'She Means Business' Helps Empower Women in the Workplace

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By Barry Lemoine

Bringing community members into the community college scene has been a focus for Dr. Tina Tinney since taking over as chancellor of Nunez Community College earlier this year, by playing host to programs like Coastal Conversations and Leadership St. Bernard.

But Tinney is also taking the lead in creating new opportunities with programs like She Means Business, a series of workforce development gatherings. Designed to engage women, these quarterly conversations focus on the impact of mentoring, networking and sharing experiences, advice and guidance in an effort to help women network, negotiate and navigate in the professional workplace.

The first She Means Business took place this spring and focused on Women in Leadership Roles. This month's offering is titled She's Doing Something Unexpected, which will feature a panel of women in nontraditional workplace roles.

The 90-minute afternoon session is free to the public and will take place in the college's Fine Arts Cafe on July 18 at 4:30 p.m. The gathering will include a panel discussion, a question and answer session, as well as light refreshments and networking opportunities.

The panelists taking part in this second of the She Means Business series come from a wide array of backgrounds and experiences.

Haley Rea of Reactive Digital Systems and the 2017 winner of the Start-Up St. Bernard Competition will be on hand discussing her work with topoBox, a topographical water shedding interactive 3D digital tool that teaches students how water reacts with changes to the environment.

Joining Rea on the panel will be Alicia Garcia, who works in the maintenance department at Chalmette Refining LLC, as well as Joy Bruce, the executive director of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates).

Danielle F. Martin, who handles brand management and community relations for the St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation, served as the moderator for the first She Means Business Series. Martin said she is happy to be involved in such a worthy undertaking.

"Our first She Means Business panel opened up a dialogue for women in our community about success, struggles and triumph," Martin said. "Women are changing the face of leadership and She Means Business is opening students' eyes to the opportunities available to them."

Martin said she appreciated how "cross-generational" the first gathering was.

"Attendees ranged from high school students to retirees, and when you have women sharing their experiences across decades there is much to be learned," Martin said.

Tinney said she appreciates panelists and guests sharing their time and talent at the series and is excited by the program's outreach potential.

"Approximately half of our workforce is comprised of women," Tinney said. "She Means Business is designed to bring women together to listen, learn and share in a powerful way to help promote diversity and equity at work. I invite everyone to come join us on July 18 at our new and beautiful Fine Arts Cafe."

For information about the event, visit www.nunez.edu.

Barry Lemoine writes about people and events in St. Bernard Parish. To reach him, email barrylemoine@gmail.com.

From Nola.com.