Women in Leadership Panel Discussion | Webster University

Women in Leadership Panel Discussion

Women Leaders Join us on Thursday, March 19 from 5-7 p.m. for a panel discussion featuring Maxine Clark, Build-A-Bear Workshop founder, Kathy Mazzarella and chairman, chief executive officer and president of Brown Shoe. During this event, the panelists will draw upon their personal career experiences and offer insights on leading.

In preparation for the panel discussion, the Walker School asked Clark, Mazzarella and Sullivan to respond to the following questions:  "As a leader, what unique perspectives do you bring to the workplace?  How have your past experiences shaped these perspectives?  What have you learned from them?" 

Take a look at what the panelists had to say: 

Maxine Clark – “I have been fortunate to have a long and successful career in retailing in a great company, The May Department Stores. From my days as an executive trainee to my days as president of Payless ShoeSource, I was always learning and doing at the same time. Retailing is a great industry that touches the consumer on a daily basis. It is results-oriented, and therefore easy to measure whether your leadership is getting results as the customer spends her money accordingly. As a buyer and as a merchandise manager, I worked with manufacturers and business leaders from cosmetics to shoes to apparel and consumer electronics as well as my direct supervisors. I was able to observe and learn from many different leaders and adopt the good techniques I saw and also learn what not to do. There have been many economic changes and innovations over the course of my career and I have been able to adapt to those changes and bring those experiences into play to help my teams and for my teams to help me bring vision and strategy to reality. I believe in diverse points of view and if I was not able to find diversity in my immediate contacts I sought it out to gain a deeper perspective.

I am also heavily engaged in community work and I also bring the same business leadership principles to my not for profit work for better management and efficiency. This has also helped these organizations have more impact and also be more self-sustaining. Good leadership practices are transferable to for profit and not for profit work.”

Kathy Mazzarella -  “Because I’ve been with Graybar for my entire career, I feel very connected with our employees.  As employee owners, we share a common goal of working together to help our company succeed.

Like many of our employees, I know what it is like to start at the bottom of the ladder and work my way up within the company.  I also appreciate the value of taking on challenging assignments outside of my comfort zone and the importance of continual learning and growth.”

Doors open at 5 p.m. and the panel discussion begins at 6 p.m.  Please click here to RSVP for the event.