11.6.17_news_womens conference_CHRISTINE VIRAY_2

Dr. Davis Addresses Women’s Leadership Conference

HIGHEST RANKING WOMAN AT MASON DELIVERS INSPIRING SPEECH TO FEMALE STUDENTS 

By Olivia Booth, Staff Writer

Roosevelt at Mason partnered with the Honors College, Women and Gender Studies, and the LEAD office to host the Women’s Leadership Conference to embolden women seeking leadership roles.

“It’s not that the women leaders are ineffective,” said Rebecca Dooley, one of the event coordinators. “It’s that there aren’t enough of them.”

According to the event’s mission statement, its purpose was “to think critically about how Mason can encourage women to take on leadership roles, to expose students to successful women, and to provide trainings that support women at Mason to become leaders on and off campus.” The event took place Nov. 3 at the MIX.

Organizers invited successful career women to speak at the event. This included Dr. J.J. Davis, the Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance at George Mason. After the speakers, attendees and mentors were split into groups based on their career interests for more specific discussions.

A central theme of the conference was the obstacles that women face in the work force – chiefly, the struggle to land positions of power. Women can also be overlooked by their coworkers.

Dr. Davis explained that when she first started a job, her coworkers mistakenly believed she was a “cookie girl” – the girl in the office whose job is to bring cookies for other employees. However, she let the mistake get to her. Instead, she delivered the cookies to her colleagues and used the contact with them to discuss important company issues.

Dr. Davis gave more wisdom from her years of experience in the work force, and advised students in the audience of how they can become successful. “Role models are critically important,” she said, citing a governor she worked for as an example.

Dr. Davis recommended “sitting at the table and leaning in,” meaning that it is important to be assertive and actively participate to be successful. Dr. Davis also highlighted the importance of perseverance.

“Think of the one thing you can’t do and do it,” she added. “Find the value in each of us. If you get to know people, it will really enrich you.”

Photo Courtesy of Christine Viray