Siemionko encourages women to take charge

Katherine Siemionko, head organizer of the Women’s March on New York City, led an event titled “An Empowered Woman” on Tuesday, March 21, during club hours. The objective of the event was to discuss how to avoid recurrent drawbacks that prevent women from achieving success and how to take charge of their careers.

Siemionko opened up the event by providing background information on herself. She revealed that she was born in Chicago and grew up in Florida, going on to graduate from Saint Louis University and work in the pharmaceutical medicine industry.

Eventually, she was offered a job within a company ranked sixth in the New York Stock Exchange. As she shifted her focus to project management, she completed her MBA program in London and wrote her thesis in Thailand. Her career history included working at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Siemionko first explained the significance of networking in careers.

“Women often prevent themselves from moving forward because they do it incorrectly. Women have a lot to offer. They should set goals and know goals. Then they should ask themselves how do I get here,” Siemionko said.

Siemionko also said that many women suffer from fear and feel like they are not adding enough value in their careers.

“There was a study published revealing that women are more critical on themselves than men and fail to recognize their achievements. Build a relationship, be genuine and set goals. It can be done and you are going to make it,” she said.

Students then asked if this mindset places their reputation on the line and if it is superficial to get in contact with someone just to inquire about a job. Siemionko replied that one should use fear to push themselves forward because women are so hard on themselves. Males are blunt, happier and open. Yet women love to put labels and often see one another as threats. She urged women to put themselves out there.

One student then mentioned the wage gap, saying that there were two perspectives on the gender inequality in the workplace: this is a reality that should be combated or that women do it to themselves when they enter a male-dominated career.

Siemionko explained that this stems from an outlook that one is not worthy of making more money. She repeated that women must understand that they are worth more and deserve more.

“This lack of confidence was evident in a western marketing study. Proud, strong and dominant women were shown in advertisements for facial cream and makeup. This damaged a viewer’s self-esteem. Do not forget that feeling unloved and unworthy shows when you come into work,” she disclosed.

Students also asked questions on how to defy the notion that women should be nurturing homemakers, how to excel in interviews and how to conquer self-esteem issues.

Siemionko said to write down goals and mentally step back to evaluate their goals. If you know what you want, you can establish a coherent plan to get further.

“In sociology they found that when young boys play, they fix the rules if they break them and continue to play. On the other hand, when young girls play with dolls, they negotiate and tell each other what toys they want. Take the center pool of resources and divide that between the community,” she advised.

She further said that personality outshines a resume in an interview. She recommended sticking to goals to improve self-esteem. Do not be afraid of taking advantage of networking opportunities and strive to get mentors because they offer honest feedback.

She proceeded to highlight how crucial time management is and that students should structure tasks. She disclosed that she applied this stance when organizing the Women’s March.

As a result, she received a permit one weekend and had 2,000 people sign up for the next weekend.

Siemionko concluded the event by saying to identify your passion because that is your real compass. It is fine to be passionate about something that does not pay a lot of money.

“You do not have a purpose. You have many purposes,” she said.

March 25, 2017

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