Focusing on Leadership at the Second Maryland Mentor-Protégé Session

By Anika Lalmansingh.

The second session for the 2014-2015 Maryland Mentor-Protégé program was held on Tuesday, November 18th.  Focusing on leadership, the evening featured a dynamic discussion with Carlene Ileto, Executive Director of the Enterprise Business Management Office at the US Department of Homeland Security, along with time to practice effective networking.

Who is your favorite famous female role model?

Effective networking is the perfect complement to the technical skills learned from a formal STEAM (science, technology, arts and design, and mathematics) education. As the importance of networking to the success and advancement in a woman’s career, each mentor-protégé session begins with time allotted for practicing this skill with fellow protégés.  This session was no different as the protégés walked around and introduced themselves to each other.

Whitney Vickrey and a protege
Whitney Vickrey and a protege sharing their favorite famous female role model

GIT steering committee member Whitney Vickrey also suggested they share who their favorite famous female role model is.  The protégés eagerly took on this new challenge and the resulting conversations were lively and informative.

 

How do you get to the head of the table?

GIT strives hard to work with young girls to spark their interest in STEAM and help prepare them to advance from “the classroom to the boardroom.”

The Women's Leadership Gap, adapted from the Center for American Progress
The Women’s Leadership Gap, adapted from the Center for American Progress

Carmen Radelat, chair of the GIT Maryland Mentor-Protégé Program, expanded on that message and challenged the protégés to not only sit at the table, but sit at the head of the table. Having an interest in STEAM and succeeding in formal education will get you a seat at the table, she told the protégés, but how do you get the seat at the HEAD of the table…?

 

A servant leader

From Left to Right: Whitney Vickrey and guest speaker Carlene Ileto
From Left to Right: Whitney Vickrey and guest speaker Carlene Ileto

As the current Executive Director of the Enterprise Business Management Office at the US Dept. of Homeland Security, guest speaker Ileto2 described herself as a “servant leader.”  As a result, she is aware that leadership is a commitment to the people she is leading and to those who may be impacted by her leadership.

With a B.S. in mathematics with a minor in computer science (and a love for music), Carlene Ileto is a true leader in STEAM.  Prior to her current postion, Mrs. Ileto has held multiple leadership positions within the Internal Revenue Service, BAE Systems, UNISYS, and IBM.

The protégés were captivated and inspired by Mrs. Ileto’s stories about the challenges and successes she has faced throughout her career in leadership positions.  In addition, she shared with the protégés the lessons she has learned along the way about the importance of:

  • Being a team player
  • Valuing those you lead
  • Learning from those around you
  • Being truthful
  • Holding true to your values
  • Being resilient

 

How can you be a leader?

Are you interested in pursuing leadership roles?  What are some skills you think you need to develop in order to be successful?  What are the values you would bring to the people you lead?  Let us know your thoughts.  We would love to hear from you!

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