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Reflections on the Women's Symposium

2 minute read

On Thursday November 23 I attended Lerners’ second Women’s Symposium featuring Marlene McGrath, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at 3M.

Over two hundred women attended to listen to Marlene speak about her journey up the corporate ladder as a woman in a male dominated workplace.

Despite Marlene’s impressive career accomplishments, what was truly inspiring was the fact that Marlene not only has had a successful career but has also maintained a healthy marriage, raised three successful children, and stayed involved with her community.

Marlene spoke candidly about her journey, the risks she took, and the sacrifices she had to make to achieve her goals.

The key to all of this success? Flexibility. Marlene went back to this quality a number of times as an important characteristic for anyone looking to succeed.

As an associate, beginning my career with Lerners LLP, it was an important reminder that there is not one set track to be successful. Adapting to new situations and having an open mind to trying new things is important for long-term success.

In her time with 3M a significant amount of progress has been made with respect to diversity and inclusion, specifically in leadership positions. Marlene emphasized the benefits that she has seen as a result of diversity in her workplace. Although change did not happen overnight, she highlighted that there is power in numbers. She urged the audience to find their voice, be their own advocate, and support one another. In her view, the demonstration of these qualities is what has allowed for positive change and increased diversity in the workplace.

What I found most striking about Marlene was that her words seemed to resonate with every woman in the room regardless of their experiences or career path. I left feeling inspired and motivated to meet whatever challenges that may lay ahead. Most importantly, I left knowing that if we as woman support each other, remain flexible, and use our voices we are certain to achieve all that we set out to.

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Jacqueline A. Fortner

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