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Brooklyn Law School creates Women’s Leadership Network

November 17, 2017 By Steven Ferraro Special to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle
From left: Bev Wilson, Denise Faltischek, Jodi Siegel-Stein, Stacy Kanter, Colleen Piccone, Meeka Bondy, Anne Swern, Dorsey Regal, Susan Posen, Debbie Epstein Henry and Nicole Middleton. Eagle photos by Steven Ferraro

In recent months, famous women across the world have firmly planted their feet against misconduct in the workplace and the female alumni of Brooklyn Law School (BLS) have followed suit by launching a program to drive women’s success.

The Women’s Leadership Network launched on Tuesday with the intention to advance women in the workforce. A panel of female graduates from the school was put together to support, mentor and promote their fellow women. BLS President and Dean Nicholas W. Allard opened the night by denouncing the “abhorrent” behavior that is being exposed.

“Many people understand and believe that discrimination, exploitation, harassment and violence in all of its forms is abnormal and that those who must use positions of privilege and power to take advantage of others are, in fact, pathetic deviants,” said Allard.

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The BLS Women’s Leadership Circle includes Debbie Epstein Henry, a 1994 graduate, as its chair. Also included are Meeka Bondy, Colleen Caden, Denise Faltischek, Stacy Kanter, Susan Karten, Hon. Claire Kelly, Nicole Middleton, Karin Norton, Colleen Piccone, Susan Posen, Dorsey Regal, Jodi Siegel-Stein, Anne Swern and Bev Wilson.

The first event, which was held at Feil Hall in Downtown Brooklyn last Tuesday, explored ideas at promoting success — promotion, networking and leadership.

Epstein Henry graduated from the school in 1994 and since has founded her own consulting firm and written two bestselling books. She spoke about women’s fear of having confidence at work that can hold them back from meeting their full potential. She oversaw a roundtable discussion with the leadership circle.

“The tension is: How do I demonstrate my value without being so transparent?” Epstein Henry asked the audience. She emphasized that it is okay for women to self-promote and warned that their worries of looking obnoxious are just a barrier to success.

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The obstacle of appearance continued as a theme throughout the night, but the women of the network were there to tell stories of accomplishment. Denise Faltischek of the 2000 graduating class spoke about her fight with self-promoting.

“I was more about promoting other people until I realized that doesn’t really help me,” Faltischek said.

Faltischek explained that by taking on projects at her job and working on them to the best of her ability, she was able to build the reputation she wanted and showed how she could be a leader.

“I always think that bravery and confidence go hand in hand in terms of [needing] to put that foot out there and understand that it might get chopped off,” Faltischek said. “You’ll never know until you try, and most often times, it’ll pay off.”

Another discussion point was the notion of having sponsors, both someone at work to help promote your ideas and outside of the workplace to provide feedback. Epstein Henry said that it is important for women to give and take real feedback to fellow females.

“If you have that relationship where you can back somebody and you know they’re worthy of that phrase, that’s a really valuable way to self-promote,” she said.

The group will host similar events in the future and is currently soliciting ideas from students and attorneys for programming suggestions.

 


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