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Pass the Torch: Regional Women Business Leaders Share Their Advice

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. As this day reminds us, everyone has a role to play in ensuring the workforce remains diverse and that all generations use fair, inclusive business practices.

The Detroit Regional Chamber is hosting the inaugural International Women’s Day Lunch on Monday, March 11 at the Detroit Golf Club. At this event, a panel of regional women business leaders will discuss their strategies for success and answer the question “What does it mean to lead with purpose?”

In preparation for the event, the Chamber asked each panelist their advice for aspiring business leaders in the region:

Ana Almeida, Vice President, Customer Business Unit, Faurecia Automotive Seating
“To advance your career, you need to create value for your organization. There are no shortcuts that will work in the long term. Take care of your education and continue learning to develop the necessary skills and competencies.”

Najah Bazzy, Executive Director and Founder, Zaman International
“My advice to aspiring leaders is to be positive and remember to build for the future wellbeing of whatever you touch. We are built to leave but our work is built to last.”

Adrienne Bennett, President and CEO, Benkari Mechanical LLC
“In our region, change is occurring very fast. Have patience. Not everyone is on the same level or has the insight you have. Surround yourself with other people that are smarter than you are. Be passionate for the goals you set, stay focused and always believe in yourself.”

Leigh Ann Hello, Vice President, The Cabinet Studio

“My advice would be to take the time to truly understand what the purpose of your organization is and if you don’t have a strong, positive, emotional response when you think of it, reframe it to really speak to what drives you. If you’re not inspired it will be extremely difficult to inspire and lead those around you.”

Christy McDonald, Anchor, Detroit Public Television

“Watch. Listen. Find someone in leadership whom you admire in position and management style and ask questions. Don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know everything. Be prepared.  Engage yourself not only in your position but get an understanding of what happens in other departments around you. If someone critiques you, take it and learn from it.”

Hear more from these inspirational leaders at the International Women’s Day Lunch on Monday, March 11. Please note, registration prices increase for this event on Monday, February 25.