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These South Jersey women know exactly what it’s like to tackle challenges in the workforce. Check out how these successful leaders have handled tough obstacles – and their powerful advice for other women.

 

JoAnne Epps

2015 Women’s Empowerment Series
“Like it or not, we’re seen as women leaders – not just leaders. That puts a special burden on us, but it’s one that is solvable.”

 

Elizabeth Ryan

2015 Women’s Empowerment Series
“I have a support system of friends from a group of state hospital execs across the country who I will call on both personally and professionally. I gravitate to the women, and I’ll call them and say, ‘Did you ever have this happen? What did you do?’ Relationships in business are key.”

 

Diane Allen

2015 Women’s Empowerment Series
“There’s this wonderful thing called the “Old Boys Network.” It works very well, and I’m not going to tell you it’s a bad thing. It’s a great thing if you’re an old boy.”

“When I work across the aisle, I’ll often choose to work with another woman, because there’s a good chance we can quietly get things done. If we can have lots of relationships with other women – and clearly we need them with men, as well – but if we can really work on those relationships with other women, it can be a great help to ourselves and to everyone around us.”

 

Pamela Lampitt

2015 Women’s Empowerment Series
“When I came into the legislature and I wanted to tackle transfer of credits of county colleges to our four-year colleges, I was really patronized in a way. I got patted on my head, and they said, ‘Go ahead, try it. It’s a 20-year-old problem, but go ahead, little girl. You try it.’ I’m like, ‘Really? You’re going to tell me – Miss Persistent, here – that I should go ahead and try? Watch me.’ It takes a long time to get bills through the legislature, but in 18 months I did it. And I did it by getting all the presidents of New Jersey universities around a table and saying, ‘OK, figure out how this is all going to work.’ And they said, ‘OK. We did. Now, you’re just going to leave it alone, right?’ and I said, ‘No! I’m not going to leave it alone. I’m going to create it fully, and I’m going to make sure it lives past me.’ It’s called the Lampitt Law today, which is pretty fantastic.”

 

Lindsay Sacknoff

2015 Women’s Empowerment Series
“Women have to deal with different things in the workplace. When I was a young consultant, I had a project manager, Ken, and we were together all the time. We had spent a week with a client, and it was a great week.”

“I felt like I did a great job. We were saying our goodbyes. Ken reaches out to our client, and they shake hands. Then our client comes to me and leans in for a hug, which I thought was a little weird, and then it turns into a kiss. I’m pulling free, and I can see Ken’s shocked face. In that moment, I had no idea what to do. On the drive to the airport, Ken and I talked about it the whole way. I give him a lot of credit, because we decided he was going to call him and say, ‘Treat Lindsay like the rest of the team, like the guys on the team.’ And that’s how we resolved it. It was never spoken of again. I didn’t do what I wished I had done, but we got to the right resolution: Just treat me like the rest of the team.”

 

Pat Ciarrocchi

2015 Women’s Empowerment Series
“You can be emotional, absolutely – if it’s appropriate. What you can’t be is dramatic. You can’t have the drama, and the other issue is you can’t gossip. You’ve got to be really careful about who is in your circle at work.”

 

Dr. Wendy Martinez

2015 Women’s Empowerment Series
“You have to be tough-minded, because people will try to get at you. They’ll try to use whatever vulnerability you have, and there are some people who just have radar – they seem to know exactly the one thing that gets you. You need a better understanding of your own mind and yourself, so you can stay tough-minded with what it is you ultimately want to accomplish.”

 

Kristi Howell

2016 Women’s Empowerment Series
“When I was in my current job for about five years, a friend called me and said, ‘I want you to know you were nominated for this award, but we’re not giving it to you.’ She said the reason was the women in the group decided that because I didn’t have kids, I wasn’t ‘really quite there yet.’ Two weeks ago, I was meeting with a woman and we were talking about my community involvement, and she says, ‘Do you have kids?’ I said, ‘No, not yet.’ She says, ‘I’m impressed, but I’d be really impressed if you had kids.’ I just kind of sat back. Why do we, as women, judge each other on that? I’m sure I’m going to be judged if I’m 48 or 49 years old with a 1-year-old too. So just bring it on.”

 

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