By Joelle Fredman, NASFAA Staff Reporter
Women in leadership continue to face many issues in the workplace stemming from gender discrimination and stereotypes, but there are steps they can take to push back against these forces and have their voices heard and respected.
Lisa Blazer, interim vice president for strategic enrollment at the University of Texas at San Antonio and 2016-17 NASFAA national chair, spoke to NASFAA members Tuesday about her personal experience overcoming obstacles in the workplace and shared advice on how women can be successful leaders in a male-dominated world.
Blazer warned that while women in the workplace should never settle, they may find that they are expected to compromise on their values.
“You have to know what’s important to you and what you value,” Blazer said. “It’s a give and take. [But] sometimes it feels like as a female executive I have to give a little more.”
Blazer said that at the beginning of her career as a young, female leader working at a large school, she was constantly perceived as weak, adding that “I spent almost my entire career trying to prove myself.” What helped Blazer grow was not shying away from new challenges and finding a mentor she could discuss ideas and frustrations with who would be her “champion no matter what.”
Blazer also said she rose to leadership not by waiting for the opportunity to come to her, but by actively taking on more roles and learning from each work experience.
“I started asking for more things to do… and then my boss saw something in me,” Blazer said. “I’ve had to dig and fight for some of it.”
Blazer told members that some of the most important qualities that women can capitalize on that make for effective leaders is “putting people first,” and be “mentor-minded,” as well as being a skilled communicator that can deliver ideas with confidence.
Publication Date: 6/26/2018