Women in business need to temper their competitiveness with cooperation, to create something called “co-op-etition,” according to Helen Rothberg, professor of strategy at Marist College and a faculty member of the Academy of Competitive Intelligence. Rothberg delivered the keynote address at the event “Women’s Blueprint: Mentors That Have Inspired Leadership” on Oct. 2 at The Osborn in Rye.
“There is nothing sadder for me than walking into a company and seeing women not being kind to other women, not helping them, not mentoring them,” said Rothberg, who also operates the consulting firm HNR Associates. “The more we work together the bigger the whole value of everything and then we can compete if we need to for the little things in the middle.”
Rothberg is author of the book “The Perfect Mix: Everything I Know About Leadership I Learned as a Bartender.” She told the audience of experienced businesswomen and new entrepreneurs, “If you don’t lead yourself you can’t lead others and no one is gonna lead you. You have to do more and say less. You have to work from a place of civility and ingenuity, you have to have vision, you have to have integrity, you have to try to communicate, you have to care.”
Participating on a panel were: Marcy Berman-Goldstein, a board-certified radiologist and co-founder of the retailer I Am More Scarsdale; Holly Mitchell, who has been CEO of CPW Dentistry and recently founded LeadWell Network, a consulting company; Fran Pastore, founder and CEO of the Stamford-based Women’s Business Development Council; and Daniel Trust, founder and CEO of the Daniel Trust Foundation.
Berman-Goldstein said her store recorded about $250,000 in sales in its first quarter of operation. “We happen to have very large networks of friends in an amazing community and we really through social media and our friends got the word out there.”
Mitchell attributed some of her success in business to the willingness of the first dentist for whom she worked to pay for whatever courses she felt she needed to take to learn about business and dentistry.
Pastore noted that the Women’s Business Development Council has been helping women in business for 21 years.
“Everyone wants to get to women entrepreneurs today; that’s why you’re all here,” she said. “Women entrepreneurs are the fastest growing segment in our economy. They create more jobs than (all of the) Fortune 500 companies combined.”
Trust said that his foundation currently provides mentoring for 72 students. Trust was born and raised in Rwanda and fled the genocide there at the age of 15, finding asylum in the U.S.
Rothberg noted that helping create opportunities for other women involves some risk “because maybe the person won’t be successful, but maybe they will and maybe they’ll be even better and then they can pay it forward.”
The presenting sponsors of the event were Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Westfair Communications, publisher of the Westchester County Business Journal, the Fairfield County Business Journal and WAG magazine. The gold sponsor was the health insurance company Oscar, the silver sponsor was the UCONN School of Business and the supporters were Avalon Bay and Hidden Realms Wellness.
Each guest received a copy of Rothberg’s book courtesy of Bank of America Merrill Lynch.