Women WELDing the way to high performance

col_ftr_WELD20152_2015On Nov. 5, 12 women who exemplify the mission of Women for Economic Leadership and Development (WELD) were honored during the annual Women WELDing the Way calendar reception, with emcee Tracy Townsend, WBNS-10TV news anchor and reporter. WELD develops and advances women’s leadership to strengthen the economic prosperity of the communities it serves.

Making an impact

The calendar, sponsored by Cardinal Health and Thirty-One Gifts, describes the leadership journey of one woman each month. Each honoree also presents a program to WELD’s monthly Emerging Professionals’ Series.

The 2016 group, selected after an extensive nomination and interview process, is highly diverse — representing law and the judiciary, travel and business consulting, public relations and marketing, business intelligence, technology, biomedical research, health care administration, leadership of nonprofit organizations devoted to the well-being of women and girls, and electrical engineering/public utilities management.

Although the event recognizes the accomplishments of women leaders in the workplace, each honoree is selected because she also makes an impact on others in business and in communities — by giving back and by “paying it forward” in a variety of efforts. These women serve on public and nonprofit boards, commissions and committees; lead faith communities; and participate in service learning and program funding for organizations that focus on the needs of girls, women and families.

By focusing on others and having a big picture mentality, these women leaders are driving superior organizational performance.

Empowering leadership at all levels

High performance organizations are built on collective impact, led by individuals who empower leadership in others at all levels. The blog post “Women Leading Change: 10 Inspirational Quotes on Servant Leadership From Women Leaders” (July 10, 2015) by Artika Tyner, Ph.D., asks: “Does your leadership cause others to experience personal and professional growth?”

As female leaders we must strive to make an impact — not only to improve our own lives but also to advance women collectively.

KPMG’s Women’s Leadership Study (KPMG.com/WomensLeadership) emphasizes that it is critical to build networks with the express goal of generating opportunities for women’s leadership growth.

The report concludes: “in a world where the attributes of the most effective leaders include the ability to generate collaboration, communication and respect, it seems only logical that the path to leadership should be characterized by the same qualities.”

Congratulations to the 2016 Women WELDing the Way — a group that reflects best practices in ensuring a high-impact leadership legacy.