Support, balance and self-acceptance were prominent themes at the Women in Leadership Network Forum on February 23, sponsored by Virtua, a New Jersey healthcare services provider.
The Network offers professional development, mentoring and learning opportunities for women to maximize their potential. Rhonda Jordan, Virtua Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, described the Forum as an opportunity for women to come together and learn from other women leaders. This was the first in a series of planned events.
Valaria Galarza, Senior Project Manager New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids-Camden (NJPHK-C), served as a panelist along with New Jersey State Senator Diane Allen, Tracy Carlino, Virtua Chief Nursing Officer and Niketa Thigpen, CEO of ThigPro Consulting. They fielded questions from 200-plus attendees.
For Galarza, the Forum was an opportunity to explain the work of NJPHK-C and also share her story of growing into leadership roles with NJPHK-C, the YMCA and Cooper’s Ferry Partnership.
“I’ve been fortunate to have mentors throughout my life,” Galarza said. “At the time, I didn’t realize how the relationships I had and the guidance I received would influence me. But now, looking back, I see the importance and impact that these individuals have had on my forming how I approach my work and how I work with others.”
During the Forum, many questions focused on balancing the demands of work, home and career. “Being a working mom, I was able to share that there’s not a cookie cutter way to do things. Each woman has to figure out the best way to balance her every day challenges.”
The panelists were able to demonstrate that you can make things work, even if you lack the optimal situation and support. “There are different tracks and paths for everyone,” said Galarza “and if you mess up that’s ok; find a way to restart and try again.”
View video highlights from the Virtua conference here Women in LeadershipSHARE: