What does it mean to be a great leader? Sheryl Sandberg, former COO of Meta Platforms and the founder of LeanIn.org, once said, “Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence."
Despite clear issues for women in the workforce requiring both short- and long-term fixes, recent surges of women into leadership positions have created a sense of hope and motivation.
As a female-led University, Herzing understands the importance of supporting today’s female leaders and the positive impact that support has on the leaders of tomorrow. Join us in celebrating Women’s History Month by learning more about what female leadership means to some of our community of strong female leaders across the Herzing community. Meet some of our SHEroes:
Tricia Wagner, Associate Dean of Online Nursing
With proficient experience in both healthcare and education, Tricia’s expertise makes her an exemplary female leader to her students.
“Female leaders have the power to completely transform our lives. I am forever grateful for the inspirational women that have come before me and therefore motivated me to be an impactful leader for others. Reflecting on how others have impacted me has played a huge role in how I support others as a leader.”
Advice: Be the role model that you wish you had when you were starting your career. Or if you are lucky enough to have a strong mentor already, identify and emulate the behavior that impacted you. Do not underestimate your role in another woman’s success. You matter!
Karen Nelson, Vice President of Inclusion and Community Impact
Karen Nelson has extensive experience in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, playing a pivotal role in the creation of an inclusive community where all students, faculty and staff feel represented and supported.
“I am proud to be a part of an organization that shares my passion for empowering others. Being a strong leader means being a leader for everyone, and understanding how to implement strategies to achieve equity in our communities. Herzing University is a difference-maker in creating and sustaining a more equitable future.”
Advice: Don’t change yourself for anyone’s approval. Women often feel as if they have to be a quieter, more complacent version of themselves in professional settings. Being yourself is a superpower that only you possess, so don’t hide from it! Be bold. Be yourself. Your strength will inspire others.
Sarah Higgins, Multi-Campus President
As the President of both Herzing’s Birmingham and Atlanta campuses, Sarah is no stranger to helping students realize their full potential and excel in their educational careers.
“It brings me joy to play a part in the empowerment of women through education. Female leaders have the unique opportunity to be a catalyst of change in someone else’s career, something that I never take for granted. I am both honored and motivated by the idea of my efforts impacting the career of ambitious women around the country. Support is one of the difference-makers in creating the confidence to succeed.”
Advice: Understanding the impact you have can shape your leadership style. We all deserve to have someone who believes in us, especially when it seems hard to believe in ourselves. Find strength in seeing others flourish, and never shy away from celebrating the successes of your peers.
Female leadership doesn’t just benefit women, female leadership benefits everyone – the Herzing community and beyond. During Women’s History Month, and all year long, we are proud of our network of female leaders and their valuable contributions.
Never stop learning from others. There is so much value in a strong support system, making it even more imperative to connect with other women, both personally and professionally. With each chapter of your career comes greater opportunity for growth, and with that growth comes valuable lessons that will stick with you for life. Learning not only supports your advancement, but it also supports the advancement of women around you.
* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2021. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.