2015-04-01 / Features

Mark-Viverito, Ferreras’ Lunch For Queens Women

Councilmembers Viverito, Ferreras and Koslowitz. Councilmembers Viverito, Ferreras and Koslowitz. City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras welcomed 25 Queens women to a roundtable on the advancement of women in New York City on March 24.

To celebrate Women's History Month, the roundtable and lunch was held in the open gallery space of the Queens Museum with guests from across Queens – including women from the Queens Botanical Garden, TD Bank, Voces Latinas, the 82nd Street Partnership, the Jamaica Center for Arts and Culture, and the Central Astoria Local Development Coalition, among others.

“I thank Councilmember Ferreras for organizing the Queens Women's roundtable to both celebrate the accomplishments of women and to lay the foundation for future growth and success,” said Speaker Mark-Viverito. “By discussing the challenges women face – from representation in government, wage equality, and healthcare options – we can shine a light on these problems and think critically about solutions, and I thank all the participants for their important insight on the further advancement of women in New York City.”

“It is important to understand that women do not make it to positions of leadership the same way that men do. We must create our own paths,” said Ferreras. “And we must become experts at networking, seeing each other for our professional accomplishments and highlighting those whenever possible. More than colleagues and friends, we can be each other's greatest advocates.”

The women discussed difficulties they still face, even as leaders in their industries, and shared their experiences juggling careers while raising a family, breaking through in professions dominated by men, and encouraging young women to take leadership positions.

“As a single parent, I had my own set of problems and difficulties in pursuing a career and raising two daughters. At the Queens Women's roundtable, I was absorbed in hearing of the similarities and differences in the obstacles that the current generation of women experience today in pursuing a career,” said Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz, who began her career in public service over 30 years ago.

Maria Fierro, a Branch Manager for TD Bank who attended the lunch, stressed the importance of paying it forward. “The Speaker and Councilmember are successful because women before them opened doors that helped them move forward. It is inspiring to see them doing the same for the women coming up behind them,” she said.

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