Lake Forest series urges girls to 'Imagine Yourself in the C-Suite'
Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart will host a second annual public forum aimed at motivating girls to explore high-level business executive roles. Area school-aged girls and their parents are invited to join the Woodlands Academy community free of charge for the March 12 event. It's part of a series in which leading female executives share stories and insights from their professional experiences during presentations at the all-girls college-preparatory high school in Lake Forest.
"This initiative was born out of a desire to motivate students to explore career paths that they might not have previously considered," said Head of School Meg Steele. "We are thrilled to host it, not only for the students at Woodlands Academy, but for young girls throughout Chicagoland to envision that some of those paths can include leadership roles in areas such as the male-dominated STEM fields."
Those attending the March 12 session will hear from Woodlands Academy alumna Mary Erdoes, chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s asset and wealth management division. Named by American Banker "the most powerful woman in finance," Erdoes has led the company's investment management and private banking arm for the past decade. She sits on the JPMorgan Chase's Operating Committee and serves on the boards of the U.S.-China Business Council, the Robin Hood Foundation of New York City and Georgetown University. Erdoes' honors include being the inaugural recipient of Woodlands Academy's Janet Erskine Stuart Alumna Achievement Award recognizing professional and personal accomplishments that are both rare and extraordinary while exemplifying the mission of a Sacred Heart education.
Erdoes will be joined by Wan Ling Martello, co-founder and partner at BayPine, a recently launched private equity firm. Prior to BayPine, Martello served as executive vice president of Nestle, the world's largest food company. From 2011 until 2018, she split her time as corporate chief financial officer and chief executive officer for Asia Region. Martello currently serves on boards of directors for Uber and Alibaba.
The program's moderator is Woodlands Academy alumna M. Julie McKinley, president and chief executive officer of Fiduciary Counselling Inc., one of the country's largest registered investment advisory firms. Knowledgeable in both banking and investments, her very successful career has included prior service as senior vice president and managing director at Northern Trust in Chicago for nearly 20 years. McKinley, whose daughter is also a Woodlands Academy alumna, has served on the school's board of trustees and its alumnae board.
The "Imagine Yourself in the C-Suite" series covers a vast range of topics aimed at preparation and empowerment and includes executive insights, experiences and lessons learned that will challenge each student to reflect on her interests and discover potential career options. Featuring presenters that hold a variety of top-level positions, the conversations serve to encourage girls to consider their own opportunities for leadership. This ongoing initiative includes a few presentations to Woodlands Academy students in addition to the one public event each year.
The March 12 forum will take place in Woodlands Academy's Gloria Dei Center, the repurposed former Barat College Cooney Library building on the school's 41-acre campus at 760 E. Westleigh Road in Lake Forest. It begins with a 6 p.m. Sips and Sweets reception followed by the program at 6:30 p.m. During the Sips and Sweets reception, girls in grades 5-8 are invited to participate in leadership skill building activities with current Woodlands students. Participants can further engage with the panelists and moderator immediately following the discussion.
To learn more or to register, visit www.woodlandsacademy.org/csuite2020
Founded in 1858, Woodlands Academy is an independent Catholic college preparatory day and boarding high school for young women. It's part of a worldwide network of Sacred Heart Schools that spans the United States and 40 other countries. A nonprofit, Woodlands Academy's identity is rooted in Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat's desire to inspire young hearts and minds to excel, to lead lives of integrity and to serve. For more information about Woodlands Academy, please visit www.woodlandsacademy.org