Women In Business Hosts Climbing the Career Ladder (In Heels)

This is the organization’s second event after starting in early February


Catia Montelongo/Roo News

Students and presenters waiting before the event.

Catia Montelongo, Staff Writer

  Women in Business featured a unique panel of women specializing in various careers, skills and knowledge at the Bloch Executive Hall. 

  The panel, held on March 9, included four extraordinary women: Michelle Wimes; chief equity and inclusion officer at Children’s Mercy Hospitals, Stacey Paine; president of Crown Center redevelopment, Dara Hess; owner of Sequence Climb and regulatory compliance manager at Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight; executive director and chief operating officer at The Debruce Foundation.

  The two-hour discussion included insights of all four guests from what they do now and how they got there,as well as the challenges women confront in the workplace.

  “When I walk into a room, the first thing people see is that I am a black woman,” Wimes said. “The challenges that black women face in the workplace can be formal challenges like discrimination, not having the same promotion opportunities, not being paid equally, microaggressions and stereotypes.” 

  Some described feeling pressed between being a mother and meeting their professional expectations as women. 

  “Your family gets you first,” Knight said. “There are things that managers did not do for me, and there are things that I missed with my kids that I wish I had not missed.”

  Regardless, all of the women stated there is give and take with everything in life. But making the decisions that will propel people forward is critical, especially as a woman. 

  “There are tough seasons in life, and sometimes you have to figure out how to get through those, and that’s all you can do,” Paine said. “You have to make choices every day and just own it.”

  The group also provided several suggestions, such as being a hands-on person in the office, taking risks, speaking up when something doesn’t feel right and having a “posse” of women who will support other women in both challenges and achievements.

  Maggie Schoemehl, the co-president of Women in Business and a junior studying business management, is proud to see a vision become reality.

  “I have been to a couple of panels in Bloch where it’s just been more male-dominated,” Schoemehl said. “I’ve always wanted to see more women in finance, management and marketing. It inspires women to think ‘if she’s doing it, I can do it.’” 

  Keep up with Women in Business by following their Instagram

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Pictured from left to right: Grace Yu, Dara Hess, Michelle Wimes, Stacey Paine, Leigh Anne Taylor Knight, Maggie Schoemehl. (Catia Montelongo/Roo News)