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Continuing the ohiowomen conversation in Columbus

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HIO senior Rachel Niese takes pride in being a fastpaced, plugged-in, and technologically savvy millennial. She also believes in slowing down, listening, and synergy. So the astute Bobcat convened with 71 female counterparts in Columbus one evening in October to “Continue the Conversation,” an ohiowomen discussion of vital career and lifestyle issues like mentoring, networking, and transitions. “Events like these are kind of like taking a moment to sit down, step back, and really think about the big picture,” Niese said in a related video “ohiowomen: Featuring Beverly Jones.” Current president of OHIO Women in Business, which attracts, develops, and launches young women in the field, Niese should graduate this spring as a double major in international business and management. She appreciated the chance to network with fellow Bobcats via ohiowomen, Niese said. “I also felt like we all had good points and really good ideas that were really interesting to listen to.” Alumna Beverly Jones agreed. An executive coach, Jones, BSJ ’69, MBA ’75, delivered the keynote speech at what was the second meeting of ohiowomen in central Ohio. She attended because “OHIO is my community,” Jones said, “my home,” and Jones considers ohiowomen “a movement,” one “about women feeling a need to connect.” Colleagues stressed the importance of interrelating, she said. They also expressed “interest in mentoring, being mentored, supporting each other.” Whether mentors or mentees, alumnae need not only to dialogue but also to self-talk, a process in which you make yourself the subject of your own comments, advice, or reminders, writes Wall Street Journal columnist Elizabeth Bernstein in a May 2014 article. However, women often use self-talk negatively by criticizing themselves in these internal conversations. “How do we manage the tendency that women seem to have pretty frequently in the professional track,” Jones asks in her eponymous ohiowomen video, “to put yourself down, to think you’re not quite good enough?” Jones blogs on this topic and many others when she’s not running Clearways Consulting, a company she founded. Such observations form part of her new book, Think Like an Entrepreneur, Act Like A CEO: 50 Indispensable Tips to Help You Stay Afloat, Bounce Back and Get Ahead at Work, available in December.

TOP: OHIO Women’s Center Program Coordinator Sarah Tucker Jenkins (left) chats with OHIO designer and artist Kari Gunter-Seymour Peterson, BFA ’94. BOTTOM: Susan Sanford, BBA ’87 (left), and Kathleen Cesa, BSS ’01, were two of more than 70 alumnae who attended the event. Photos by Brian Kellogg, BSS ’07

This topic resonated with ohiowomen participants. One CEO admitted that negative self-talk overtook her even though she held “a seat at the table” with other company leaders. “They want to have me around, but I’m still walking around with a voice that says, ‘No!’ I have to stop that voice, I have to work on that,” the alumna revealed. “Criticism can be good, but don’t let it stop you from going forward.” Going forward summarizes one mission of ohiowomen, Jones said. “I’m just blown away about how great these women are and how much fun it is to meet students and people who graduated even earlier than I did,” Jones said. “I think it’s really a wonderful opportunity to meet fabulous people.” To Niese, ohiowomen events unify. “When you are on your march, you forget that there are other women out there going through the exact same things as you.” Visit ohiotoday.org/dec-2015-extras to watch the ohiowomen video, read the chapter in Jones’ book about combating negative selftalk, peruse her blog, and find a link to Bernstein’s article, “‘Self Talk’: When Talking to Yourself, the Way You Do It Makes a Difference.” —Kelee Riesbeck, BSJ ’91

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