Women in Charleston are making their mark in every field from law to health care to business and beyond. We speak to five of them who have achieved success in their chosen fields to find out what advice they would give to a woman looking to succeed in business.
MPA, Polarity Management Master | Seidler & Associates, LLC
“Using a polarity perspective to manage life’s paradoxes, here are my key ingredients in the delicate balance for success, the two (2) sides of the AND!
- Have a deep belief in yourself and your services/products AND pay attention to meeting your financial requirements
- Establish a caring relationship with clients AND tell clients the “hard to hear” truths
- Be willing to work hard AND make time for your physical fitness needs
- Get clear about which you can be the best AND be mindful when you step outside of your existing core competencies
- Be self-reliant AND collaborate with other professionals”
Executive Director | Lowcountry Local First
“Jump off the cliff! Not Thelma and Louise style, but don’t hold back on what you are passionate about. While the details of your resume may not always line up with your passion that doesn’t mean that should stop you from taking a risk on something that really excites you. I was one of the co-founders of Lowcountry Local First and served on the steering committee. When asked if I would take on the role of Executive Director, I thought that’s nuts I know nothing about running a non-profit but, I also knew that everything about the organization aligned with my personal beliefs. So I did it and have never regretted a day.”
Jennet Robinson Alterman
Women’s Rights Advocate/ President and CEO | J. Robinson Alterman LLC
“Listen. Listen. And then listen. In order to succeed you need to know when to stop talking. Most negotiations fail when one side keeps talking. You also need to know when to give the benefit of the doubt. In my experience the key to moving upward is to remain empathetic, good-humored, respectful of other people’s time, and always punctual. To quote Janis Joplin, ‘Don’t compromise yourself. It’s all you’ve got.’ “
S.C. Poet Laureate
“Get as much education as possible when it’s affordable. Your degrees are something no one can take away from you. The more degrees – the better the pay, at least in theory. There’s a kind of security that goes along with knowing you are smart and qualified. It’s particularly important if you are a woman.Work is certainly about making a living and creating financial security, but it’s often more than that. Your place of work becomes a community of sorts, and work provides meaning for your life in ways that are often unquantifiable. When things are going badly in your life work can be a form of salvation that gets you outside of your own head and gives you perspective.”
Lucille S. Whipper
Statewoman | Educator
“My Mantra: That woman is a success who loves life and lives it to the fullest….who puts her best into each task and leaves each situation better that she found it… Barbara J. Burrow
I believe that each person should know her surroundings, physical space, as well as the people that occupy this space. There should be a connecting link that binds her to this space with others. That link should be one of love and respect. My Christian background and a familiar hymn admonish us to “brighten the corner where you are”.
We are surrounded by individuals and groups that need our attention. It may be a family in need of financial assistance, individuals needing to identify community organizations and government agencies for support, elected Boards that may be overlooking “the least of these”, and other governing bodies not carrying out their mandates. The successful woman knows her talents and strength and is willing to extend a hand to make a difference in the lives of others.
The successful woman uses her voice in the public arena to challenge others to join her in making their community a better place in which to live.”