SOURCE: American Business Media

January 24, 2008 15:29 ET

Leading Female Executives Share Success Stories and Keys to Climbing the Corporate Ladder at ABM's Inaugural Women in Business-to-Business Event

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - January 24, 2008) - It was standing-room-only at the Prince George Ballroom Wednesday evening in New York City as more than 150 business media professionals sought inspiration and secrets to success from American Business Media's six honorees during the Association's inaugural Women in Business-to-Business: Real Stories, Real Successes (http://www.americanbusinessmedia.com/assnfe/ev.asp?ID=126).

In order to recognize and celebrate the changing face of the business information industry, ABM devoted the entire month of January to today's women in business media, with dedicated efforts including specialized articles and Video Network broadcasts. The January 23rd event recognized the career achievements of today's leading female executives in business media while allowing attendees the opportunity to network with like-minded professionals.

Sponsor Ann Marie Bushell, Group Executive VP of Marketing for RR Donnelley, kicked off the evening with an important tip for attendees. "Shame on us if tonight is just a lovely evening where we chatted with a few interesting people and heard some interesting stories... Learn how to use the network!"

Bushell then passed the microphone to the evening's facilitator, CBS News Correspondent Erin Moriarty, who moderated a roundtable discussion with the five other honorees and Gertrude R. Crain recipients: Deirdre Bigley, VP, Worldwide Advertising & Interactive, IBM; Nina DiSesa, Chairman, McCann-Erickson New York, and author, "Seducing the Boys Club"; Mary Dolaher, CEO, IDG World Expo; Gloria Scoby, SVP and Group Publisher, Crain Communications; and Peggy Walker, President and COO, Vance Publishing Corporation.

The discussion transformed into a dynamic conversation about stereotypes, challenges and the evolution of the industry's working women. The speakers agreed that young women today are entering the workforce with more expansive educational backgrounds, heightened confidence and greater demands, all leading to more acceptance and diversity within the business media community, and Corporate America overall.

Conversation quickly became heated when DiSesa addressed the limited opportunities for women at the top. "It's not a glass ceiling," she said. "It's a plexiglass ceiling, because you can shatter glass. But that plexiglass ceiling, it just won't budge." Scoby referenced statistics when she said that women often leave large companies due to a lack of creativity at the top. "It doesn't play to a woman's -- and I'm going to make a rash generalization here -- natural suit, which is creativity," she said.

Moriarty wondered if working women bring this stifling upon themselves with their discussion of feelings and insecurities. "It's dangerous in the workplace from my viewpoint," she said. And the speakers seemed to agree that putting on a brave face at work -- and saving the expression of emotions for home -- is necessary.

In her new book, "Seducing the Boys Club," DiSesa discusses the art of S&M, or Seduction & Manipulation. She believes we all come into the world with a desire to control our environment, and motivating people to act -- not just for you, but for the company, the client or the good of mankind -- is manipulation for a good cause. Or just successful leadership, as Walker and Bigley pointed out.

The honorees' final words of advice for aspiring young women looking to fill their shoes? Become a "go-to person," Walker said, adding that proactively taking on assignments and participating in your organization gives you visibility, value and recognition by management. Scoby stressed the importance of a well-balanced life that feeds you from a variety of different places. Letting go of guilt was Dolaher's best suggestion. "Ask for what you want and expect what you deserve," DiSesa said. Bigley, the true marketer, advised the audience to always think about their brand or sound byte. And Moriarty said it's all about being comfortable with yourself... even if it takes awhile to figure out who you really are.

About American Business Media:

Founded in 1906, American Business Media is the association of business information providers, delivering business intelligence to industry, Madison Avenue, Wall Street and the Beltway. Its over 300 member companies reach an audience of more than 100 million professionals and represent nearly 5000 print and online titles and 1000 Trade Shows and well over $20 billion in annual revenues.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Kate Patton
    Editor
    American Business Media
    212.661.6360 ext. 3315
    Email Contact