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Speaker discusses professional women

Katie Carlisle | Wednesday, May 2, 2012

In Carroll Auditorium on Tuesday evening, Kathy Ameche closed the fourth Saint Mary’s Bold Beauty Conference with a keynote address on the experience of women in the workplace.

Ameche has authored a book, designed a line of travel gear for women and worked in the professional world. Ameche served as an accountant at Deloitte and a consultant and chief information officer at Tribune Company. After an introduction from senior and event coordinator JoLynn Williams, Ameche immediately engaged the audience in introductions.

“Everyone stand up, turn to the person next to you and introduce yourself,” she said.Ameche observed the greetings exchanged in the audience and said they would not all be appropriate in the professional world.  

“I saw some handshakes and hugging, but we won’t be doing that in the corporate world,” she said.  

She advised students to give their first job a fair chance.

“The most important thing is that you got your first job,” she said. “Don’t write it off if you don’t like it right away. Use the three-strikes-you’re-out rule.”

Ameche also said professional women should stay up-to-date with companies on Google Alerts, network and dress for success.

Ameche focused on the importance of appearance in the professional world, a topic addressed in the Bold Beauty Conference. She emphasized researching a company’s dress policy and even the type of corporate culture. If the company is more conservative, avoid wearing low-cut blouses and open-toed shoes, she said.

Although Ameche said dressing professionally is important, women in the workforce should not worry about physical beauty affecting their work.  

“Don’t get hung up on beauty,” she said. “I do look at appearance, but not beauty.”

Ameche said double standards still exist for professional women.  

“We [women] have to play the game a little [in order to be successful],” she said. However, Ameche stressed the importance of not simply ignoring these double standards currently in place but knowing how and when to resist them, which was a theme of the Bold Beauty Conference.

Senior Rebecca Jones said she appreciated Ameche’s advice.

“As a graduating senior who is currently job searching, her initial advice concerning first impressions and how something as simple as a handshake can be meaningful is significant to me,” Jones said.

Ameche ended her talk with some words of inspiration.

“You have a lot to give and a lot to offer,” she said, “Don’t forget that.”