Written By

Kiran Patel



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September 23, 2019

Twin Cities Startup Week Women in Leadership Panel: October 10, 2019

Tonia Teasley has advice for women who are looking to move up in their careers or become leaders in their organizations: think big. 

“Ask for and take on big challenges, even if they are outside of your current role. I can’t imagine an organization that doesn’t value people who want to learn new things, take on stretch roles, and help the organization with big challenges. And ultimately, taking on those challenges gets you noticed and shows people who are making hiring decisions what you are capable of doing.” 

Teasley, VP and General Manager at Capella University, will be joined by four other leaders on a panel titled “Women in Leadership: Gaining Influence and Inspiring Innovation” during Twin Cities Startup Week in October 2019. 

The other panelists include:

  • Kathleen Miner, VP Solutions Marketing at Thomson Reuters
  • Beth Klawitter, Sr. Director Customer Success and Operations at Attivo Networks
  • Tammylynne Jonas, Global CIO, Self Esteem Brands

OST’s Lisa Jilek, VP of Sales and Marketing, will moderate the panel. 

The panel will be held on October 10 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the TractorWorks Building on the first floor at the following address:

800 Washington Avenue North
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401



The Importance of Women in Leadership

Although women make up more than half of the United States population, women lag far behind men when it comes to serving in leadership positions in companies.  

For example, according to the Center for American Progress, in the legal profession, women are 45 percent of associates but only 22.7 percent of partners and 19 percent of equity partners. In medicine, women represent 40 percent of all physicians and surgeons but only 16 percent of medical school deans. In the financial services industry, they constitute 61 percent of accountants and auditors, 53 percent of financial managers, and 37 percent of financial analysts. But they are only 12.5 percent of chief financial officers in Fortune 500 companies.  

Globally, the number of women in leadership roles is increasing in 2019. This year, 29 percent of senior management roles are held by women, the highest number ever on record. But in the United States, where women make up nearly half of the labor force, they represent only slightly over a third (40.0 percent) of managers.  

Offering Advice and Guidance to Future Women in Leadership

Miner, VP of Solutions Marketing at Thomson Reuters, wants women at the start of their careers to know that it’s okay to want to have a balanced work and personal life. 

“Early in my career, I thought that wanting balance would be interpreted as not being ‘committed.’ Instead, I’ve now realized having that balance and being open and honest about it has been critical to my success. I’m more productive, committed, focused, and engaged when my work and personal life are balanced. The company benefits from that.” 

Teasley offers this advice she recalls receiving that helped her immensely: “Spend more time talking about the great things that my teams and I were accomplishing.” 

“As women, we often focus on the problems we see and what we are doing to fix them and we don’t spend enough time talking about what’s going well and how we and our teams contributed to those positive results.” 

At the panel, Teasley, Miner, and others will discuss similar lessons they’ve learned, what has worked in their career, what continues to be a challenge, and the ways they have gained influence in an organization.

To get your ticket and learn more about the panel and Twin Cities Startup Week, visit this link.  



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About the Author

Kiran Sood Patel is the former Managing Editor of The Rapidian and hails from Illinois. Born and raised in the Midwest, she has reported for daily newspapers for years, with experience covering education, business, technology, city government and feature reporting. Prior to moving to Michigan, she worked as a multimedia reporter for The Gazette in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She holds a Masters in Journalism from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. and a Bachelor of Arts in News Editorial Journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is an active volunteer in all communities and cities she has called home. She is the chair of the Diversity and Inclusion committee of the Junior League of Grand Rapids. The Junior League of Grand Rapids is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Kiran has served as the Assistant Chair of Research in Community Impact. She served as JLGR’s Chair of the Beneath the Wreath committee in 2017. She is a past Educational Programming co-chair for the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Grand Rapids. In the past, she has volunteered as an adult literacy tutor and with the Junior League of Cedar Rapids for three years in the area of youth aging out of the foster care system. She enjoys baking, reading popular fiction, blogging, writing and being a tourist in her own city. In Grand Rapids, you can find her in search of baked goods, coffee, good food and captivating stories across the city.