Stroble Leads ‘Confidence in the Boardroom’ Roundtable at Women’s Conference

| February 3, 2015
The "Confidence in the Boardroom" roundtable session at the 10th annual St. Louis Business Journal Women’s Conference provided insights for women who are seeking board memberships.

President Stroble moderated the “Confidence in the Boardroom” roundtable session at the 10th annual St. Louis Business Journal Women’s Conference. The discussion offered insights to women seeking board memberships.

Webster University President Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble led a roundtable session at the 10th annual St. Louis Business Journal Women’s Conference. More than 1,200 women business leaders from throughout the Midwest attended the conference, held Jan. 30 at St. Louis Union Station, Webster University was a contributing sponsor of the conference, with the keynote and roundtable sessions focused on sharing the importance of gaining confidence.

Representatives from Webster’s Enrollment Management were also at the conference staffing a Webster booth and familiarizing attendees with Webster’s undergraduate and graduate programs.

President Stroble with panelists Gayle Jackson, Jeane Hull and Laurna Godwin.

President Stroble with “Confidence in the Boardroom” panelists Gayle Jackson, Jeane Hull and Laurna Godwin.

Serving as moderator for the “Confidence in the Boardroom” session, which showcased women who sit on corporate boards and understand what it means to be confident at the highest levels of corporate governance, Stroble introduced panelists Laurna Godwin, partner and co-founder of Vector Communications Corporation; Jeane Hull, executive vice president of Peabody Energy; and Gayle Jackson, president and chief executive officer of Energy Global.

Stroble dove straight into the central discussion theme, asking, “Why is the participation of women on boards important, and how can we increase women’s seats?” She cited her own experience on national and regional boards, and invited Godwin, Hull and Jackson to share their experiences and career paths.

“Women in the U.S. hold only 19.5 percent of S&P 500 board seats,” said Stroble, referencing findings in the Catalyst report, The Bottom Line: Corporate Performance and Women’s Representation on Boards. “How can we increase those ratios?”

Experiences of Female Board Members

While moving the discussion forward, she probed the panelists for their thoughts concerning topics such as: the first steps women seeking board membership should take; if there is a dynamic change between being the only female on a board versus one of several; if there were more strategic committees than others to join on a board; the sources of their confidence in board service; and what advice they would give to other women.

The session concluded with panelists responding to numerous questions from audience members.

Since arriving in St. Louis at Webster’s president in 2009, Stroble has actively promoted building diverse and inclusive leadership at Webster and within the region. At last year’s Women’s Conference, Stroble served as a featured speaker. In December 2014, Stroble accepted the Leader of Distinction award as part of the 2014 YWCA Metro St. Louis Academy of Leaders, and the Diversity Visionary Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine in July 2014.

Stroble is a board member of the National Association of Independent Colleges & Universities, a member of International Association of University Presidents, and the International Women’s Forum. She is a member of the Council on Competitiveness and serves as a vice chair of the American Council on Education’s (ACE) Commission on Leadership, and is a member of the Council of Independent Colleges Steering Committee on the Project on the Future of Independent Colleges.

In St. Louis, Stroble serves on the boards of Mercy Hospital St. Louis, the St. Louis Regional Chamber, Urban League of St. Louis, St. Louis Science Center, United Way of Greater St. Louis, Opera Theatre St. Louis, the Repertory Theatre, Variety the Children’s Charity of St. Louis, The Muny, and the Webster Community Arts Foundation. She is a member of the St. Louis Forum.

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Category: St. Louis Campus News, Webster News

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