by Samantha Bender
Sociology professor Jessica Greenebaum, provided advice to female student leaders aspiring to be trailblazers in their field, at a forum this past Thursday. The “How to Be a Boss Without Being Bossy” event was hosted by Central Connecticut State University’s organization, Leadership Experiences Aimed at Developing Students.
“Speak your truth. Be authentic. Be you. You’re great,” Greenebaum said.
CCSU L.E.A.D.S. is an organization formed by the division of student affairs. The forum was conducted in the Philbrick Room of the Student Center.
According to Professor Greenebaum’s “about me” page on the CCSU’s website, her interests lie in the fields of Human-Animal interaction, Critical Animal Studies, Sociology of Food, Veganism and Gender and Feminism. Greenebaum teaches courses including: Sociology of Gender, Animals & Society, the Culture and Politics of Food, Feminist Theory and the Social Construction of Sexuality.
Greenebaum addressed several aspects of being in charge. While it is important to possess confidence, she recognized that often times exuding too much confidence can come across as “bossy” because “we’re [society] not used to women being confident.” The forum addressed the difficulties of being in charge.
To be a boss one must have good self-care. Some self-care strategies that were suggested included developing a fitness regimen and a strong support system, not only in the workplace, but at home as well.
“Women absolutely must mentor other women”, Greenebaum said. It is important to support female leaders and hopefully receive mutual support in return. Greenebaum continued to discuss how women must build each other up and help each other perform the best that they can.
Students were given the chance to express the internal and external barriers they feel make it difficult to take on leadership roles. Many in the room agreed that one of their biggest internal barriers is always whether or not they are making the right decision.
“Sometimes you’re going to make the wrong decision, that’s okay,” Greenebaum said. She assured those sitting in on the forum that no one is perfect and that they will fail. Failing is normal and acceptable. No one is expected to get it right the first time.
As for the external barriers associated with taking on leadership roles, it’s crucial how one shows their confidence. Greenebaum encouraged listeners that it’s all about putting your shoulders back and faking it.
“Confidence takes time for women leaders, built over a period of time”, Greenebaum said.
Junior Megan Nelson, was among those who sat in on the forum. At the end of the forum, she expressed her biggest takeaways from it. Nelson communicated how important it is to be confident.
“Always apply being assertive rather than aggressive,” Nelson said.
Greenebaum’s biggest hope for the forum was that people would “feel like they deserve to be leaders” and “for women to understand that their fears are gendered and they’re not alone.”
Navigating leadership roles successfully can be difficult. It was conveyed that young leaders should acknowledge their value and have confidence.
CCSU L.E.A.D.S. meets every Thursday at 12:15 p.m. in the Philbrick Room inside the Student Center.