In only its second year, the APA “Women in Leadership Series,” a four-session professional workshop for women currently in leadership roles (and for future leaders), took place Wednesday (Sessions 1 and 2) and Thursday (Sessions 5 and 6). Attendees at the full series earned six CPE credits and six RCHs, plus a certificate of completion.
Leading the in-depth discussions and interactive exercises during the sessions were Shirley Davis, Ph.D., CSP, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, President of SDS Global Enterprises, Inc.; Stephanie Salavejus, CPP, Vice President and COO of PenSoft; and Alison Sellar, CEO of activpayroll.
The series, which was sponsored by Ceridian, focused on the unlimited potential women have in the workforce today and what women in leadership positions are doing to make their companies successful.
“Organizations are realizing the economic and social benefits of investing in women’s success,” said Jayson Saba, Vice President of Market Research and Industry Relations at Ceridian. “At Ceridian, we are fortunate to have leaders across the C-Suite champion and support various Women in Leadership initiatives, including this latest learning opportunity—helping women who lead refine their skills and accomplish their goals.”
According to a study on gender diversity by the Peterson Institute for International Economics, data suggests that “having a woman in an executive position leads to better performance.”
In today’s workplace environment, Salavejus says it’s essential to show how female leaders play a vital role in elevating the importance of diversity and equality in the workplace and setting the example for the next generation of leaders.
“It helps in strengthening the foundation necessary for advancing into leadership positions and the encouragement for them to share their unique perspectives and strategies that can improve an organization's performance,” Salavejus told Congress Today before the session.
Davis adds a series for women in leadership roles in critical because it enables women to come together to network and learn new skills and competencies that will enable them to be more competitive and successful in the workplace.
“Globally, women now make up 51% of the workforce, yet still lack parity in pay, treatment, promotions, and representation at top ranks in organizations,” Davis said. “There is something about women coming together that generates enthusiasm, and fosters an atmosphere of empowerment, open dialogue, sharing, and building greater confidence.”
Davis hopes attendees can walk away with practical strategies that they can immediately apply in the workplace and in everyday life.
“I would love for them to feel empowered that they can utilize their unique talents, skills and gifts to set themselves apart and to add value to their organizations,” Davis said. “I hope they have a network of other colleagues who are rooting for their success and one they can tap into without ever feeling void of support and the resources needed to succeed.”
Anita Brue of MA Mortenson in Minnesota said the series of meetings made a powerful impression on her. One of her biggest takeaways from the session was, “We have to lift each other up, not tear each other down."
For Linda Mott of TM Restaurant Group in Atlanta, the lesson was, “Stop beating myself up.” She said. “Have patience with myself .”