MCC chancellor part of the conversation on #InternationalWomensDay

#SheLeads CEOs (from left) Jackie DeSouza, Dr. Kimberly Beatty, Karen Fenaroli and Angela Hurt

Conversations about the status of women happened across the globe on Thursday, March 8. This year’s International Women’s Day sparked events including one in Kansas City in which Metropolitan Community College Chancellor Dr. Kimberly Beatty took part.

More than 100 audience members attended the panel discussion of CEOs.

Dr. Beatty joined a panel including Angela Hurt, CEO and founder of Veracity, a technology company; Jackie DeSouza, CEO of Research Medical Center; and Karen Fenaroli, CEO and founder of Fenaroli & Associates, a talent consultant agency.

Fenaroli led the discussion,  which was titled “Get to Your Own She-Suite: How These Kansas City CEO Women Did It.” The hashtag #SheLeads was displayed during their talk.

MCC’s Dr. Kimberly Beatty listens as Karen Fenaroli moderates the #SheLeads discussion.

Topics included what some of the CEOs’ biggest challenges have been and the advice they would have given their 30-year-old selves and to women aspiring to become professionals like them.

Fenaroli said 98 percent of her peers are men. “I don’t have enough women growing fast enough in my pipeline. At 32, you’re child-bearing and you leave. Stay in the workforce,” said Fenaroli, adding she would like to see 50 percent of CEOs in Kansas City be women.

Dr. Beatty talked about the challenge of communication and the value of messaging: “You’re trying to make change and lead an organization forward, and you have to control the message the whole time.” One of her strategies has been consistent and detailed emails to the MCC staff.

The half-hour panel was set in the collaborative workspace of WeWork at 18th and Walnut streets.
As for advice for young professionals, Dr. Beatty said, “Find a mentor. When you’re 30, you think you know everything. You don’t. I made a lot of mistakes but I didn’t listen as well as I could have. Find a mentor who can say, Whoa Nelly, slow down — and actually be willing to listen.”
DeSouza advised, “Take better care of yourself. You have a family and a job, kids, but take care of yourself. Exercise, eat healthy. “

Hurt started her own company when she was 30. “My advice? Have no fear, come together. Have passion, and wear sunscreen.”

Each of the women were asked to provide two words of motivation in closing.

Hurt: “passion and authenticity.”

DeSouza: “love and tenacity.”

Dr. Beatty: “Do you.”

Fenaroli: “Inclusive sisterhood.”

For more about International Women’s Day, click here.

Bonus photo: As part of the event, attendees could get snapshots from a photo screen texted to them immediately. Enjoy this moment of levity from Dr. Beatty and MCC-Penn Valley President Dr. Tyjaun Lee.