When Juliet Dickerson, MS, a director in UMB’s Office of Human Resource Services, became a founding member of UMBrella in 2015, she was unsure what the group had to offer.
The name, UMB Roundtable on Empowerment in Leadership and Leveraging Aspirations, and the goal to support the success of women at UMB, advancing them into leadership roles and championing women at all levels of the organization, sounded interesting, and Dickerson was eager to learn more.
Today, Dickerson is proud to be an UMBrella success story, having just completed the Towson University Professional Leadership Program for Women, a professional development program dedicated to increasing the capacity for leadership and influence for women leaders in Greater Baltimore.
“I met a terrific and powerful group of women and experienced so much,” Dickerson said of the five-month hands-on learning and coaching program. “My fellow participants represented business, industry, health care, nonprofit, and higher education from companies and organizations in the metro Baltimore area. They hailed from Constellation Energy, Whiting-Turner, US Bank, and The National Aquarium to name a few. We had the opportunity to really dissect our leadership skills and identify the areas in which we excelled and the areas that we wanted to develop further. We got to meet and interact with CEOs, authors, and recognized experts across many different fields. We also received a session with a professional executive coach to identify personal areas of interest and scenarios to enhance our career success.”
Dickerson and the other 22 participants in the 2017 program were honored at a ceremony held May 23 at the Towson University Marriott Conference Hotel.
Having the $3,900 fee paid for by UMBrella wasn’t lost on Dickerson, who is on its Advisory Board. “UMBrella has evolved from Jennifer’s idea to a powerful constituency for the campus,” Dickerson said. “Although the group was founded for the women who work at UMB, it provides programming that is open to all employees. I’m very appreciative of UMBrella’s support, and I look forward to continuing the important work that it does for the campus community.”
Jennifer Litchman, MA, who chairs UMBrella and is chief communications officer, vice president, and special assistant to the president at UMB, was proud the program could support Dickerson, as it did Ashley Valis, MSW, the executive director of strategic initiatives and community engagement, who attended the Towson leadership program for women in 2016.
“UMBrella is pleased to provide scholarship support to women at UMB so that they can attend leadership conferences such as Towson as well as the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders in College Park each June, and the Association of College Unions International Women’s Leadership Institute held in December in Florida and California. We hope to be able to provide even more leadership opportunities for women at UMB in the future.”
— Chris Zang