October 19, 2015

Women in Leadership: Issues and Opportunities

Women in Leadership: Issues and Opportunities
Notes from Zoo Advisors’ 2015 AZA Conference Women in Leadership II Panel Discussion

Wow! Even more than three weeks after the AZA conference in Salt Lake City and our second Women in Leadership panel discussion, we at Zoo Advisors are still feeling the energy and excitement generated by the more than 200 folks packed into the meeting room to share their wisdom and challenges as leaders and potential leaders in AZA organizations. (And sorry to those of you turned away by fire codes….)

The panelists began by presenting a brief overview of their personal leadership path and style. We then kicked things off using an interactive audience polling software that quickly captured some demographics of our audience, gathered questions, and made word clouds and charts in real time so that our session truly could be a conversation, not just a panel presentation.

Our panel included:

  • Lori Perkins, VP Animal Collection, Zoo Atlanta and AZA ELDP

  • Sherrie Graham, Director, Potter Park Zoo

  • Carol Kruse, Director, Zoo Miami

  • Jackie Ogden, VP Animals, Science, Environment, Disney Parks

  • Shannon Block, President/CEO, Denver Zoo

About You—Our AZA Audience

It’s clear that you love your work and are committed to the mission of your aquariums and zoos—more than half of you have been in the profession more than ten years! It’s also clear that there are and will be significant opportunities for women to move into executive leadership, which you’ll read all about in the linked report at the bottom of this post.

You spoke up and told us of your hopes and your challenges: many of you are ready to advance in your career but you struggle to balance home, family, and career; you feel that you lack the confidence to move ahead; and in spite of recent gains, you still experience the salary gap.

And, you willingly shared resources for growth and development; at the top of the list were mentors and personal networks, followed by AZA programs, classes, and many websites and publications.

Please click here to download the complete report on our session, with details and data about resources, and notes on the biggest challenges and opportunities for women leaders in our industry.

 And stay tuned for more leadership conversation!

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