Students, faculty, and alumni of Stevenson University joined local business leaders on April 3rd for a Women in Leadership Symposium, held at the Rockland Center of the university’s Owings Mills campus. Murthy Law Firm founder and president, Sheela Murthy, gave an inspirational keynote address, sharing her success story and some hard-won wisdom about overcoming the special challenges women face on the path to leadership.
The event was designed to help develop the next generation of women leaders. It opened with a facilitated conversation, exploring the nature of leadership, tactics and strategies for developing leadership competencies, and the role of mentoring and university-business partnerships in developing women leaders. Murthy built on this conversation and took it to new heights. In a highly interactive presentation – full of warmth, energy, and keen wit – she shared the fruits of her experience: insights on gender and power, leadership and entrepreneurship, all from the unique cross-cultural perspective of a highly successful immigrant woman entrepreneur.
Murthy illustrated her address with stories drawn from life. In her native India, she said, baby elephants are trained to stay in their places, held only by a length of slender chain – the same chain that holds them in place as adults. Even though the adult elephant could break free easily, it doesn’t, only because it’s been conditioned to think it can’t. Murthy asked her audience to consider the chains that keep women from taking leadership roles and living up to their true capabilities.
Then Murthy pushed the conversation a step further, challenging every member of the audience to make a personal commitment: to build their own capacity for leadership, and to help other women reach positions of power and influence, through mentorship and mutual support. Murthy told her listeners not to forget the lessons of the Women’s Leadership Symposium: if you believe in yourself, and have the courage to apply these insights on a daily basis, you will change your life – and change the world!
Copyright © 2013, SHEELA MURTHY. All Rights Reserved