L to R, Yeni Castro, Ashley Kowal, Brian St. Hubert, Christina Whitehurst, Dr. Elizabeth Venuti Photo credit: Claudia Balthazar
Women all over the world are breaking through various barriers to work in the corporate world of America. Alpha Kappa Psi, a professional business fraternity, held the panel “women in business”, on Feb. 6, 2013 at Hofstra University, to inform the audience about a woman’s experience in the corporate world of business. During the panel, women discussed how females could play positive roles in their positions.
Yeni Castro, printer business planning associate of Canon USA, is new at her job and recognized that she’ll have to work to have a progressive future, just like anybody else. “There are going to be stereotypes and misconceptions but being a woman and knowing what job you have, you’ll look past that and do what it takes,” she said. “Do whatever you do one hundred percent.”
Dr. Elizabeth Venuti is Chairperson of the Frank G. Zarb School of Business at Hofstra University and has over 20 years of business experience. She has experienced different jobs within her field and encouraged people to be prepared for each transition. “When you start a job, don’t let them look at you as the new girl but as the new Accountant or the new Lawyer.” she said. “When you walk into the door with a certain attitude and have the skills and work ethics to back it up, the sky is the limit.”
Administrator in the Office of Student Services and Advising at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Ashley Kowal, added to the argument, “It’s not about what stereotypes they have on you, it’s about how you can spin it around.”
One of these misconceptions people have is that women cannot become business partners with men because they continue to leave and enter the work force. “Women enter and exit the workforce because life happens,” Christina Whitehurst, assistant accounting manager at Real Estate Partners said.
At one point in her career, Dr. Venuti decided to change fields and go back to school for her Ph.D. A business person said to her, “What a typical thing for a woman to do.” Women are still patronized in the corporate world despite the powerful positions they’ve gained over the years.
Dr. Venuti went onto to finish her Ph.D. in a male dominated program. “It took me six years to finish a 4-year program but so did some of the other men who had no kids,” she said. She had two other kids while participating in the program.
Whitehurst pointed out, “You need to make that balance. Do a great job at home and at work.”
Ashley said, “Wherever you go, you could take your skills with you.”
Alpha Kappa Psi fraternity began incorporating women into the fraternity around the 1970’s, during the Civil Rights Movement. “We (the fraternity) wanted to represent the fact that woman were and still are important to the business world,” said Brian St. Hubert, Professional events chair of the fraternity.
Published in Black Ink, the Official newsletter for Hofstra University’s Association of Black Journalists