WCL is a consortium of professional women joined in developing leadership skills, sharing knowledge and building community in the Pacific Northwest. To learn more about how we do this click here.

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Kelli Gizzi
WCL President

Kelli_Gizzi_1So you are not the CEO, not even the manager, but you can hone your leadership skills and start behaving like a leader no matter what you do or what level you are in the company. In the HBR article “Act like a Leader before You Are One,” author Amy Gallo outlines several strategies to start acting like a leader.

I have been employing a few of these over the past few years. Here are the ones I know work: [click to continue…]


Michelle Sosinski
WCL President

michelle_sosinskiFall is here! A season of change. The leaves are turning, producing for us a beautiful display of colors. And, not surprisingly, we are beginning to experience those cool, crisp mornings. Time to pull out our favorite sweaters and scarves!

For me, fall can be a contemplative time of year. A time to reflect on my goals, hopes and dreams … and to realize there is still time to make that end-of-year push. [click to continue…]

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Kelli Gizzi
WCL Web & Social Media Director

Kelli_Gizzi_1For Women’s Center for Leadership (WCL), we are, at our core, all about community. Our mission is about our members.

WCL is a consortium of professional women joined in developing leadership skills, sharing knowledge and building community in the Pacific Northwest.

I’ve been a member of WCL for about 10 years. My participation has evolved: from sporadically catching a monthly breakfast event at first, then attending more regularly as my daughter got older and could do more to get herself ready for school, and ultimately joining the WCL Board of Directors. I think many of our members have times when they are active, and times when they have to check out for a while to attend to other things. Many just do their best to stay in touch, even if it’s only reading the email updates and checking out a blog or two.  Having to make trade-offs like this is just part of the reality for a lot of professional women.

This past December, WCL hosted an evening Member Appreciation event.  It was great seeing so many of our members in more of a social forum. As our President, Michelle Sosinski, gave a short speech that evening, I learned a few things about our history and how we have progressed. I jotted down some of the stats Michelle shared, went home and used a free social media tool to create an Infographic of Women’s Center for Leadership—WCL by the Numbers.

WCL Infographic


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By: Women’s Center for Leadership



Although we at WCL do not solicit blog posts from other organizations, occasionally we are sent one that we feel the entire membership might find interesting and thought provoking. The article below is one such piece. Please read it and comment on it and the relevancy it might have in your life.


Web Exclusive: President Spar Shares her Thoughts on How Young Women are Embracing Feminism
Original post, Dec. 2013
Republished with the permission of Barnard College, Columbia University

Dare to Use the F-Word is a new monthly podcast series created by and for young feminists. Street harassment, food activism, body image and slut-shaming are among the diverse issues discussed in the series, which is produced by Barnard College and the Barnard Center for Research on Women and aims to spotlight contemporary issues and activists. The podcast is available for download on iTunes, where you can also subscribe to the series.

In a recent episode, Barnard President Debora Spar, author of Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection, talks with feminist media activist Jamia Wilson about how the drive for perfection affects young women today. Following the interview, President Spar shared her thoughts on the direction of feminism for the next generation.

Read this exclusive piece below: [click to continue…]

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Michelle Sosinski

WCL President
michelle_sosinskiHappy 2014!

I hope this New Year brings you happiness, health and new adventures.

Last year, I decided that instead of making resolutions, I would pick one word that would guide me throughout the year.  The one word that spoke to me was EXPLORE.  And, this I did… in both my work and personal life.  I allowed myself time to get away and visit a few places I’ve never been … Orcas Island, Solana Beach, Hoover Dam, the Joshua Tree National Park .  It may sound like a cliché, but these places touched my soul.  There was a different feeling of engagement while exploring these beautiful locations … everything seemed different and interesting.  Ellen Langer, professor of psychology at Harvard University, sees the benefits of vacationing as part of being mindful.  There might be some aspect of going to a new place that expands our memories in a youthful way and returns us home with more creative ideas. [click to continue…]

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Kelli Gizzi
WCL Web and Social Media Director

Kelli_Gizzi_1Recently, I watched an Omega Institute for Holistic Studies live webcast “Strength, Courage and Wisdom” with TED icon Brené Brown and Zen priest Joan Halifax Roshi.

They were talking about finding your strength and how important it is to know your capacity and own it. I loved that Joan Roshi said, “Remember to take an in-breath.”  Then she posed the question “How can you take care of the world, if you don’t take care of yourself? You must love and show kindness to yourself.”

“The female identity is being a care-giver or a do-gooder,” added Brené Brown. The conversation went on that it’s unfortunate that if a woman does take that in-breath, in our culture she is viewed as narcissistic. What I pulled from that part is that to have power, we also need to take care of our needs and not care how others perceive us. Sometimes you have to enlist the help of others and put down that do-it-all shield. [click to continue…]

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With summer and its distractions winding down, maybe you’re looking to switch your reading list from the relaxation of paperback fiction to something a bit more challenging, to take you into autumn.

If so, have a look at the titles here, all recommended by WCL Board Members and staff. You’ll find books that take a new look at ideas on a range of leadership, management, and personal development topics.

Let us know if you have other reading suggestions that you’d like to share with the WCL community, or let us know how you get on with one of these titles. Share your thoughts—we love to hear from you! [click to continue…]

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Laura Schlafly
Owner, Career Choices with Laura

Laura Schlafly1I attended the WCL Morning Leadership Breakfast on July 25th, 2013, where Susan Sokol Blosser was the featured speaker.  I was completely caught up in her story about the founding of Sokol Blosser Winery, her time as its President, and her decision to step down to allow her son and daughter to assume co-President roles in leading the next generation of the business.

Throughout her presentation I was constantly comparing Susan’s experience in her family business to my own. My father started a business in the 1960’s, of which I ultimately became president and led a turnaround, and then a profitable sale. But that’s a story for another post!

Susan was asked what woman, living or dead, would she most like to meet. She said “Susan B. Anthony”. This “Susan B” was an outstanding and outspoken leader in an era in American history when those traits were not well accepted for women in society. [click to continue…]

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If you would you be interested in participating, please read on for details.

Janette Harvey, Doctoral Learner
Capella University School of Business and Technology

My name is Janette Harvey and I am pursing a Ph.D. in Organization and Management at Capella University.  I am requesting your participation if you qualify for this research study.  My dissertation is titled “Leaders’ Experience of Employee Resistance to Organizational Change.”  This study may benefit leaders, employees, and organizations.  That is, this research may provide useful information to help leaders cope with the stress of the change process, help decrease employee resistance to organizational change, and promote a more positive perspective of employee resistance by organizations.  [click to continue…]

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Emmanuelle Jarmon
WCL Membership Director

Current research by Professor Sheena Iyengar and doctoral candidate Roy Chua explores the idea of how much decision latitude managers should give their employees and its effect on leadership perceptions.

Decision latitude is defined as a “the degree of control a person has over his or her work.” Much has been written about the link between decision latitude, job demand and mental strain – considered the “intrapersonal experience of having freedom and discretion”.  But few have looked at the interpersonal experience – that is how an employee perceives a leader’s effectiveness based on the level of decision latitude granted.   [click to continue…]

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