Catalyst ‘Paying It Forward’ Event Shares Insight for Women in Leadership

| May 2, 2014
Catalyst: Paying it Forward

At the Catalyst event in Webster University’s East Academic Building, a panel of women executives from St. Louis-based institutions shared insight on career strategies.

Webster President Beth Stroble was one of the panelists, and also opened and closed the event.

 President Stroble was one of the panelists, and also opened and closed the event.

Last week, Webster University was host to the Catalyst “Women in Leadership: Paying It Forward” event at the home campus in Webster Groves, drawing a crowd of burgeoning women leaders to network and hear insights about the challenges and opportunities for future development of women executives.

Webster University President Beth Stroble opened and closed the event, while also participating in a panel discussion and audience Q&A. Catalyst’s Martha Feeback spoke on research about the “State of Affairs of Women in Business Today.”

Joining Stroble on the panel was a group of female executives at major institutions based in St. Louis:

  • Kimberly Baskett McEnany, vice president of consumer sales and service at AT&T
  • Beverly L. Propst, senior vice president of human resources at Graybar
  • Leticia Goncalves, vice president of Monstanto’s U.S. commercial operations
  • Sara Wade, senior vice president and chief human resources officer at Express Scripts
Catalyst - Feeback

Catalyst manager Marth Feeback spoke of the institution’s research documenting women opportunity, leadership and pay gaps across industries.

Catalyst and Webster University partnered to organize a thought-provoking discussion about inequalities still faced by women in the workforce and strategies women can use to help advance their careers. Insights and audience questions covered the range, from mentoring and professional development to the criteria to consider when strategically selecting job opportunities and work projects to pursue.

On the latter, one tip for positioning yourself for advancement: Ask yourself, “Are there projects you work on – cross functional? Are they aligned with the most important objectives of the organization?”

Catalyst Research: Why Paying it Forward Matters

Founded in 1962, the non-profit organization Catalyst is a trusted resource for research, information and advice about women at work. Catalyst has found that the inequalities face by women today do not only hurt women as individuals, but they also ultimately “harm families, employers and the community.”

Among the findings of Catalyst’s research:

  • Women lag in leadership positions despite being nearly 50 percent of the labor force.
  • Women hold 4.6 percent of CEO positions and 16.9 percent of board seats of Fortune 500 companies.
  • Women held 8.1 percent of top earning positions in the Fortune 500.
  • The pay gap for women starts with their first job and increase over time.

Further, consistent with other arguments to support diversity and inclusion, there is a business case: Fortune 500 companies with the highest representation of women on their top management teams and/or their board of directors experience, on average, better financial performance than those with the lowest representation.

Joining Webster's President Stroble, women executives from AT&T, Express Scripts, Graybar, Monsanto spoke about strategies for career advancement.

Joining Webster’s President Stroble, women executives from AT&T, Express Scripts, Graybar, Monsanto shared strategies for career advancement.

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Category: Campus Snapshots, Employee News, St. Louis Campus News

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