Walker Speaker Series ‘Women in Leadership’ Panel Packs the Commons

| March 24, 2015
Stroble, Clark and Mazzarella spoke to the crowd of over 160 gathered in the Edward Jones Commons.

The panel discussed issues facing women in the workplace, answering questions from the crowd gathered in the Edward Jones Commons.

The Walker Speaker Series welcomed Maxine Clark, Build-A-Bear Workshop founder, and Kathleen (Kathy) Mazzarella MBA’02, chief executive officer and president of Graybar, who joined President Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble for the “Women in Leadership” panel on March 19.

Sharing their personal career experiences and offering insights on leadership, Stroble, Clark and Mazzarella spoke to the crowd of over 160 gathered in the East Academic Building’s Edward Jones Commons.

The Walker Speaker Series welcomed Maxine Clark, Build-A-Bear Workshop founder, and Kathleen (Kathy) Mazzarella MBA’02, chief executive officer and president of Graybar, for the “Women in Leadership” panel on March 19.

The Walker Speaker Series welcomed Maxine Clark, Build-A-Bear Workshop founder, and Kathleen (Kathy) Mazzarella MBA’02, chief executive officer and president of Graybar, for the “Women in Leadership” panel on March 19.

Mazzarella encouraged women to make their own path. “Don’t let anybody put you in a box and define what you can or cannot do,” she said.

Regarding the inevitable failures that will occur during one’s career, Mazzarella said, “Too often, people are afraid to take chances because of the visibility of a failure. When you fail, there is an opportunity in how you recover.”
She went on to share a lesson she learned early in her career after she was passed over for a promotion in favor of another colleague. “The best advice I ever got was from my dad. He said, ‘They are watching you, to see how you react [to this disappointment]. How you handle yourself professionally will determine future events.'”

Clark discussed the idea women seeking out career sponsors rather than mentors. “The people who were the toughest on me really helped me grow,” she said. “They are the ones making sure you are appropriately prepared to be successful.”

Stroble underlined those points by Mazzarella and Clark, and encouraged women to freely share their expertise and talents with others. “The most precious gifts are the ones you give away. Anything you hoard is really not yours,” said Stroble. “That’s what being a university president is all about. Webster was founded by women for women, before women had the right to vote.”

“A career is a long time,” said Clark. “You can have multiple careers. I started Build-A-Bear at 48. Your life can evolve. The journey is better than the destination. Encourage other people to grow in their own jobs and seek out opportunities.”

Webster University’s provost, senior vice president and chief operating officer Julian Schuster introduced President Stroble as panel moderator, noting her own inclusive approach to leadership.

At the opening and close of the evening, Benajamin Akande, dean of Webster’s George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology, thanked the audience for attending the Walker Speaker Series.

A recording of the presentation will soon be available on the Walker School’s website.

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Category: Campus Snapshots, St. Louis Campus News

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