Female CEO of consulting agency speaks on women in the workforce

| Staff Reporter

According to Ginny Carroll, CEO of the consulting agency inGiNuity, sororities are not just for mixers and charity bake sales, but can actually be assets on a résumé.

Carroll spoke Wednesday night in Wilson Hall about the challenges facing young women entering today’s workforce.

She is a consultant and inspirational speaker for businesses, associations and universities across the country.

Carroll focused on the job environment today’s generation will be facing when entering the workforce, and the importance of developing communication and interpersonal skills.

She says being in a sorority is one way to gain those skills.

“Emotional intelligence is three times more important in the workplace now than anything else,” Carroll said. “The way you communicate with other people is very important and will lead to success.”

She argued that the young generation will face new challenges when looking for a job, as many employers assume that due to reliance on technology and social media youth do not have the skills to communicate in person.

“The people you’re going to work with don’t think you’ll be able to solve problems face to face—you’d rather break up with your boyfriend via text,” Carroll said.

Carroll argued that involvement in extra curricular activities, especially holding leadership positions, will prove to employers that a prospective employee has the communication skills necessary to compete in today’s workforce.

Carroll cited leadership roles in a sorority, specifically in the disciplinary area, as especially helpful in proving one’s communication skills, as people in these positions are frequently dealing with conflict resolution.

Membership in a sorority, she said, also improves those skills that employers seek when reviewing résumés.

Carroll emphasized that a main difference between the college experience and life in the workforce is that one ceases to be a single individual working toward her own success, but is rather a member of a team that needs to succeed collaboratively.

“If you’re in a sorority, you’ve already been working with a team of women for four years, which isn’t easy,” Carroll said.

According to Carroll, women’s leadership abilities will be crucial in the changing workforce. Because there are fewer global boundaries in today’s work world, she said, empathy has become more valuable.

Leadership skills are also important for women because of the data showing that, despite huge advances, women still do not receive the same opportunities as men. While women hold about half the management and professional-level jobs, almost all of the top-level positions are occupied by men.

Carroll encouraged the seniors in the audience to clearly articulate in their resumes where they have gained interpersonal or communication skills in their college years, because it will set them apart from other applicants for jobs.

She also urged them to be open-minded when entering the workforce, and remember that gaining work experience is the most important.

“It’s a scary thing, leaving college and entering the work world,” Carroll said. “But you’ll be surprised by how easy it becomes.”

Seniors were reassured by Carroll’s speech.

“It was definitely relevant for graduating seniors and a great articulation of many things that have been crossing our minds for months,” senior Anna Henkel said.

The Women’s Panhellenic Association, the Women’s Society of Washington University and Student Involvement and Leadership sponsored the event.