Corrections or additions?
These articles by Kathleen McGinn Spring and others were prepared
for the January 31, 2001 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights
Women in Business: Notes from the Field
Women have made great strides in attaining leadership
roles over the past decade. Now, today’s increasingly global and
world presents new opportunities, challenges, and obstacles. How can
women move up the ladder and feel comfortable in these situations,
and how can you raise the subject with your boss?
"It is important to find out what your organization is doing to
foster communication about these issues, what else can be done, and
what information is being missed," says Joan Kelly, a senior
consultant specializing in women’s leadership practices for William
M. Mercer, the Carnegie Center-based consulting firm (609-520-3733,
For many years, women have been in the executive-level pipeline, but
their movement into senior level positions has grown from only three
percent to five percent. Women have both visible and invisible
to moving up in the workplace. It is still true that elements of the
"good old boys" network — such as golf outings —
to be important places to exchange information and build networking
relationships that are so crucial to career advancement, especially
in the service industries.
Exclusionary practices deprive women of a forum such as this, to share
vital "inside track" information about their own companies,
and get the feedback they need to assess their current role; where
they are going and how they can get there. Women are not always privy
to this crucial information, since they are not yet inducted into
the "good old boys" club.
Kelly notes that it is the responsibility of both management and the
employee to survey these activities and to be aware of the barriers
they can create. Oftentimes, managers attempt to be kind in offering
these opportunities to employees, and do not realize that some
are left isolated. Both you and your boss need to identify these
in creating a gender-friendly environment.
Women open up a crucial dialogue when making management aware of their
feelings about these events. The Wall Street Journal recently reported
a rise in both settlement size and litigation around diversity issues.
If you suggest alternative methods of optimizing communication, and
more inclusive policies, you are doing your company a favor.
Although many companies have policies in place, some are just
and are not put into practice. However, many companies are increasing
their leadership diversity by focusing on the attraction, retention,
and development of high potential women. These companies realize an
integrated leadership development strategy, with a focus on women’s
leadership, is now considered a business imperative and fundamental
for growth. Managers who are aware of these issues can help their
company obtain financial rewards. But it’s up to you to help your
company get there, and have your manager understand your personal
Kelly offers some tips to get started:
of your organization’s culture and pinpointing the inherent biases
in the system.
is important to your company’s executives — and if they are paying
attention to the needs of working parents.
by promoting women.
the company capture diversity of thought and create a competitive
advantage in the marketplace. Diversity programs can actually help
retention and have been shown to provide the impetus to strategic
to open a dialogue and get support for your actions.
Women who are frustrated by their inability to penetrate
the glass ceilings that lead to executive positions often break away
from corporate jobs to start their own businesses. A state-sponsored
course, the Entrepreneurial Training Institute, can help. It offers
instruction on preparing a business plan, understanding the financial
aspects of running a business, and developing marketing strategies.
Class size is kept small — only 20 students — to allow
interaction between students and instructors, who are representatives
of community development organizations and the NJDA.
ETI is especially interested in helping women and minority-owned
Classes are held once a week from 6 to 9 p.m. The next sessions begin
on Wednesday, February 21, at the Burlington County High Tech
in Mount Laurel; on Thursday, February 22, at the Human Resource
Institute in Trenton; and on Thursday, March 1, at DeVry Institute
in Edison. Cost: $225. Call 609-292-9279, E-mail: email@example.com, or
go to www.njeda.com.
Though participants in ETI programs are not guaranteed business loans,
ETI upped their chances when, last fall, it formed a partnership with
a number of banks, including Commerce Bank, First Union Bank, First
Washington Bank, Fleet Bank, and Yardville National Bank. Through
the partnership, called SEED (Strengthening the Economy with
Development), the banks will provide additional support to ETI and
to the small business owners who take its course, helping to move
them from formal business plan to business financing.
In addition to other sources of funding available to them, ETI
can apply for business loans from a revolving loan fund established
specifically for them. Through the NJDA, loans and loan guarantees
from $20,000 to $100,000 are available for small business. Last year
the NJDA provided $730,000 to 12 small businesses in New Jersey (see
Terri McNichol got an extensive business education
— and a $35,000 startup loan for her new business too — by
spending one evening a week for eight weeks as a participant in an
Entrepreneurial Training Institute program.
"It was wonderful," says McNichol of the ETI program. She
owns Ren Associates, an Alexander Road-based intercultural arts
business. "They put you in touch with a whole team of experts.
After the formal presentation, you break out into small groups, each
with its own expert in accounting, law, or banking. You have access
to all these experts every week. It’s practically one-on-one."
"I am an artist and an art historian," says McNichol, who
works in watercolor and holds a master’s degree in Asian art history
from New York University. "Even though I have been an
I didn’t have business training. How many of us have time to go back
and take business?"
The ETI program that turned McNichol into an entrepreneur is sponsored
by the New Jersey Development Authority for Small Businesses,
and Women’s Enterprises. "ETI compresses it all in its
McNichol says of the financial information needed to start a business.
"I now know about cash flow, and doing a budget, and doing
And McNichol, who began her business just one year ago after
the ETI program, learned how to turn her idea for a company that would
empower communities through art into a business plan that could
A requirement for graduation from the ETI program is a business plan.
What’s more, McNichol says, "they don’t have you do a plan and
then say `good-bye.’"
Each member of the class presents his or her business plan to a panel
of banking, accounting, law, and marketing professionals. Lenders
on the panel often offer loans to members of the class.
McNichol received her $35,000 loan from a lender she met through ETI.
Her loan request was at the low end of amounts requested by students
in her class, she says. While her business is in the arts, McNichol
says many of her classmates were in technical fields, while others
were starting restaurants.
McNichol plans to grow her business through collaborations. She is
working on a book on elder care, emphasizing how the issue crosses
geographical and cultural boundaries. Her collaborator is Nancy
Mattis, a nursing home expert and author she has known since the
two attended St. Anthony’s High School in Hamilton, now McCorristin
High School, together. Mattis is the owner of HealthWrite Publishers
in Maine. In another collaboration, McNichol worked with the Nai-Ni
Chen Dance Company in Fort Lee on a Chinese curriculum for a magnet
school in Elizabeth. Nai-Ni designed the curriculum and McNichol added
the professional teacher training component.
McNichol, who holds a bachelor’s degree from Brooklyn College, got
her start in higher education from Mercer County Community College,
where she obtained an associate’s degree. She has been teaching Asian
art history at MCCC for 10 years.
Before starting her business, McNichol was director of Ellarslie,
the Trenton City Museum. While in that position, she raised funds
for and mounted a permanent exhibit of Trenton pottery and sanitary
fixtures. She also began her association with the dance company,
to bring programs of movement and calligraphy to Trenton school
McNichol also served as director of community programs for the Council
for the Humanities.
Because ETI is so interested in helping women and minorities, McNichol
encourages them to take advantage. "This is a tremendous time
for women," she says. "I can’t think of a better time to start
a business than right now."
— Kathleen McGinn Spring
Even when the IPO market is suffering — especially
when it is — it’s a good time to open a PR and marketing firm
for high tech companies, says Juliet Shavit, who has just
just such a firm, SmartMark Communications. "The companies that
are running out of funding, pre-IPO, desperately need to get exposure
from market analysts. With technology going as fast as it is, there
are hundreds of companies doing the same thing. Branding becomes very
Shavit left an agency job in the Manhattan office of Fitzgerald
to open her own firm (Box 3038, Princeton 08543, 609-406-1145; fax,
609-406-9118). She offers "project-by-project" based public
relations on an as-needed basis.
The traditional business model of big city PR agencies — the
— is not going to work for the young high tech companies, says
Shavit. "They run out of money, and the PR agencies suck them
dry until they have no money and collapse."
Shavit earned her bachelor’s degree from New York University (Class
of 1996), where she also received a master’s degree. At NYU, she
on modern American poetry, specifically that of Sylvia Plath. She
did public relations for the New Yorker magazine and worked in
for Technion University and Rad Data Communications, both in Israel.
She was responsible for high technology accounts in the Manhattan
office of Fitzgerald Communications. (Her husband is an engineer at
JDS Uniphase. Her father, Allan M. Zarembski, is an engineering
for the railroad industry.)
SmartMark’s services include: messaging (working with a client to
identify key messages and mission statement), announcements
press releases over a wire service), trade show outreach (finding
a suitable trade show and setting up analyst meetings at the show),
and speaking opportunities (booking a company executive into an
SmartMark also coaches executives on what to say during an interview
or how to make a presentation. Providing marketing materials, devising
and producing ad campaigns, and developing presentations are other
services Shavit’s firm offers.
Most amateurs don’t know the components of the press
release, says Annie Jennings, proprietor of an eponymous public
relations firm in Belle Mead. The standard way is to present the
in a paragraph format and expect the editor or broadcast producer
to read it. "But that is not how it happens any more — they
don’t have time to read press releases in the standard format."
Instead, Jennings says, lead with five "National Enquirer
captions, "something sizzling designed to capture or grab
A producer will see only one of those caption-like headings, she says,
whichever one they have some experience with.
After grabbing attention, Jennings says, create certainty in the minds
of your target — editor, journalist, or producer — that the
speaker you are touting will result in an excellent "segment"
of a radio or television show, or an excellent interview. "Give
them the information they need to come to that conclusion."
Provide the credentials — why this person is an expert on the
topic, with the achievements and the awards earned. "Then tell
what the listener will learn, the benefits to the reader. We give
the five talking points for the article or the interview —
hard nosed advice giving strategies that will change someone’s life.
The talking points become the backdrop for the interview, what the
producer will be working with."
Jennings teaches a six-session "Crash Course in Publicity"
on Monday and Thursday evenings starting Monday, February 5, at 7:30
p.m. at her Belle Mead office. This course, she says, also covers
how to make a pitch, how to leave an effective voice mail, how to
break into new markets, how to follow up without pestering, and more.
Cost: $995. Call 908-281-6201.
Jennings studied economics and finance at Rutgers but left school
to start a Wall Street trading company. "I was an entrepreneur
through and through. I learned the business from the ground up."
She retired from the business when she married and had the first of
five children; the oldest is 17. Her husband worked on Wall Street.
"When there was a recession in the stock market, I thought there
was a chance I would have to go back to work, and the hourly rate
that most people would pay me would not support my family. I realized
I had a special talent for promoting people’s work, and now I have
over 1,000 clients and eight employees — five full-time and three
Jennings now has an unusual billing method — she is paid for
not retainers, and not hours spent. "I have booked thousands of
interviews and am famous for my `pay for placement’ program,"
says Jennings. "My clients pay me only for successful results
— no retainers. I take in all the upfront risk and invest in my
clients first. They give me their wish list and I work it for them
at no charge until the placement is done."
The charge might range from $500 for being mentioned in a print
to $10,000 for a "really good high quality feature." Most
print articles run from $1,500 to $2,500. A feature is more expensive
than an attributed quote, but if contact information is included,
that costs more.
Broadcast placements start at $1,000. "We don’t charge for
less than a top show, in the top 25 radio markets," says Jennings.
"If you get on Larry King or Oprah, you might pay $10,000. We
book every major show."
Jennings says her clients include New York Times best-selling authors
and experts. But if an author is worthy of Oprah, why would the author
need a publicist? "I am highly motivated to get the result, and
they might not have the time to contact the exact journalist who would
be working on the exact fit for them," she says. Her most likely
client, she says, is someone with excellent credentials, who has an
important contribution but has not reached the best seller caliber.
"I can open the doors for them."
— Barbara Fox
Women with careers in the New York or New Jersey media
or in area communications companies, whether freelancers or staffers,
are invited to compare notes with their peers at an informal
Snowed out in January, the media women will get together for breakfast
and networking on Sunday, February 25, at 10 a.m. at the Ramada in
The invitation notes that you should consider yourself eligible if
you have ever had your alarm clock set for 4 a.m. for at least six
months; earned slightly above the poverty level for one year; worked
through Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas/New Year’s Eve and other
considered your work clothes to be jeans, old sweaters and no make-up;
or wondered why all the people you went to college with left the
years ago and are earning "real" wages.
If you fit the criteria, but want more information, call Susan
Young at 732-613-4790 or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. before
Thursday, February 1. Fee: $10, collected at the door.
The Internet has opened a world of opportunities for
mothers who want to stay at home and work too. A website that offers
advice and points moms toward work-at-home opportunities is Dot Com
Mommies (www.dotcommommies.com). The site, started last year by
Perez, a stay-at-home mom who lives in Illinois, offers advice
("Four Tips to Choosing the Right Business") and links to
sites posting freelance cyber jobs. One of these sites, Smarterwork
(www.smarterwork.com), has listings for writers, researchers, Web
designers, personal assistants, tax preparers, software developers,
Dot Com Mommies also lists business opportunities, but it warns that
it does not endorse them. Many of the listings, peppered with
marks ("Get Paid to Party!!), might possibly be too good to be
The Delaware-Raritan Girl Scout Council has announced
the winners of its 2001 Women of Distinction and Girl Scout of
awards in seven categories.
A dinner in honor of the winners will be held on Thursday, March 15,
at 5:30 p.m. at the Forsgate Country Club in Monroe Township. Tickets
are $125 per person. Corporate table sponsorships are available for
$1,500. Call 732-821-9090, extension 112 for further information.
The honored women:
been with the Sarnoff Corporation for 12 years and is head of the
molecular devices and systems group in the bioelectronic material
laboratory. Ladd contributed to the start-up of three new Sarnoff
Technology Venture companies, including Orchid Biosciences. She is
acting in the role of Chief Technology Officer for Everest Displays,
a yet-to-be announced venture that is in the process of raising
capital for a new display manufacturing technology.
is an attorney and a director and senior vice president for U.S. Trust
Company of New Jersey, managing the Trust and Client Service Group
on Vaughn Drive. A member of the board of trustees for the University
of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Miranda was the first woman
and the first individual of Hispanic ancestry to chair the board of
who is pursuing her Ph.D. in Folklore and Ethnography, is folk arts
coordinator and community arts manager with the New Jersey State
on the Arts.
been associated with St. Peter’s University Hospital since 1980. She
serves as Director of Pediatric Psychology and is also Program
of the SIDS Center of New Jersey. In addition, she is Clinical
of Pediatrics and Psychology at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
vice president and chief operating officer of Educational Testing
Service. She is a leader in education rights for disadvantaged
She has served in positions in the U.S. Department of Education as
well as the National Education Association.
golfer and advocate for women’s health. A member of the LPGA, Class
A, Skinner has been Chair of the National Breast Cancer Coalition
from District 15 in Mercer County and also directs the office of
services at Rider University.
the Commission on Business Efficiency in Public Schools and the New
Jersey Child Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect. As a state
she has bills pending to increase accessibility to safe and affordable
day care, require insurance companies to cover Pap Smear exams, and
establish MicroCredit Business loans to women on public assistance.
and personal accomplishments as well as their dedication to the
of their communities, will mentor one of the Girl Scout of Distinction
winners: Aiko Marsi , West Windsor-Plainsboro; Susan
North Edison; Janice Verbosky, Hamilton;Megan Klusza,
Charlsia-Jene Terrell, Sayreville; and Alicia Kelly
Corrections or additions?
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