It’s nearly impossible to ignore the ongoing conversation regarding women in the workplace. But while many sit on the sidelines patiently waiting for change, our very own CEO Liz Kaplow is taking the reins and becoming a facilitator. Last night, I had the distinct pleasure of watching Liz assume the role of president for New York Women in Communications. With grace, intelligence and wit, she not only praised the previous leadership team, but also set forth an important call-to-action.
Her message was one of empowerment, especially for women who fear that they need to step away from their careers, finding it is too difficult to climb the corporate ladder and the jungle gym at the same time. I was one of those women. I had a successful job in public relations and was on a path toward future success. However, when I became pregnant with my first son, I wasn’t sure I could handle it all. So I stepped away as a middle manager and accepted a new job outside of PR – one where I’d have more flexibility, but less of a challenge. While being a mother gave me great personal satisfaction, I still felt something was missing.
As time passed, my family grew and another little boy entered my life. Soon after his arrival, I realized that I had a responsibility to both my children and myself to be happy. I sought out companies that would value me both as a communications professional and a devoted mother. (After all, if motherhood doesn’t teach you time management skills, nothing will!) That’s when I came across Kaplow. My former supervisor and longtime mentor, Theresa McDonnell, told me all about the agency and what made it so unique – the focus on living a 360-degree life, one where talents are nurtured and personal responsibilities are respected. When I met Liz, I instantly knew she was pioneering a new trail for women.
Now Liz will have the power to reach even more professionals with the help of influential women who share her vision, including Joanna Coles, Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan and last night’s featured speaker. As Liz noted in her remarks, we must create an environment where anyone can rise up into leadership positions – including the busy mother of two precocious little boys. It’s a lesson I can teach them and one I hope all women and men will soon adopt.