First TKC women's panel discusses working women, fulfillment


Financial District, NEW YORK--Just two days after International Women's Day, the House of Margaret Thatcher hosted TKC's first women's panel from 7 -9p.m. in the City Room. Thatcher President, Maddie Whitlock ('14), delivered opening and closing remarks, while Helmsman Kelly Cannon ('16) moderated. The topic of discussion was "Is it possible to be both good and great?" The panel included Associate Professor of Business, Dawn Fotopulos; Assistant Provost, Ina Kumi; Program Chair of the Business department, Leigh-Anne Walker; Vice President for Institutional Research and Strategic Planning, Dr. Kimberly Thornbury; Director of Student Services, Jennifer Tharp; TKC alumnae of the House of Margaret Thatcher, Hannah Nance ('10), who currently works as a Social Purpose Senior Specialist at Brooks Brothers, and Lindsey Sweddick ('11), who works as Communications Manager at Apne Aap International.

Thatcher President, Maddie Whitlock, delivering the opening statement for King's first-ever women's panel event. Photo taken by Megan Palmer.

The first discussion question introduced the concept of an "ideal woman"--that girl who who is able to juggle a healthy family life, a fulfilling career and church involvement. The women on the panel were asked whether this was a reality worth aiming for. Kumi pointed out the apparent disconnect between the question, which focused on how much stuff a woman can reasonably accomplish, and the theme of goodness, which is concerned about virtue and who one is, not what she does. This distinction guided the rest of the discussion.

The panel then explored whether it's easier for men to have balanced lives than women and what knowledge they would give to those in attendance that they wished they had known before beginning their professional careers. The event was then opened up to questions from the audience.

Carol Anne Ausband ('14) asked the panel how, if at all, they functioned in their jobs differently than a man might. Annalise Bourgeois ('16) asked Thornbury if she ever felt guilty for having help raising her children. Helen van Dalen ('16) asked what might prepare a woman for living life fully as a single person. Joanne Vo ('14) asked if any of the women had ever felt dismissed in the work place because of their gender, and how they had responded.

Jessie Schnoebelen ('16) found it "very inspiring to see all the women business teachers up there." Schnoebelen also noted "tension on the panel, especially between the younger and the older."

After the event, Rebecca Au ('16) shared that she was impressed by how many women they had come. "They had a good variety of Kings alumni, professors and people who work in the Kings administrative side of things."

"I really liked what Jenifer had to say," Au continued. "She said that for her, fulfillment is to believe that 'I am immovably loved by God, and that is the truest thing about me.' When we're asking if we can be both great and good, we're really asking how to be happy, and the reminder that we are loved by God is a good place to start."