Finding the Power for Women's Success in Leadership

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“The way to achieve your own succe​ss is to be willing to help somebody else get it first.” 

This Iyanla Vanzant quote is the perfect way to introduce two of the presenters who will be speaking at our inaugural Women in IH Leadership Summit​​ during AIHce EXP 2019 in Minneapolis. This all-day program will help you explore essential leadership skills, discover your leadership potential, and transition from a technical professional to management. With topics ranging from emotional intelligence to defining your own career success, this event is designed to help WIH thrive in the workplace with a unique blend of vision, inspiration, and practical skills. 

Meet Rianne Rome, MBA, SHRM-SCP, and Ayodola Anise, MHS, two women of leadership bringing their experience to the Summit to not only inspire but raise awareness about critical issues impacting women in the workplace today. 

With over 25 years of experience in leadership, human resources, education, and talent development, Rome is always looking for ways to make a positive impact on the lives of others by equipping individuals at all career stages to find and fulfill their purpose. In her current role as chief development officer with JK Moving/CapRelo, Rome is focused on talent development strategy and is always motivated by the success of her company and its people. Her corporate training initiatives focus on programs that support the company’s Enterprise Core Values. In addition, she is an advocate for creative uses of technology to foster career growth through the company’s Commit2Growth Employee Portal.

Anise has always known that she wanted to help sick people get better. As she refined her focus in the medical field, she had to make a tough call that redefined the path of her career. Anise pivoted to a career in public health, in which she could focus on improving the health of entire populations instead of treating one person at a time. She’s been in the field of public health research and policy for over 15 years, currently focusing on improving patient and clinician adherence to national asthma guidelines to reduce disparities in uncontrolled asthma for African-Americans and Hispanics/Latinos. Anise doesn’t just bring her analytical aptitude to her work — she also thrives in creativity. It’s this unique perspective and experience that she’ll bring to the WIH Leadership Summit. 

Before we dive in, let’s talk about “unconscious bias,” which is a key component of Anise’s session on the intersection of leadership and equity in the workplace. 

According to the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Office of Diversity and Outreach, unconscious biases are “social stereotypes about certain groups of people that individuals form outside their own conscious awareness.” Believe it or not, every single one of us have a few unconscious biases, especially when it comes to the workplace. According to Anise, unconscious bias can influence who gets promoted, whose hard work gains recognition, and even how much money people earn. 

“Ultimately, I believe that unconscious bias can hinder the growth and potential of the people who are receiving the bias,” says Anise. “It can prevent them from feeling as though they are part of team and hinder their motivation and productivity.” 

Unconscious biases aren’t the only challenges women face in the workplace today.

Rome says that “if a woman in IH is looking for a strong female mentor and career advocate in a senior leadership role at her company, she may be challenged to find one.” In fact, according to a recent study, men hold 62 percent of manager positions in the general workplace, while women hold only 38 percent.

“Race and gender bias play a role in the workforce, along with gender and racial stereotypes” adds Anise. “If a woman raises her voice or gets angry, she is emotional. If a woman of color disagrees, she isn’t a team player and is being aggressive.”

So, how can WIH work with their current leadership to set themselves up for success as they transition into management?

In her session on career success, Rome will focus on helping women understand how they can examine their own thoughts, behaviors, and actions to choose the right steps to move forward. “It is not always about knowing the answer for your ultimate career goal,” shares Rome. “Many times, it is about knowing an answer — which things to do next on the path. The journey to find and fulfill your purpose is a lifelong one with many steps along the way.”

Anise will focus on the importance of having a mentor, sponsor, and champion in the workplace, as well as finding ways to tell the story of your influence and impact at work without feeling like you are “bragging” to leadership. Anise emphasizes that “we, as women, need to find ways to share what we are doing at work, but to do so in a way that aligns with our values.”

We’re so excited to have Anise and Rome share their experiences and expertise to help propel WIH forward as part of our inaugural WIH Leadership Summit. And the best part is that they’re just two incredible speakers out of five who will be leading sessions at the event in Minneapolis on Saturday, May 18. 


Berrak Sarikaya is a natural conversation driver with an undeniable belief in the power of community. A proven content strategist and speaker, she resides in Seattle, WA. Follow her on Twitter.​​​​

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