and skills to assume roles at higher levels.

    The challenge is that many well-placed leaders who do not have the capability to advance are nonetheless high-performing.  How do you identify the high-performing leaders who also have considerable advancement potential?

    A June 2010 article in the Harvard Business Review titled “Are You a High Potential?” summarized research involving 45 companies to better understand high potential talent.  As expected, the authors found that high potential leaders typically outperform other leaders.  They also identified four factors that consistently differentiate high potential leaders from the rest.

    Factor #1:  A Drive to Excel

    High potential leaders do not settle for “good enough.”  They are driven to achieve and willing to go the extra mile.  They also recognize that personal sacrifices – long hours, relocation, difficult work – may be required to advance.

    Factor #2:  A Catalytic Learning Capability

    High potential leaders love to learn and generate new ideas.  What differentiates them is the ability to covert learning and ideas into meaningful action.  For a high potential leader, learning is more than cognitive stimulation; it’s an opportunity to produce something impactful for his or her organization.

    Factor #3:  An Enterprising Spirit

    High potential leaders have entrepreneurial tendencies.  They have the courage to take risks and create new pathways to business success.  They are comfortable leaving their career comfort zones in order to advance.

    Factor #4:  A Dynamic Sensor

    The risk-taking and entrepreneurship noted above are balanced by organizational savvy, a canny sense of timing, and the ability to assess situations.  High potential leaders know when to hold their cards and when to seize an opportunity. 

    These criteria may be helpful when reviewing and segmenting talent as part of your organization’s succession planning process.  Slating the right people with the appropriate skills and development for their future roles is an investment in the continued success of your organization.


    “Are You a High Potential?”
    Harvard Business Review – June 2010

    by Douglas A. Ready, Jay A. Conger and Linda A. Hill

    Reprint R1006E

    By Ellen Raynor, MA, CPLP
    Director - Talent Management - McKesson Medical-Surgical

    Join Ellen Raynor, one of our breakout session speakers, this June at the first annual PWH Leadership Summit!

  • 11/13/2017 3:55 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    As head of media relations at Henry Schein, Inc., it's my responsibility to secure interviews with our executives as well as to staff the interviews once scheduled. Recently, I joined an interview with two of Henry Schein’s female leaders – Karen Prange, Executive Vice President and CEO Global Animal Health, Medical and Dental Surgical Group, and Bridget Ross, President, Global Medical Group – for “Women in Business,” a special section that is distributed by USA Today.

    In the article, Karen and Bridget shared their views on what it takes to be a female leader in the health care industry. They discussed the career challenges they have faced, and offered advice to women in the workforce.

    “Push yourself and have fun along the way,” said Karen. Added Bridget: “We tend to be very motivated by challenge. A lot of women I’ve met who’ve been successful have dared to declare their career ambitions and had advocates championing them.”

    Around the same time as Karen and Bridget’s interviews, Fortune published their annual list of Fortune 500 companies.  The Broadstreet, Fortune’s “dish on the world’s most powerful women,” analyzed the list noting, “...the number of women CEOs on the Fortune 500 has increased by more than 50%—from 21 to 32. That’s a new record: The 2017 ranking includes more female chiefs than any previous list since the first Fortune 500 ran in 1955.”

    Progress yes; but I think we can all agree more can be done. Reading this article and having just heard the candid accounts from Karen and Bridget about their personal journeys, I began to wonder what advice other female leaders would have for emerging and established professional women. What do they have to say about taking risk, mentoring, overcoming barriers, finding balance and more? And, it sparked an idea, which I have secretly named “The Diana Prince Society.”

    Fans of Wonder Women will understand the reference. While a fictional character, Diana Prince may be unassuming but beneath her quiet demur is a woman of strength, ingenuity, intelligence, and most of all a fierce passion to change the world and make a difference. These are all characteristics necessary for modern day change agents, whether an entrepreneur, individual contributor, or a titan of industry.

    You’ll learn more about these women, and what they have to say, in the coming year. In the meantime, to explore the digital version of the “Women in Business” campaign and to hear from other trailblazing women, click here.

    ~ Ann Marie Gothard, Vice President, Corporate Media Relations

  • 10/02/2017 12:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    When I was offered the opportunity to work from home, almost 15 years ago, my prayers at the time had been answered.  I was working onsite at a customer location, and we lost the business so my job would have been cut.  I was fortunate enough at the time to have a boss who knew my value and fought for me.  Over the last 15 years, I have held many positions, worked on many projects and met some fabulous people – all while working from home (and very remote I might add – the nearest “office” is almost 3 hours from where I live).  Working remotely is not for everyone, but can be very rewarding. I’d love to share with you some tips on how to make working from home work for you.  

    1. You will need childcare!
    Let me repeat this for us supermom types – you WILL need childcare.  When I first started working from home my youngest was a newborn.  I obviously couldn’t care for him and get anything done.  However, once he got a little older and we put him into preschool my thought pattern changed a little.  I could surely do a few hours a day with him until my husband got home.  I was WRONG.  Three year olds do not care if you have a conference call, if you need to get a project done, or quite honestly if the President of the United States is on the phone.  Three year olds want you when they want you and cannot be entertained by a TV for long.  Do yourself a favor and make arrangements for childcare just as if you were working outside the home.  You need to dedicate those hours that you’ve committed to your employer to work. 
    2.     Set boundaries with your family and friends
    Working from home gives many the impression that you are always available.  This has taken me years to perfect.  I have been asked to sit with sick kids, take care of family members after surgeries, come to school and volunteer; the list goes on and on.   Be firm, explain your commitment to your employer and after a while people will get it.  FYI – teenagers have the hardest time with this concept.

    3.     Do have an established work area
    You need a place to go to and separate yourself from the hub of the home.  If you don’t have an extra room, get creative.  Pinterest is full of ideas for small office spaces.   I’ve seen some pretty cool “closet offices” that you would never expect!   Make sure you have an ergonomic chair and desk setup along with any office supplies you need.  This is where you will be spending the largest part of your day – make it yours!  Also, establish a normal schedule.  For example – I’ll start work every day at 8:00 and finish at 5:30.  It’s very easy to blur the lines between work and home and having that separate work area does make this a much more manageable task.
    4.     Establish a routine, and DO get dressed
    I think one of the things I hear most often when I say I work from home is, “Wow, you can work in your pajamas!”  Sure, I could and I will readily admit that I HAVE, however, to make the most of my situation and get the most productivity out of my day, I normally do get dressed, and sometimes I might even put on some makeup.  I dress more casually, but I am presentable in case someone wants to do a video conference; the school calls to pick up a sick kid; etc.  Also, take breaks!  Get up and go for a 5-10 minute walk a couple of times a day.  In the office, you take many more breaks than you probably realize and you’ll be amazed at how much you can get done at home. 
    5.     Stay social and get out of the house
    For me, this is one of the biggest downfalls of working from home.  I miss the social aspect of working in an office, so I have two days a week that I meet up with friends for lunch, and most every day I take a break for lunch and go into the living area of my home.  Get out and go to lunch with a friend or coworker, go to the gym, work at a Starbucks for a couple of hours now and then, join a group like PWH.  Networking events are a great way to meet other professionals in your geographical area.  Figure out what works for you and make sure you are staying connected. 
    6.     Remote doesn’t have to mean removed from the action
    Don’t become out of sight, and then out of mind.  I have been fortunate enough to work from home for almost 15 years for Owens & Minor, from a small town in Indiana, so I am always sure to maximize my time at the corporate office or when I visit a customer site.  When I travel, I make sure to reach out to coworkers, customers and virtual acquaintances and schedule a face to face meeting.   I also have always made a point to get involved in special projects when possible to stay engaged and make new contacts.  It’s YOUR job to make sure people know who you are!
    7.     Deliver results!
    Your employer is trusting you to work in an environment that could pose many distractions, has little supervision and provides a lot of flexibility.  Make sure you are maximizing your time and working efficiently.  Do the work that is expected of you.  If you do need to be “out of the office”, let your teammates and your boss know.  I use my outlook calendar to share my scheduled calls and activities, even my lunch hour.  Communication is probably the most important aspect of being a successful telecommuter. 
    Telecommuting is definitely trending upward.  In fact, I find more and more that people I interact with on a daily basis work at least part of the time from a home office.  It’s not all jammies and fluffy slippers, and will require some strong routine and discipline, but can offer some huge rewards for employers and employees alike.

  • 08/10/2017 4:57 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I started playing basketball in the fifth grade. It was fun; a past-time shared with my friends. Then one day my father, an executive in the automotive industry by day and coach by night, asked me how much I enjoyed playing the game. At the time, I didn’t recognize the significance of his question. But he did.

    On June 23, 1972, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 was signed into law. Title IX is a comprehensive federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. The amendment states in part, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” This includes athletic programs and applies to all elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities.

    Fast-forward ten years and at the age of 17, I finally understood the significance of my father’s question having earned an athletic scholarship to play women’s basketball at Georgetown University. The impact of Title IX on women in sports has been far-reaching and the lessons learned as a scholar athlete have extended beyond the playing field to the workplace. We’ve all been members of a team be it a sports team, a project team, or an executive team. Whether on the field or in the office, our success as a team member is dependent on our ability to navigate the written and unwritten rules as well as the inter-relationships that exist within an organization. And, it also requires confidence.

    Confidence takes many forms. Early in my career, I had the opportunity to work with Veronica Holcomb, a pioneer in the field of executive coaching and author of Ready, Set, Grow! 10 Success Strategies for Winning in the Workplace. In her coaching, she describes three areas of confidence necessary to be successful in the workplace:

    • Intellectual confidence: The belief that you are smart enough to come up with new ideas, learn new things, and understand the complexities of your work environment.
    • Social confidence: The ability to comfortably interact with new people in social settings and relate with other in ways that are enjoyable to them as well.
    • Political confidence: The capacity to understand the big picture, the political relationships, and the written and unwritten rules of your organization as well as the aptitude to know where the power base resides within your organization and how to gain some influence within it.

    According to Holcomb, all three are needed to deal with the complexities and challenges of the job as well as your ability to work within a well-established corporate culture. While you may have strength in one, be mindful that intellectual, social, and political confidence are interconnected. For example, you need the political skills to deal effectively in work-related social situations, and intellectual and social skills to gain political influence at work.

    Understanding and deciphering the rules of office politics takes practice. As an athlete and a business woman, I’ve been fortunate to work with some amazing coaches. Nearly 13 years later, I can vividly recall Holcomb’s tips for building my confidence acumen: (1) find a mentor within your organization who can interpret the rules and offer strategies specific to your career development; (2) enlist a group of supporters who are vested in your growth and personal development; and (3) study your environment—who is doing it well and effective at achieving business results because he or she is actively engaged in the game.

    I realize that not everyone is sports-minded and the analogy of “playing the game” may not resonate for some. But every organization has a culture for the way things get done. Take inventory of your company’s written and unwritten rules for presenting ideas, influencing the direction of a program, or advancing other business objectives. While we may all call it something different, it’s up to you to determine how to participate in a way that demonstrates your integrity and credibility.   

    By Ann Marie Gothard, Vice President, Corporate Media Relations, Henry Schein, Inc.

  • 07/27/2017 12:10 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A review of the panel discussion from the June 13th Columbus, Ohio Networking Event.

    Panelists: Cathy Denning (Vizient), Sharyl Gardner (Midmark), Sean McNally (Cardinal Health), Randy Oostra (ProMedica).


    Part 2.

    Q: What do M&A’s create for members/customers?

    A: (Shawn McNally): Cardinal Health is a great example of a company whose growth is deeply dependent on M&A’s. Due to the constant evolution, such companies have the ability from a resource standpoint to offer cost solutions and innovative solutions through the utilization of new technology and processes.

    M&A’s create opportunities by growing the mindset of embracing change; create value for both customers and employees and offer opportunities for leadership development.

    Q: How would you determine the state of the healthcare industry?

    A: (Randy Oostra): “Healthcare today is a hot mess!”

    Over the last 20 years, the healthcare industry has been in a constant state of change in efforts to improve the model and cost trajectory.  Despite its vision, ACA was not able to accomplish that speeding up consolidations in every sector of healthcare.

    Medicare & Medicaid expenses have reached up to 20% of GDP in the last few years, compared to 5% of GDP 50 years ago. Increasing healthcare costs are the number one cause of debt among citizens filing bankruptcy.

    The rise of consumerism, most prominent in Millennials and their increasing buying behaviors is another powerful disruptor, causing the evolution of virtual and telemedicine.

    Q: What internal education and leadership programs do each of your organizations offer its employees?

    A: Sean McNally (Cardinal): Cardinal has designated a Talent Development Team. In the past, the company had sought talent primarily from technical universities. Recently, the executive leadership has stressed the importance of opening the doors to students and graduates of Liberal Arts universities as well. Cardinal works extensively with OSU and Vanderbilt University.

    The company encourages employees to be heavily involved in various projects within the company, as well as the community.

    Another initiative process that Cardinal has implemented is mandatory job rotations to promote cross-training and talent development.

    A: Sharyl Gardner (Midmark): Midmark has introduced multiple cross-functional teams to collaborate internally and externally. The company has also launched individual development plans for employees to nurture and develop their personal and professional talents.


    A: Cathy Denning (Vizient): Vizient has implemented a Succession Plan” for C-Level leaders whose goal is to  create a path for passing knowledge, planning and training the future successors as baby boomers exit the workforce.


    A: Randy Oostra (ProMedica): Individual Career Planning has been implemented by ProMedica to increase education among certain groups and prepare the next generation of leaders (“40 under 40” – 40 employees under 40 years of age; “The 9-box” grid is utilized for examining talent within the organization and making talent decisions).


    Personal Learnings & Takeaways:

    “Change is the only constant in life” – Heraclitus

    In the highly dynamic healthcare industry marked by the era of consolidation across every sector, Heraclitus’ quote cannot be truer as companies are scrambling to stay relevant by constantly reinventing culture and processes every day.

    During the panel discussion at the PWH Columbus Networking Event “Leading through a Consolidating Industry,” the message that echoed loud and clear was: Invest in your people. From stakeholders, such as customers to suppliers and partners, to employees and the communities we represent the mission to achieve success lies in investing in people and spreading knowledge. In order to thrive, organizations need to concentrate on delivering value to each of these groups while improving outcomes.

    Prosperous companies understand that the customer comes first because of the solutions our communities, industry partners and employees offer, while cohesively carrying out their corporate vision. Leaders understand that change starts from within the organization by the individuals who relentlessly ensure that the transition or challenge the company faces will have a successful outcome. Leading through change means creating a customer-centric culture and expanding creative and innovative thoughts and processes. Discovering and developing talent through internal education, leadership and career-planning programs is crucial to the vitality and sustainability of our industry.

    By Valeriya Stoyanova, Supplier Relations, Administrative Assistant, Concordance Healthcare Solutions

  • 07/13/2017 10:31 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A review of the panel discussion from the June 13th Columbus, Ohio Networking Event.

    Panelists: Cathy Denning (Vizient), Sharyl Gardner (Midmark), Sean McNally (Cardinal Health), Randy Oostra (ProMedica).

    Key Topic: Changes in Healthcare

    The recent changes over the last few years in healthcare have caused quite the turmoil in the industry. Some of the most significant causes and effects are:

    • Value-base Purchasing
    • Mergers and Acquisitions
    • Culture change
    • MACRA
    • Reimbursement models, etc.

    Change is perceived either as a challenge and opportunity or as events causing fear and distress. There are two major questions that organizations face today: How can we manage change? How can we lead through change?


    Part 1.

    Q: Which healthcare M&A has been surprising so far?

    A: (Sharyl Gardner): For Midmark Corp., the most surprising M&A has been the Hill-Rom-Welch Allyn acquisition, a direct competitor of Midmark. M&A’s challenge competitiveness and it’s all about “survival of the fittest.” M&A activity is also about reinvention and expanding one’s product/service offering (for example, Midmark’s acquisition of Versus Technology, Inc., the most-deployed real-time locating systems (RTLS) provider in healthcare. The acquisition of Versus allows Midmark to create a unique offering of clinical workflow solutions that encompass clinical workflow services, RTLS technology, medical equipment, diagnostic devices and design assistance, resulting in improved efficiency within health systems.    http://www.versustech.com/rtls-news/press-releases/midmark-acquire-workflow-technology-firm-versus-technology-inc/).

    Q: How do companies in healthcare create value for their shareholders beyond product-buy?

    A: (Cathy Denning): For organizations that are “member-owned,” such as Vizient, the shareholders are easily identified: the members. The main focus must be on the member/customer. Cathy interprets “value beyond product” as providing the best quality for best price to its members, which translates into striving for better outcomes.  Value can be created through the introduction or expansion of data analytics for every service line offered.

    Q: How does the organizational structure change during a merger and what is the most effective way to manage it?

    A: (Cathy Denning): After a merger or acquisition, such as the joining of VHA, University HealthSystem Consortium and Novation forming Vizient, it is vital that leaders evaluate the quicks and characteristics of the overall culture of each legacy company. Vizient’s Chief People Officer is dedicated to evaluate, build and enhance a joint culture based on the various strengths, not necessarily eliminating and replacing existing culture altogether.  It is crucial that through any set of changes, that employee continue to be passionate about the customer and make the customer a priority.

    Q: What has been the impact of industry consolidation on innovation?

    A: (Randy Oostra): Where innovation is concerned, scale matters. The larger the organization, the more resources and strategic planning it can offer.

    For example, ProMedica has created an innovation committee, which along with other non-profit organizations, has raised significant capital ($15M-$20M) to support local start-up companies. ProMedica held its 4th Annual Innovations Summit in early June 2017, which aims to foster creativity within its own system, as well as the community. To further support its mission, the health system has partnered with The Toledo Museum of Art, and during its 4 years, over 120 patent applications have been submitted for approval.

    On both a corporate and individual level, we all need to commit to re-invent ourselves every day in thinking and doing.

    Mr. Oostra posed the questions: Do organizations have strategic planning sky days? What systems and processes do companies have to foster and develop creativity and new ideas? 

    It seems like this is a good time to reflect on these questions.  Perhaps, this is a good time to re-group, evaluate and outline a new path forward. 

    Stay tuned for Part II!

    By Valeriya Stoyanova, Supplier Relations, Administrative Assistant, Concordance Healthcare Solutions

  • 06/23/2017 7:43 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Enid Oquendo

    The Benefits of Attending the HIDA 2017 Executive Conference for Someone New to the Industry, by Enid Oquendo

    An Interview with Valeriya Stoyanova, Concordance Healthcare Solutions

    Q.  In your current role, how was the HIDA Executive Conference helpful to your professional development?

    A.  As the Supplier Relations Administrative Assistant, andValeriya Stoyanova especially being very new to the industry and my role, attending the conference earlier this year was certainly significant. In supporting the Supplier Relations team at Concordance Healthcare Solutions, I am often in communication with our suppliers. The conference presented me with the opportunity to meet and interact with many of our key contacts. In addition, my goal was to attend as many events and meetings as possible to learn about each of the companies in attendance and their contribution to the industry as well as their relationship with Concordance. The meetings and events I attended allowed me to do that.

    Q. What were the key topics of discussion that offered the most insightful information for you?

    A. From the sessions I attended, I found there were a couple of topics that were very educational and impactful – “Economic Outlook for 2017” and “C-Suite Thought Leaders on the Big C’s of Healthcare: Consolidation, Convenience, and Care Continuum.” Both breakout sessions provided great exposure and meaningful insights from high-caliber speakers that helped me understand the trends in healthcare in depth.

    Q. Is the conference more about networking, education or connections?

    A. In my opinion, the conference provided a great setting for participants to network, for education AND making connections equally and interchangeably. The schedule of events offered various opportunities for professionals to connect and expand their network, as well as to exchange news and learnings about their companies and the healthcare industry.

    Q. What were your takeaways? 

    A. I consider being a part of the 2017 HIDA Executive Conference as an honor and a great learning experience. I witnessed great interactions, impactful negotiations and strategy exchanges. With this being my first HIDA conference, I walked away reassured that all the companies and individuals present understand the importance of coming together to build a strong community within the industry by bringing talent, innovation and competitive edge.

    Q. What networking events did you attend?  How was the experience?

    A. I had the pleasure of attending a few networking events – the Welcome Reception, the PWH Leadership Lunch, and the Executive Networking Dinner and After Party. Meeting professionals in such settings was a great way to strengthen existing supplier relationships and create new and lasting connections. All the individuals I met seemed genuinely engaged and excited about being a part of these events.

    Q. Would you return to the conference next year?

    A. Most definitely. I look forward to attending the 2018 HIDA Executive Conference. From an organizational perspective, the content and networking made the conference an invaluable experience for me.

  • 06/07/2017 12:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Career advancement takes both planned preparation and focused action at all career levels.

    While turnover often gets linked with low company morale or poor management, it also provides ample opportunity for advancement. The American College for Healthcare Executives survey in 2014 reported turnover of CEO’s at 18 percent. Baby Boomer executives are retiring or exploring interim positions, and healthcare leaders are finding opportunities in expanding entrepreneurial companies even outside healthcare. So, now more than ever, healthcare professionals have ample opportunities for career advancement. A great way to prepare for future opportunities is to engage a coach.

    What is Coaching?

    Coaching comes in a variety of packages, but the overarching goal is to help you be the very best version of you. You as a leader, executive, and person. The focus is on your advancement as you define it, a definition that evolves throughout your career. Harvard Business Review published an article on the top three reasons coaches are engaged, and number one was to develop high potentials or facilitate transition. Companies are making the investment. Why not consider making the investment in your own career advancement plans?

    What are the Benefits?

    • Focus on the future
    • Help you discover your own path
    • Ask the right questions
    • Tackle difficult issues that impact performance and growth
    • Focus on individual behavioral change

    Is Coaching Right for You?

    If you have a fierce desire to learn and grow, coaching can provide additional tools to accelerate your plans. You have to be open to feedback and willing to make positive change. As you engage with a coach, you need to commit to the process and be prepared to reveal personnel weaknesses.

    When is the Right Time?

    I often find that people are confused on when to utilize a coach. Often times I hear: “I need more experience before I engage with a coach.” Or: “I am well into my career, what benefit is a coach to me now.” Coaching offers value at all career levels. It’s never too early or too late. Let’s take a look at how it may benefit you, now.

    Early Career: As you get started in your career it helps to clarify your inner strengths and values. A coach helps you identify these areas and challenge you to consider where you want to be and develop plans to get there. Coaches have many tools that help create a road map that will ensure you are taking the most efficient career journey and that you enjoy the stops along the way. Early careerists can particularly benefit from help with interviewing skills, exploring career options, creating a plan, building confidence, learning about networking, and finding mentors.

    Mid-Career: At this point in your career you may experience a feeling of being stuck or have gotten so ‘busy” with a full life that a bit of re-focusing may be in order. A coach can help you clarify where you see your career, discuss strategies to keep you moving forward, serve as a sounding board as well as a catalyst to improve your performance, productivity, clarity and energy.

    Late Career: As you advance to the executive level, development feedback becomes increasingly important, more infrequent, and more unreliable. Often you will see executives plateau in critical interpersonal and leadership skills. Leaders later in their career benefit from a coach who is a sounding board, broadens their perspective and assists in identifying and overcoming barriers.

    No matter where you are in your career journey you might benefit from coaching if you want:

    • Results - greater productivity, faster promotions, bigger profits
    • Deeper learnings - about yourself, how you're perceived, where you can improve
    • Sounding board - space to hear your own voice - to talk something through and gain perspective
    • Awareness of perspectives, beliefs, and attitudes that may be holding you back
    • Support and confidence to "lean in" and make bold moves
    • Clarity on your values and what you stand for, which leads to greater conviction
    • Ideas for ways to improve what you may not see - awareness of blind spots
    • Support for improving specific skills - communication, delegation, conflict management, team building, persuasion, etc.

    For more information, please email Lisa Mead.

  • 05/10/2017 10:27 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    There has been a lot of research on the gender pay gap, proving that oftentimes women are paid less than men. However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t improve our own personal wealth. How much money do you set aside for your future? How much do know about investing? Do you know how to buy and sell stock? What do you know about mutual funds? I was fortunate to see Barbara Stanny, author of Secrets of Six Figure Women, speak at a conference several years ago. She interviewed several women that made a large salary, but found that many felt that they were still living pay check to pay check. The ones that were wealth builders followed three simple rules, spend less, save more, and make smart investments. This same strategy works at any income level. If you follow the money rules you will increase your personal wealth and the sooner you start, the more you will have when you choose to retire. Here are some of the things that I have learned over the years:

    Spend Less

    • Always pay off your credit cards at the end of the month. Carrying a balance will require you to pay interest and fees. This is money you are giving away.
    • Set targets for spending less, for example, if you buy Starbucks every day, reduce it to 3 times a week.

    Pay Yourself First

    • Setup your paycheck to automatically deposit a portion to your savings account or money market account. I have put $200 a month in a savings account since I was 20 years old and it really adds up!
    • Put at least 4% of your pay in 401K and many companies will match it!  If you aren’t doing this, you are leaving money on the table!
    • If you can’t afford to put the full 4% in now, increase with each pay increase you receive. Overtime, max your 401K to the federal allowable amount.

    Put your money to work

    • Educate yourself on investing. Fidelity has a great site: https://www.fidelity.com/learning-center/?ccsource=em_crmemCRM.CORE.LearningCenter
    • Don’t be afraid of the stock market.
    • Look for value dividend stocks that pay out each quarter and have a long history of dividends. OMI has historically been a great dividend stock, but there are many out there.
    • Look for growth stocks, companies that seem to be on the rise. Imagine if you had bought Amazon two years ago.
    • Don’t have time to watch the stock market? Mutual funds may be a great option for you.
    • Diversify! Don’t put all of your investments in one company or industry. There will be times when some are up and some are down, but overall it will even out. Rebalance your 401K from time to time to keep it diversified.
    • You don’t have to have a lot of money to invest? You don’t need a lot – Just Start!

    Give to Charity – although it isn’t listed as one of Barbara’s money rules, it is my personal belief that giving back is important.

    While our salary is critical, managing the money we get is what will make the difference in our ability to increase our personal wealth gap!


  • 04/19/2017 12:05 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    “Help Wanted: Looking for a Manager to Lead and Develop a Team.” We often see career opportunities such as this when seeking a new position, but how do we prepare and educate ourselves to lead and manage a team? How can we gain experience through leadership opportunities outside of work so that we can bring that experience and new ideas to the table as we look to advance in our careers?  Here are a few ideas.

    •  Think about your interests. Have you thought about organizing a fundraiser for something you are passionate about? By organizing a fundraiser or participating on a committee for a local or national charity or event, you will be able to enhance your skills and gain management and/or leadership experience. Finding your niche may be as simple as organizing a coat and blanket drive for the local shelter or serving on a committee with an organization like Habitat for Humanity or a local food bank. Find small organizations near you by searching community forums online or in the local papers. These organizations are always looking for leadership with new and fresh ideas.  You may be the ideal person to help fundraise, increase membership or even create professional development for a group.  You can apply your skills while also giving back to the community.

    •  Many companies today have charitable organizations to which they contribute. Learn more about the philanthropic activities your employer supports and how you can participate. You may have the opportunity to lead a committee or manage a humanitarian initiative for your company that will allow you to showcase your organizational, communication, negotiation and team-building skills, all while making a positive difference.

    • What is your background? Research opportunities to participate on boards where you can provide your expertise while also increasing your knowledge and professional development. For example, is your background in communications, public relations, IT, education, business, marketing, etc.? There are many national societies with local chapters that host educational and networking events, several of which recruit board members at local, regional and national levels. These types of opportunities to serve allow you to lead committees, do public speaking and focus on specific areas of professional development while also sharing your expertise and giving back to your profession.

    Susan Kaiser, Media and Communications Manager for Midmark, became a member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) in an effort to gain additional knowledge in the field after moving into a PR role more than ten years ago. In 2015, she was asked to participate on the board for the PRSA local chapter in her area as a Programming Co-Chair. After a successful year, she was nominated as President-Elect of the Dayton Area Chapter in 2016 and now serves as President of the chapter. “Having a communications background, and being involved as a member of PRSA for many years, I really believed that serving on the board would provide a great venue for leadership education. Not only am I able to build a network of resources and mentors in my profession, l have managed a diverse group of people and committees as well as the type of PR projects that would fall outside of my normal role at Midmark. I am then able to take that knowledge and experience and apply it within my own career.”

    In a study in partnership with Dan Schawbel and American Express, found that 63 percent of managers are very willing or extremely willing to support an employee's professional-related activities outside of the office, but fewer than half of employees are very interested or extremely interested in pursuing them. "They can help with development experiences that you might not get the opportunity to do at work, board experience or other leadership opportunities," says Susan Gambardella, VP, Global Account Team at Coca Cola.

    Leverage your experiences and successes so that you can turn those experiences into talking points for your future.  Management will be impressed with your initiative and commitment to lead in other aspects of your life besides the office.


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