Gender & Womens Studies and WKU Women in Business Host Women in Business Panel
- Brianna Hamilton
- Friday, October 29th, 2021
“When a 5’3 woman walks in and I’m getting ready to do a 40-foot by 100-foot mural, they don’t know how I’m going to be capable of doing that,” Andee Rudloff stated.
Proving capability in the workforce was a key focus for the Women in Business panel on Wednesday, Oct. 21. Co-sponsored by the Gender and Women’s Studies program as part of the Gail Martin Lecture & Faculty Development Series and The WKU Women in Business Club, the panel featured an array of distinguished women in prominent business roles to celebrate National Women Entrepreneurship Week.
The panel, which took place in the Grise Hall Auditorium, included Gail B. Martin, CEO of Martin Management Group; Amber L. Martin, Director of Community and Business Partnerships for Martin Management Group; Sharon Brawner, President and CEO of the National Corvette Museum; and Andee Rudloff, Consultant and Artist for the Kentucky Arts Council.
The panel was moderated by retired WKU faculty emeritus Dr. Dawn Bolton, who is currently a consultant for People’s Opportunity Program for Underserved Populations, or POP-UP.
Rudloff’s experiences of misjudgment upon appearances echoed several of the other panelists. While speaking on not only being a woman but a woman of color in the workplace, Gail Martin emphasized the need for people to make the best of the difficult situation, “You know your feelings, and be honest and say this is what it is. And also I would say sometimes you have to step out and you have to be the person who makes that first move because people are afraid.”
Gail Martin may have learned some of this perseverance from her mentor, former WKU professor Dr. Catherine Ward, who attended the event and praised Martin, “There was constant pressure on her [to sell] …but she stuck with it. Gail is a fighter,” Dr. Ward stated.
Conversations on the role of diversity, dynamics, and acceptance followed. After a list of questions submitted by the Women in Business Club had been discussed, the audience was given the chance to ask their own questions.
A wide round of applause concluded the event as audience members absorbed the key ideas and advice that had been presented by the panelists, one such idea being from Sharon Brawner, who stated, “The best advice I can give any of you is whatever it is that you are in joy about…that you are in a moment of joy as you’re working towards what is it you wish to do, then you can speak from confidence. I think that’s the emotional response that we give, I think that’s what’s sometimes expected of us as women, but when it’s put into the proper position, I enjoy that place and I ask you and beg you to embrace that notion.”