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Speaker shares tools for succeeding in workplace

by Cindy Abole
Public Relations

Empowering women to work effectively in academia, research and the health sciences to support themselves and be mentors to each other were just some of the messages shared by former CNN executive vice president, author and speaker Gail Evans.

Gail EvansFormer CNN executive and speaker Gail Evans, left, meets with faculty and staff following her March 27 keynote address. See the video at

Evans, a motivational speaker and New York Times best–selling author, was in Charleston March 26-27 as the premier speaker in a multi-day MUSC Women Scholars Initiative (WSI) workshop event. Her visit also was supported by the College of Medicine Dean's Office and Provost's Office. The workshop's goal was to promote discussion between women faculty and staff and inspire others to move the institution forward in achieving its goals for a diverse faculty and achieving inclusive excellence.

Evans told MUSC audiences that although women make up about 50 percent of today's workforce in the U.S., their absence in top leadership positions and parity in corporate board rooms continue to be challenging.

According to Evans, gender equity, race and ethnicity are common issues faced in most workplaces including health care, law, retail and manufacturing. Evans spoke about differences in how men and women approach business and its overall effect in the workplace. She also spoke about the need for better representation of women in leadership, recruitment and retention, mentoring, networking and ideas for the advancement of women faculty in academic medicine.

The author of the books, "She Wins, You Win" and bestseller "Play Like A Man, Win Like A Woman," Evans was able to break through her own barriers becoming CNN's first female executive vice president in 1996. Prior to that, she enjoyed a successful political career in Washington working with several congressional staffs and at the White House under President Lyndon B. Johnson.

At MUSC, Evans addressed female post–doctoral, and graduate students, residents and women faculty during various seminars and workshops. She told audiences that women must learn to work together and not against each other. According to Evans, women have a natural capacity for relationship building and should take advantage of that. Women also need to feel comfortable promoting their own strengths and abilities and work smarter. These advantages will guide women to make change happen, she said.

"It's important that women learn how to play on the same team and support each other. They need to understand that every woman's success is their success. To truly succeed in business, women need to evolve from the 'I can do it' to 'We can do it' attitude," Evans said.

Ashli J. Sheidow, Ph.D., WSI Steering Committee vice chair, said Evans' message was inspirational. Evans presented six seminars, workshops and a keynote speech.

"Ms. Evans used a down-to-earth style and straightforward manner to accomplish these goals. Faculty who attended her talks walked away with concrete, immediate action steps and a motivation to make real changes."

For more information about the scholars initiative, visit




Friday, April 13, 2012

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