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Women make up nearly 50 percent of the workforce, make significant contributions to their companies, and lead in multi-generational organizations.
“They are more determined than ever to add value, differentiate themselves and lead throughout their career journey from entry level positions to boardrooms,” said Cindy Taylor, Harbert College Women in Business Advisory Council Chair, a 1981 alumna and veteran business administrator, who currently serves as partner at CyberRisk Solutions in Atlanta.
“Women who build networks … they promote value. Women who mentor … they become change agents. Women who take risks … they build knowledge. Women who experience failure … they build confidence. Women who live outside of their comfort zone … they find opportunities they would have never pursued and success they would have never experienced.”
Women in leadership positions will take center stage on Friday, November 2, at Harbert College’s Women in Business Fall Summit. Guests will have the opportunity to hear the expertise of Tara Wilson, a CEO of the Tara Wilson Agency in Fort Worth, Texas, and 2018 Auburn University Entrepreneur of the Year, first-year Harbert College Dean and Wells Fargo Chair, Annette L. Ranft, and Bijna Dasani, Head of Architecture and Innovation at Lloyd’s Banking Group in London.
The event kicks off with an 8 a.m. meet and greet on the Lowder Lawn, then follows in Lowder 110 with a discussion panel, “Working with grit, maintaining perseverance, and learning from failure,” moderated by Wilson (right), a 1997 Harbert College alum. Panelists who will join Wilson include Elizabeth Mercer, a 2011 Auburn alumna, Founder and CEO of Sleekform, Major Emily “Blast” Tucker, a 2004 Auburn alumna who is a T-38C instructor pilot with the 87th Flying Training Squadron at Laughlin Air Force Base in Texas, and Esada Qazi, Vice President of Corporate Finance at JP Morgan Chase & Co.
“As a student, I experienced successes and failures that built character and shaped me into who I am today – preparing me to be an entrepreneur,” said Wilson. “I’m always excited to talk with students and am open about my journey – the road to entrepreneurial success hasn’t always been a straight line. In speaking to them (students), I emphasize that they will learn as much from their failures, if not more, than from their successes.”
At 10 a.m. in Lowder 110, guests will be treated to a fireside-style chat with Dean Ranft (left), who will share her professional experiences, keys to success in her career, and offer tips on how to be successful in the workplace.
A networking session in the Office of Professional and Career Development Suite 101 at 11 a.m. will allow students, faculty, alumni, and staff the opportunity to meet and participate in speed networking and mentoring.
The event concludes with a noon luncheon on the Lowder Lawn, where Dasani (below, right), who has a strong record of delivering strategic, innovative and complex transformational successes for global financial service firms, will serve as keynote speaker.
The event is sponsored by the Raymond J. Harbert Women in Business program, which is open to all students interested in supporting and growing women’s success in the workplace.
“That’s why I’m so excited to be part of the Women in Business program,” Taylor said. “Harbert College has the unique opportunity to bring students together with alumni and other key stakeholders to promote networking, all forms of mentoring, share stories and experiences of grit, determination, and perseverance, and influence each other. I’m excited about the relationships and partnerships that will result from this program and hearing about successes from this ecosystem the Harbert College of Business is building.”