Saturday, June 26, 2004

'Wise Women' advise

140 invited to breakfast to network and discuss mentoring

By John Eckberg
Enquirer staff writer

DOWNTOWN - Men need not apply.

Deloitte & Touche USA LLP launched its 100 Wise Women networking breakfast program Friday for 140 women executives or business owners in Greater Cincinnati.

"We wanted to give people an opportunity to be with other executives and managers without a lot of strings attached," said Deloitte director Beth Rader.

"A lot of women were looking for something that they just couldn't find in Cincinnati - a chance to interact and connect with other women," she added.

Lack of mentoring opportunities for women in the male-dominated executive ranks has long been a problem for female entrepreneurs and others, said Judith Van Ginkel, president of Every Child Succeeds, a non-profit that provides support for first-time mothers.

That's why Van Ginkel, considered a "Wise Woman," signed up for this program, and why she will continue to support it at invitation-only meetings in September and January.

Women met at the Banker's Club and after breakfast broke into groups of six to discuss gender parity at work, strategies to connect with like-minded women executives and how to find the elusive female mentor.

Cynthia K. Bucco, principal at Bucco Advisory Group, walked away with six new connections.

"People want to help each other but you have to be specific about how someone can help you," said Bucco, owner of a real estate consulting firm based in Hyde Park.

Madeleine Ludlow, chairman of Cadence Network, an energy management firm and a "Wise Woman," led discussions.

Ludlow made some new connections. "It's just nice to know that you can pick up the phone and call," she said.



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