Volume 3, Issue 1 – April, 2002
The Institute for Women’s Leadership Alumni eNews
Welcome to IWL’s eNews designed to inform and inspire you about the progress of our global leadership community and commitments.
Update: eNews now quarterly.
1) Alumni Profile
Maisie Wong-Paredes, Oculex Pharmaceuticals
Alumni – WLC 12/97
1) What is your name, title, organization and accountability?
Oculex Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
I have been at Oculex for 7 months. Prior to that I had taken a year off to have a child and am now working part-time. As part of my responsibilities at Oculex, I am committed to bringing our lead product, a bio degradable sustained-release drug for treating sight-threatening eye diseases, to a successful FDA submission. I am also committed to building an organizational culture that is based in teamwork, communication and generous leadership.
2) When and why did you attend WLC (Women Leading Change)?
December 1997. I attended because I had already taken some course work from Generative Leadership Group and wanted to learn more. At that time, I was part of a team that was chartered to deliver a breakthrough product. I knew that gaining more experience and knowledge around generative and contextual leadership would allow me to achieve those results.
3) What skills have you used the most since the program?
I have totally shifted the way I see people and what they have to offer. I believe that people want to come to work to make a difference. I continue to use and build my active listening skills, and find myself more open to looking for new possibilities. I also find that framing the context of a situation and consciously traversing the scales are both helpful tools.
4) What results are you most proud of having produced?
When I took the WLC program, my groundbreaking project plan was to successfully launch the Cross Action toothbrush for Oral-B, to complete my MBA, and to have a baby. I have since accomplished all those goals and have done so through putting what I learned in the course into practice in all aspects of my life. I am still in the process of fine-tuning my work/life balance that allows time with both my family and a fulfilling career.
Other areas that I’m proud of is the effort put into launching the Cross Action toothbrush. It took the organization to a higher level of producing results. All of us who were involved continue to live a different vision due to our experiences and practices of contextual leadership. We are in different organizations now, but we are all still committed to bringing contextual leadership to others in our own companies.
Additionally, my new company, Oculex, sponsored six women in the last WLC program. Including alumni, that is 10% of the employees. We did this out of a commitment to develop leaders in our organization. In partnership with other leaders, we are working to shift the culture at Oculex to achieve extraordinary results.
5) What resources do you want from or do you have to offer the rest of the IWL community as you continue your leadership journey?
I am a huge proponent of sharing experiences to help others. I think with so many of us having gone through organizational transformations, there is value in sharing what has worked and hasn’t worked in our organizations. I would be willing to talk with others about my experience in this area, as well as learn from others.
I also believe that I can achieve a work/family balance that’s right for us. I’m not saying it’s easy. It is something that I work at every day. I think it’s about choices and being happy and fulfilled with myself and what I can contribute. I would like to hear from others about how they have managed this successfully in their lives.
Maisie can be reached at email@example.com.
2) Coach’s Column
By IWL Coach, Gayle Renneke Dee.
A) Barb Waugh’s (a WLC alumni) new book The Soul of the Computer: The Story of a Corporate Revolutionary is now out and available on Amazon.com.
B) Take Your Daughter To Work Day is April 26, 2002
This event was started by the Ms. Foundation to help support and encourage girls by getting communities and families involved in making a positive impact on their lives. They suggest that adults take their daughters and other girls to work with them for the day in the hopes that it would expose them to new opportunities and help them feel more confident and valued.
4) A Note from Rayona
February and March have been busy months for us. We see this as a tribute to how our work together creates opportunity, even in these less than certain times. We take you with us wherever we go and marvel at how your commitment and actions are making a difference for others.
I attended the 4th Annual Linkage Women in Leadership Summit in February, which was created by alumni, Susan Brady, as her breakthrough project in WLC. It continues to bring value to hundreds of women both nationally and internationally. Alumni who presented at the conference and did a terrific job were: Fran Zone, conference moderator; Eunice Azzani was extremely popular in the Senior Leader Journey track; Aida Sabo from Agilent Technologies, did a great job in presenting her groundbreaking work on Diversity Made Real; and Ellen Wingard, back by popular demand, presented sessions in mindfulness and leadership renewal. It was a fabulous conference and for those of you who attended, I know you would join me in encouraging others to attend next year. I co-facilitated a new addition to the conference, the Senior Leader Journey. This portion of the conference provided the opportunity for senior women leaders to learn from each other and experts in different fields who also have real-world expertise and vast knowledge of global business issues. Linkage has an excellent reputation for conferences and the Women in Leadership Summit always receives the highest of Linkage’s accolades.
On the home front, we had 28 incredible women in our February WLC course and a whole new set of groundbreaking project plans were launched. It is always exciting to see leadership in action and to be inspired by your commitment to making a difference “on your shift” and how this can impact the world at large, as well as your families and organizations. In our next newsletter I will share the results of our next Canadian WLC program, which for the first time will be held in Ottawa, Ontario.
I recently spoke at Seton Hill College in Pennsylvania in March for their National Education Center for Women in Business. The conference was focused on “Building a World Class Business” and I was honored to be there with Sally Helgesen who discussed topics included in her fabulous book Thriving in 24/7: Six strategies for Taming the New World of Work. I also just completed a keynote speech at Boston University School of Management’s Women’s Leadership Forum where I connected with many Boston area alumni. The following week I’m off to present at the WomenFuture global satellite conference on women’s leadership. In every one of these events, I am sharing your accomplishments, your courage and your uncompromising commitment to impact organizations and bring about a better world. Please continue to send us examples of your successes so that I can showcase them in my presentations and keynote speeches.
If you can, take a moment to drop us a line and tell us how you are doing these days. We never tire of hearing from you and knowing that you read the newsletter does make a difference to us. As always, we are just a phone call or email away if we can support you in anything. Take care of your health and remember to smell the roses along the way!