Page Buchanan Lisa Leander Nicole Zefran
On Sunday March 8th, many around the globe celebrated International Women’s Day. As Mother’s Day is also fast approaching we should take time to appreciate the women in our lives. The University of Stellenbosch Business School, one of our member schools, put together a wonderful tribute highlighting many of the “phenomenal” women they’ve worked with worldwide. One of the outstanding women showcased by USB-ED was our very own Page Buchanan. In the link you can click on each woman for a detailed interview around their thoughts on International Women’s Day and what it means to be a woman in business.
Here’s what Page had to say: What does international women’s day mean to you?
It’s an opportunity to focus on the often overlooked and undervalued contributions that women make to our world, economically, intellectually and socially. In too many ways women are still considered a subset of humanity and compared against a male standard. A lot still needs to be done to truly say we respect and honor the full personhood of all women on earth.
What challenges do you/ did you face in being a woman in business and how did you overcome it?
Although I have been fortunate to work for several female leaders who demonstrated that advancement was possible, I still struggle with gender roles and expectations from both women and men around me every day that I have to overcome. A big challenge for me was to confidently speak of my own accomplishments. Through role models and mentoring from both men and women in my life I’ve worked to overcome this and stand up for myself in a way that honors both my own sensibilities and my achievements.
What would you like to see in the future with regards to women in business?
I’d love for there to be no need to have a conversation about women in business because we will all just be people working to make the world a better place in all of our diverse and special ways. Realistically, I’d like to see the realities of being a woman incorporated as a normal part of life, and therefore doing business. For example, here in the United States pregnancy and childcare is virtually ignored by our employment system, treating them as ancillary activities, as opposed to natural components of life. I would also like to see more equity in pay and advancement. Work that women do has been undervalued for a long time and that needs to change.
If you could give advice to upcoming / future women in business what would you say? Advocate for yourself. Know your worth and be proud of your abilities and accomplishments. Your boss is busy and won’t see everything, and definitely doesn’t see inside your head to understand your ambitions. Speak your mind and be supportive of other women speaking theirs. If you choose to find a partner in life, make sure that person respects all of your worth and wants you to succeed and grow as they do themselves.
Thank you Page for all the amazing work that you do for GBSN and IFAMA! You are truly a role model for young women entering the working world.
Let us not forget the other hard-working women in our office that make GBSN a wonderful place to work, Lisa Leander and Nicole Zefran.
Lisa is the go-to person for all things regarding GBSN membership. She coordinates GBSN webinars, the annual conference and special events with member schools. Lisa also manages the implementation of various GBSN capacity building programs. She has just returned from Cairo where she oversaw a successful Experiential Learning Summit, welcome home! Lisa’s most important job is being an outstanding mother and we must thank her family for lending her to us a few days a week. Happy Mothers Day!
Nicole does marketing and event planning for GBSN's networking events and capacity building activities. Nicole also provides logistical support for GBSN’s network activities, communications, programs and overall office operations. In reality Nicole does just about everything and the office would literally fall apart without her. As my supervisor, she has been kind, helpful, and a real friend. She really makes it a pleasure to come to work in the morning.
To all of our working women here at GBSN thank you for everything you do!
Brennon Thompson is the Communications and Events Planning Intern for GBSN