Speaker Shari Dunn to kick off Women in Leadership series

By Delaney Vetter | September 25, 2018 11:43am
Shari Dunn is the Executive Director for Dress for Success and will be the first speaker for the Women in Leadership series. Photo Courtesy of UP Pamplin School of Business

Of all chief executives of Fortune 500 companies, only five percent are women. According to the NYTimes, there are fewer women in CEO positions of Fortune 500 companies than there are men named James

Looking to bridge this gap, the UP Pamplin School of Business is launching its Women in Leadership Forum series Wednesday, Sept. 26. at 6 p.m. in Franz room 120. 

The Women in Leadership Forum will invite women leaders to tell their story, share lessons they have learned and offer an opportunity for the anyone in the UP community to engage in discussions about how to be a leader. The event is free and open to everyone.

The first speaker is Shari Dunn, executive director of Dress for Success Oregon. Dunn will share the path to her current position which includes practicing law and being a news anchor. She also taught Social Venture Management at the Pamplin School of Business last spring. 

“Dress for Success is a nationwide non-profit which is really geared around assisting women in transitions in their careers and specifically empowering women to lift themselves out of poverty,” Molly Cullen, academic program counselor in the Pamplin School of Business, said. “They have a clothing closet for people to get interview attire and offer many other services.” 

At the event Dunn will share her story and share what Cullen called a “dynamic career path”. After, attendees will have discussions with their table groups about what Dunn shared and their own experiences. After the small group discussions, it will open up into a larger discussion and Q&A with Dunn. 

Cullen said this series stemmed from an event she organized in Kenna when she was the hall director. After the event, members of the university expressed an interest in creating more programming geared towards women in business she said. 

“Women in Leadership is designed around that personal interaction,” Cullen said. “It’s not a lecture series. It’s an opportunity for students and the larger UP community, faculty and staff to see examples of women in leadership.”

The forum will be held four times a year, the first on Sept. 26, one in November, one in late January and the last in March.

The November speaker will be RapidMade founder and CEO Renee Eaton. The January and March speakers are not yet confirmed. 

“For women in particular, moving towards positions of leadership or any form of leadership, it takes mentorship, it takes personal relationship,” Cullen said. “ It takes kind of seeing others who’ve gone before and recognizing the potential and possibility of it (being a leader).”

Delaney Vetter is a news reporter and opinions editor for The Beacon. She can be reached at vetter20@up.edu.